Sunday, September 20, 2009

Anybody Home?

The answer, of course, is 'Yes- me!' After a fun trip into the 'wilds' of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we're home! Like any good trip, it was a blast, but so busy that it wasn't exactly relaxing. Still, I feel refreshed and inspired, and ready to dive back into the studio tomorrow morning. More about that in a minute, though. First, some eye candy from our trip.

I grew up in in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, and in the surrounding areas to the north and south. I often forget, living here in Texas for almost 2 decades now, her raw beauty.

The Nesquehoning Valley from the lookout point at the top of Flagstaff Mountain.

The photo of the chipmunk (above) is a good example of how your heart can miss something without your head being fully aware of it.

I had asked my father, who has always loved to lose himself for hours behind the wheel on the twisty, mountainous back roads of the state, to take me on a drive of some of his favorite places. During one stop to take photos, I saw a darting movement out of the corner of my eye. I went still, focused on that area, and saw a face with tiny, scared eyes looking back at me from inside a hollowed-out tree trunk. We don't have chipmunks in our area and I haven't seen one in years, so spotting this little guy was an unexpected joy.

One of my father's favorite locations, and reasonably so, is what the people in my father's family have always called "The 20 Acres". These are small parcels of land that are scattered across a couple of counties which, its said, all belongs to my family. Although these patches of corn fields and forests have collectively been known as the "20 acres", there is some debate as to how many acres are actually involved.

Still, they offer lovely vistas for a flatlander like myself.

Another location on Dad's tour was the family cemetery, a small plot of land behind the industrial gasses company, AirProducts. The plot, which contains about 25 worn and now mostly illegible headstones, is fenced off from the AirProducts property but despite this, I find the location of the gasses plant irritating. When I was a child, the cemetery sat nestled almost into the woods at the back of a large, quiet field that it shared only with tall grasses, light summer breezes, and deep, undisturbed blankets of winter snow.

Despite the proximity of the chemical plant, a small visitor- a groundhog- evidently lives nearby and enjoys the solitude the graves offer.

The ranches, farms and lost little ponds of Pennsylvania offer their own peaceful solitude.

And everywhere, there are thousands of flower varieties, all thick with honey bees that pollinate the entire region.

One of Dad's favorite locations is an abandoned house that he swears is haunted. This house has stood desolate and empty since I was a small child. I would love to buy it and show it the love and care it needs- such a lovely little brick home should not go deserted forever.

Finally, a sneak peek of fall is appearing in the trees. South Texas doesn't experience much fall color, the leaves turn brown in November or December and fall to the ground, and while that contains its own simple beauty, there's nothing like fiery reds, oranges and yellows dotting the landscape.

Later on in the week, after I've had a chance to catch up on my email, blog reading, and all the other little online connections I like to make, I will blog with photos about the New Jersey half of the vacation!

This week will see me dyeing more fabrics. However, instead of choosing dye colors that I can predict the gradation results of, I'm going to be blindly choosing two colors from my stash and using them in a six-step process. My hope is to wind up with some lovely browns, but I really don't know what to expect exactly- and that's the point.

Also, don't forget to check Terry's blog tomorrow for Stage 6 of Compositional Conversations... things are heating up! Terry and fellow CC alum Fulvia Luciano have even designed a neat little video and graph to show our progress. Please go check it out.

More from me later in the week. In the meantime, happy creating!

1 comment:

LynnDel said...

Wow - you make me love Pennsylvania!