Saturday, August 30, 2014


Bridge Railing with Ducks Below
Rapids and Riffles

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Heron's Life

Great Blue Heron & Mallards
Aug. 14, 2014
The Great Blue Heron has been hiding most of the summer. I found it last weekend in the shallows downstream. This view is from the Pleasant Street Bridge.

The ducks seem to have no trouble finding the heron. I wonder what they think about each other. The heron has a completely different sort of existence than the dabbling ducks. Ducks scramble about eating aquatic plants and getting in each other's way. The heron stands still as a statue stalking daydreaming fish. And then, like lightening, he stabs the water and swallows the fish whole like Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings. And then the heron waits like a fat anaconda until another fish wanders nearby. The mallards meanwhile have paddled over to other riffles and eddies to snack on whatever floats their way.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Moon & Miscellaney

watercolor, lithographic tusche

More inkiness: mallards & geese

Big trout

Dabbling mallards

Dabbling mallards near rocks

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Swiss Cheese

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit seen through a fence
August 3, 2014
conté pencil

We lost our cats. last year. The secret is that the nearby wilderness veritably crawls with coyotes and we let those cats roam outside everyday. For years all went according to plan. And then, one by one, our two enchanting and wise cats: a kitten and a twelve year old veteran with stories to tell, never came back. Big holes in life; a life like a Swiss cheese.

We have two new cats now. They are siblings and couldn't be more different from each other. They are endlessly amusing and they teach me things. And we keep them indoors now.

I wonder that one result of having indoor cats is the plethora of rabbits I see this summer. Also, a deer has been visiting our yard and garden and has had a significant impact on the beets and lettuce. I'm sure it's merely a coincidence. But that veteran cat, misnamed "Cupcake" could stare down any deer! Or perhaps, Cupcake told the deer stories and protected our beets like Scheherazade entertaining the king. The deer misses the stories. Imagine the stories our cats could tell us. My kingdom for this ability!

Monday, August 4, 2014


Portrait of the Artist as a Duck
June 2010
Much has happened in between these two drawings. Too much to relate. The lovely but impersonal narrative and the white noise of the rushing river abide and help moderate my moodiness.

Portrait of the Artist as a Goose
August 2014

Der Wegweiser
Was vermeid' ich denn die Wege,
Wo die ander'n Wand'rer geh'n,
Suche mir versteckte Stege,
Durch verschneite Felsenhöh'n ?
Habe ja doch nichts begangen,
Daß ich Menschen sollte scheu'n, -
Welch ein törichtes Verlangen
Treibt mich in die Wüstenei'n ?
Weiser stehen auf den Straßen,
Weisen auf die Städte zu.
Und ich wandre sonder Maßen
Ohne Ruh' und suche Ruh'.
Einen Weiser seh' ich stehen
Unverrückt vor meinem Blick;
Eine Straße muß ich gehen,
Die noch keiner ging zurück.

Text by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827)

The Sign Post
Why then do I avoid the highways
Where the other travelers go,
Search out the hidden pathways
Through the snowy mountain tops ?
I've committed no crime
That I should hide from other men -
What is the foolish compulsion
That drives me into desolation ?
Signposts stand along the highways
Pointing to the cities,
And I wander ever further
Without rest and look for rest.
Before me I see a signpost standing
Fixed before my gaze.
I must travel a road
From which no one ever returned.

** an interesting and moving analysis of this song by pianist Erica Ann Sipes. **
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