Monday, 24 June 2019

Living with Puppies

Because we share this land with coyotes and bobcats
outside activity (and there is a lot of it!)
has to be constantly supervised.

Sometimes one needs to find sanctuary

I made the mistake of thinking I would get some weeding done
as I supervised outdoor activities.
Of course the Rusty Pups wanted to help and so 
they discovered the joys of
romping through foliage
and tasty flowers.

And boy the garden WAS beautiful this year!

 They also discovered the joys of munching on tiny stones.
Quite an acquired taste.

With trees being chopped up we are all covered in tree sap
 impossible to remove!

What the heck is all that water falling from the skies?

Who can resist this face!

A stick always has to be shared.

Soon I am going to have to find some snippets of time
to get back to stitching two pieces started earlier in the month.

They have to be one next month.

But the sun is shining and Rusty Pups also need to be trained!

Monday, 17 June 2019

A New Generation of Rusty Pups

 A sunny Friday afternoon
A drive across the province
We pick up our eight week old Rusty Pups
They first experience away from Mom
is a two hour drive back to our side of the province.
It must have been quite harrowing.

Being deposited on grass for the first time
was a much less troublesome.
A wondrous tactile exploration!

By Sunday they had mastered stairs

The tree guys are coming on Monday
so they decided to get started ahead of time....

 ....and give them a helping hand.

RP Brandy

and RP Ginger.
They have big shoe to fill
coming in the footsteps of our beautiful

RP Kayla

and RP Shandy.

They make us laugh!

Monday, 3 June 2019

Walking Muskoka Woodlands

Walking Muskoka woodlands 
Rustling layer upon layer of Maple leaves

The grand girls filled the woods with giggles and brightness

Fallen trees criss-crossed the ground
Nature at work

I wasn't the only photographer
 I wished I had bright yellow boots too!

Lakes are strewn all over this land of trees
Rocks too

Magnificent rock walls can stop you in your tracks

One thing for sure you won't find either one of these
in Muskoka!

But you might come across a few of these

And you will for sure come across folk with a sense of humour!

Water is never far away

And big sticks abound for small dogs to test their strength with!

Learning to fish is a serious business in this family!

Ashley actually caught a fish
and used the occasion to practice her big fish tale technique!

Brett and Amber have chosen a beautiful environment to call home.
Thank you both.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Manitoulin Memory

Looking towards Killarney from Manitoulin Island
Spirit Island
Judy Martin's home
Judy's inspiration

Photo by Miranda Bouchard
For years and years Judy and have visited each other
sometimes friends joined us too
This time Miranda Bouchard joined us.
We are happy Miranda is curating our next show
I believe we are all finding this intergenerational collaboration very rewarding.

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council for funding Miranda in this curatorial project.

Top Judy's work in progress Bottom Penny's Whispering Cairn

 We viewed pieces together
sharing thoughts and insights

It is a special friendship
when you feel comfortable
giving honest critique and receiving it.
Thank you for that gift

Left Penny's Stone Islands  Right Judy's Dark Side of the Sun

Sometimes we turned things around
Sometimes we turned things upside down
Sometimes we got the scissors out and took things apart

Left Penny's Work in Progress Right Judy's Work in Progress

Judy and I are very similar but oh so different too.
For this show...
Judy aims at inspiring people to gaze skyward
at it's enormity 
but also to find that immensity in ourselves too.
My goal is to inspire us to observe the places we live in
to recognize how we are in nature
and how nature can fill the immensity that is us.

Judy's Work in Progress

We reach out
We touch
We are textile artists after all
Touch is everything

Sunday, 5 May 2019

When Beavers Move In

At dusk one fine evening
we spied three beavers grazing in our garden
(I didn't know they ate grass).
I thought it was parents evicting a three year old
from the network of dams further down our stream on the wetlands.

Evidence that they were finding more delicious
twigs to eat soon appeared on the shoreline.

Horror of horrors
the first big thing they chomped at
was my beautiful magnolia.

It tickled me pink that a bit of branch
had fallen next to a Rusty Pup ball
that had been hidden under snow all winter.

I love my poor magnolia

That very day Handy Hubby set about trying to protect it.

I found three branches from my magnolia in their first dam.
It is amazing
not even a trickle of water was escaping the pond.

We dearly wish we had the right property
to allow them to flood the place.
It would be fascinating to observe them
at such close quarters.
Because they come from an established family down the stream
we would rather discourage them
than have them captured and taken heaven knows where.
So we now have a daily routine of dismantling
whatever they have built overnight.
We have found two dams so far.
They really live up to the reputation of being hard workers.

We have counted as many as five in our little pond
since their arrival last week.
Very early one morning
I watched them working away on the dam
and finally two of the biggest ones
walked over the dam and down the stream. 
(Not enough water in the stream to swim down!)
I reckon they must have been the parents
who just come back up to help
redo all the work us terrible humans have destroyed in daylight.

I am taking the opportunity to collect beaver sticks.

More beaver sculptures are appearing every morning.

Geese and mallards and black ducks
visit the pond in pairs during the day whilst beavers sleep.
But when a lone heron arrived at dusk one evening
there was a big hullaballoo of splashing water
It didn't take the beaver one to scare him away.

 The deer aren't bothered
they are so relaxed with no Rusty Pups around
that they now rest among the trees
though keeping a close eye on our activities.

Meanwhile Spring has arrived inside
thanks to some pruning from a kind neighbour.
and needless to say
I have started on a beaver dam stitching.