Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Meeting My Neighbor, The Shagbark Hickory

My neighbor, the Shagbark Hickory

I heard the gun shot as Fate and I walked thought the pasture to the gate that leads into the woods.

It came from our neighbors house.  I assumed they were slaughtering one of their pigs.

When we first moved to the farm, three of our neighbors pigs got out and were rooting around in our front yard.  Red helped herd them back to their pen.   A few months later, our neighbor came over with bacon and ham to thank us.

Once we got over the stream, the gunshots didn’t stop.  Target practice, I thought.   So instead of taking our usual path, which is close to and often through our neighbors property, we headed in the opposite direction towards the meadow.

I’ve only walked in the meadow a couple of times.  It rests between our farm and McMillan Road.  In the spring, summer and fall, it’s tight with brambles, tall grasses and ticks.  The time of year, the ticks are dormant, the grasses are laid down with snow and the brambles are thinner and easy to pass through.

Jon and I often walk the dogs on McMillan Road and sometimes Fate will run into the meadow on a scent, but she never goes far.    There’s an old wooden trough, disintegrating along the fence line, where the cows who used to graze in the meadow, were fed.

There are brambles and bushes, but even though there haven’t been cows in the meadow for years, there is still only one tree.

From the road it looks perfectly shaped as those big old trees that farmers let grow in the pastures for shelter often are.  Unencumbered by other trees, they’re able to reach their branches out evenly on all sides.

Jon and I often admire the tree, it has grace and presence, is witness and sentinel to the land surrounding it.

Always seen from a distance, I never imagined how big the tree really was.

Even when I decided to visit the tree yesterday, I wasn’t thinking it would look so different close up.  So what a surprise it was to see that it wasn’t a Maple as I always assumed, but a massive Shag Bark Hickory.

First I walked around it marveling at the long thick shards of bark bowing off of it.   Then I spread my arms around it in a hug, my fingertips reaching as far at they could, all of me only spanning a third of its circumference.

I’ve been looking at this tree from a distance for over four years.  I thought I knew it.

But being close to it. Walking around it, touching it, looking up into its branches, I knew I was only seeing a small part of it from a distance.

It was like when the first time I stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon looking into it.  It looked like every postcard I’ve ever seen of the Grand Canyon.  Like I was looking at a mural of the Grand Canyon.  I knew the only way I could really “see” the Grand Canyon was to get down into it, walk it, be a part of it.

That’s just what I did with the Shagbark Hickory yesterday. I got to know it, to see it for who it really is, not what I imagined it to be.  I thought of us being neighbors all these years and only now, really getting to know each other for the first time.


Thirty Second Mystery Snail Meditation

This weekend, Jon was back at remodeling the fish tank.

He gave the moss monster another hair cut and we got a few new plants to replace some of the older dying ones.

He sucked the detritus, that lodges in the gravel, out with a hand pump made for that purpose and replaced three buckets of fresh water that came out with it.  All while I sat on the couch reading There, There by Tommy Orange.

Every time Jon rearranges the tank (I can’t help but think of it as moving the furniture around) I wonder if it’s like a new home for the fish and snails.  If they wonder what happened or how they got to this new place where some of it is familiar, and other parts brand new.

It makes me wonder if the fish and snails will be smarter because they have to adjust to their new environment, figure it out all over again, instead of the same old, same old.

I recently read, in an article about animal consciousness by Ross Anderson in The Atlantic,  that fish can remember things as far back as 10 days.  (As interesting as I find that information, I’m equally as interested in knowing what kind of study or experiment was done to come to this conclusion.)

Does this mean that after ten days, whether Jon rearranges the tank or not, the fish see it as if for the first time after 10 days?

More questions than answers….

Anyway, I was a little concerned that Junior, our baby Mystery Snail may have gotten sucked up in the pump with some of the other small particles in the tank.  So I was relived this morning to see him eating off a leaf just below Socrates.

I should just stop worrying about Junior.  He seems to be a survivor and know just how to get by in our ever-changing fish tank.


In My Etsy Shop….

Some of what is for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I spent most of the day doing end of the month paperwork and banking  that I’ve been putting off for too long.  It’s feels good having it done, but left me tired and lacking the feeling of fulfillment that comes when I get to make my art.

