Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nature Walks, Fiber Art, Starry Starry Night...

Wisteria Seed Pods, One Magnolia Seed Pod,
and a fiber art black snake in the making...

One of the most amazing things I am experiencing, walking three dogs, and going farther than I ever have (I'm getting lots of good exercise as we go on our walkabouts everyday) is that I am seeing things that I have passed by a thousand times and never noticed. Walking Moe was different. He is a big dog and would walk much faster and kind of take me for a ride. He was very obedient but we walked at a brisk pace. However, when 2 other dogs, peanut sized dogs, pugs, are walking with us too, well, the pace is much slower and we have gone down streets, into woods, and meandered all kinds of places. Today I picked the above wisteria pods, like soft velvet, a mossy greenish brown, and a simply beautiful magnolia seed pod, not yet ripe, from one of the huge magnolia trees in the back of our property. I'm going back for more with a tote bag over my shoulder when I walk the dogs from here on out. I was really having a time trying to hold onto all those seed pods and three leashes! And there was so much more I would have loved to gather...

I also brought in a long, dried out, light and hollow but very sturdy bamboo stalk. My mind is already reeling and I know what I shall do with it. It will be the basis for a piece of fiber art.

Also at the top you will see a black snake that I am making of black Coopworth wool that I handspun with many colored silk noils. It is turning out beautifully for Matilda, the black snake of course, and she is very thick, soft and squishy. It is a very thick yarn that I handspun as all of mine are and I have my next two handspun yarns beside me for the next 2 snakes. And doesn't she look grand amidst the seedpods? A girl in her element.

I think one of the things about being a fiber artist is that one is not only working with natural fibers, but you are brought into the natural world, especially when you buy raw wool, and your hands are coated with lanolin from the wool as you wash a really dirty fleece and then it comes out gorgeous and white, and then the fun begins, the dyeing. Finally you find yourself spinning the fiber and dreaming about what the fiber/yarn you are spinning will become. I love to combine found art in nature's bounty on these treasure hunts called Nature Walks, and the dogs take me hither and yon into unexplored territory and it is simply glorious.

I was just out again with the dogs. The birds are all in bed, night has fallen, and as we walked on a grassy hillside I looked up as they paused and I actually gasped, I was so taken with the starry sky above. There were so many stars shining so brightly in a midnight blue sky, it was as if diamonds had been cast across velvet. I stared in awe, and wished upon a star, and felt so happy. Another gift from the dogs. Had I not had to go walking in the dark I would not have seen them. And last night the moon was beautiful. I have walked them late at night when a hot day had passed and there was a cool breeze and I felt like there had never been a more peaceful stillness, never a more beautiful moon, nothing had every felt so wonderful as the dewy grass against my feet and legs, and a bird sang a beautiful trilling song in the deep ocean of night, and I felt such immense gratitude to be able to see so much beauty, in a world where we often see too little. You have to look for beauty, you have to expose yourself to it, and you will be fed by it, and it will give you a deep, deep peace.

I come inside breathing easier, slower, more deeply. And now I look around at the mostly dark room and I smile at the sleeping animals all around me. The parrots and the finches, the doves and the three dogs. And I have Matilda here beside me and shall finish making her this weekend and put her up in the etsy shop for Dragonfly Cottage Design Studio, and move ahead to the next few snakes, and then I shall move on to other fiber art pieces.

I hope you are well this gentle night. I hope you take a walk outside, and appreciate all the beauty that is around you. Take time to look, take a bag with you to collect things and maybe a notebook and pen. Collect all the magical wonders nature provides, and after nightfall, swim in the sea of stars in your imagination. Each day is so full of beauty. Drink it in...



Star Gardener said...

Dearest Maitri: What a delightful gift you share with us through your writing. I can relate to this post ... My Bichon, Lexxi, and I enjoy night time "walkies" and star-gazing. She also loves to chase fireflies all over our large backyard as I capture images of the night skies. :-) Blessings, dear one! ~Lucente

Maitri Libellule said...

Dearest Lucente, thank you so much for your kind comments! I just uploaded a followup much longer entry with lots of photos about our nature walks. What a joyous, healing thing it is, to spend time with animals in Nature. I feel I am being healed deep from within.

And oh! I love fireflies. For some reason I seldom see any here, but they were everywhere in my childhood (as were those tiny little frogs that were just EVERYWHERE!) and I don't see them anymore. I did however just come in from walking the dogs and I just caught a glimpse of a very tiny green treefrog before he disappeared in the undergrowth. I find them captivating. The natural world "peopled" with animals is my favorite happy place. Thank you so much, love, for sharing my joy.

Love and Blessings,


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