One of the good things that came out of it was that I wrote Mary Kellogg a check for $28.79 for the sale of her books This Time Of Life.

I just got a check from Battenkill Books, who is selling Mary’s book,  which paid off the remaining cost of creating 100 copies of Mary’s book, with a little left over for Mary.    So  from now on, the money from all the sales of Mary’s book will go directly to her.

I still have some potholders, notecards, a few House of Hearts Tote Bags and Mary’s book for sale in my Etsy Shop, along with some of Jon’s photos.

So come have a look for yourself or for a gift.  And if you have any questions about anything in my shop, just email me.

Full Moon Fiber Art Etsy Store

Yoni Branch

This is the same fallen branch that I took a picture of in the summer with a bone in the center of it.  Before the snow, I found the bone near the branch.

Someone had been chewing on it.

Today the same fallen branch is dressed in snow.

Naturally,  I’m thinking of a Yoni Tree.  Trees with vulva shapes in them that are symbols of the life giving,  divine feminine.

This Radio Thing….

Fate and the Sheep

Jon keeps saying that a few years ago I never would have agreed to be the Roving Correspondent on his radio show, Talking to Animals and I certainly wouldn’t have so readily agreed to the interview  on Thomas Toscano’s Bennington Today Radio Show that I did yesterday.

Actually I did both yesterday.  About an hour and twenty minutes of radio time total in one day.

I don’t know how these things happen, how they come about.  But there does always seem to always be another creative thing out there presenting itself to me.

I have to think about it and try to remember what Jon’s talking about when he says that, in the past,  I wouldn’t have agreed to be on the radio.  It all happened so gradually and seemingly when I’m ready for it that I don’t have an immediate  sense of who and how I used to be.

It’s as if I have to reread that old story of me.   And the story seems to be about another person.  Not who I ever really was.

Today I listened to yesterdays  podcast Jon’s radio show, Talking to Animals and heard what I sound like on the radio for the first time.

I thought it would be like watching the video of me Bellydancing.  That I might learn something from it.

It wasn’t as revelatory as when I watched myself dance for the first time.  It was more like, “Oh yeah, that’s what I sound like.”

I think what amazes me most about it is that there are at least a couple of people out there, who are interested enough in what I have to say to ask me questions and really listen to my thoughts and ideas.

Through my blog I’ve learned that there are people who are interested in my art and my writing, but I’ve alway had this idea about myself that my stories are boring.  So I try to rush through them before people start to tune out.

Jon and I often have good conversations and I’m able to do that with some friends too.  But it’s different when I’m on the radio, because I know there are potentially other people listening in on the conversation.

And that’s what it is really, with both Jon on Talking to Animals  and Thomas’ interview yesterday about my blog…a conversation.  And both of them ask really good questions that get me thinking.  And I get the feeling from both of them, that they’re listening and thinking about what I’m saying too.

So this is something new for me.

First it was putting my art out into the world.  Then my writing.  Most recently it’s been my body, through Bellydancing.  And now it’s through the spoken word.

Today I’m thinking of my conversation with Thomas and all the things I didn’t think to say in our conversation. I’m not regretful about it, it’s just given me more ideas to write about.

And I will.

I’m also thinking of what I’ll bring, as Roving Correspondent,  to Talking to Animals next week.

I think I’m beginning to enjoy this radio thing.

This is all going on on WBTN AM Radio.  Jon’s call in Radio Show, Talking to Animals is on every Wednesday from 1-3pm.  You can live stream it here. It’s also rebroadcast at 5pm on Wednesday.

If you’d like to hear my conversation with Thomas Toscan about how I started my blog and the part my potholders played in it, you can listen to the podcast here. 

Or you get the podcast of any past radio show on WBTN here.

Signs Of Spring, The Hens Are Laying

The hens had a snow day during yesterdays storm and didn’t leave the coop.

But today I chased them out for a while to clean out the coop.  I haven’t seen any evidence that they’re playing with their new toy.  I think they’d rather be pecking around the dirt in the barn then ringing bells.

I did find a mess of  broken, frozen eggs in the nesting box.  I stopped looking a while ago, not expecting any eggs.  But it seems it’s that time of year again.  The days are getting longer and the hens are laying.

Signs of spring, even if the ground is covered in snow and ice.

Full Moon Fiber Art