Monthly Archives: October 2012

And So It Begins

fish skeleton on parched lakebed

"And So It Begins," mixed media by Kerry McFall

Global warming is upon us.  This was the scene on October 7th, 2012 at Finley National Wildlife Refuge.  It takes 15 minutes to drive there from home – reality doesn’t get any closer than that.  This was the large reservoir at the refuge, where for 20 years we have come in October to hear my Goose Choir, to hear the ducks gabble, to watch elk roll in the mud, to see the water circles of rising fish mirror the sky circles of eagles hunting above.   There were no birds, not a one, only the smell of decay, and this evidence of the carp that inhabited the water.  “Not a big loss,” commented an acquaintance about the carp.  But what of the other aquatic creatures, the minute organisms that geese and ducks eat?

Sure, it could be just a peculiar rainfall year .  No way to know what next year will bring.  Maybe as I write this today’s rain has replenished most of the water.  Maybe not.  Even so, it was sobering, saddening.  Is this the future of my church of nature?  Please, no.

Corey’s Back Home!

"Corey's Home", mixed media, digitally manipulated, by Kerry McFall

The wandering daughter has returned briefly from Peru, bringing with her the equivalent of the contents of Santa’s Sleigh.  This afternoon during a vain attempt to clean off the piano, these random bits called out to me: the granadilla fruit sent by her friend Moises, a bird whistle/bubbler that could double as a Christmas ornament, chocolate-covered almonds, the infamous Peruvian tea, a 100 sole bill (not a lot of money but it looks impressive), and her passport.  As I arranged things, the passport fell open and those very faint red and white stripes on the pages kind of glowed… She’ll get to vote while she’s here (in Oregon we vote by mail, thank goodness, so the ballot will arrive before she leaves).  Living abroad makes voting take on a different perspective, makes it seem more urgent.  Sometimes this country holds up well compared to others… other times, not so much.  These are perhaps the “interesting times” (as in the ancient curse, “May you live in interesting times.”)

She says it’s good to be home, she’s enjoying the hot showers and the functional plumbing, the cheddar cheese and the Northwest beer, driving again for the first time in nearly six months.  But I can tell Peru is calling to her.  While she’s here we’ll have Thanksgiving, birthdays, Halloween, and Christmas all rolled into one because her travel-related job requires her to be down there during the entire holiday season.  If all goes according to plan, we’ll be making a visit down there in 2013, altitude in Cusco be damned!

Misty Valley Tennessee

sketch of Tennessee old barn

"Misty Valley Barn," mixed media by Kerry McFall

Two weeks in Tennessee trying to keep up with a four-year-old and a 10-month-old, and no workable internet connection, meant limited sketching and no blog posts.  This is my favorite of the five that I managed to finish, showing the old barn at the neighboring property where we stayed in Knoxville.  As Henry the four-your-old pointed out, it’s called Misty Valley because it’s misty.  Misty means filled with mockingbird melodies in the morning, and muggy so you fell like you are a stale jelly donut all day and the powdered sugar on your skin has turned very, very sticky… all part of the love-hate relationship I have with the south.

Update – Monday 10/8/2012 This is what the owner of the barn wrote to my son when he received a copy of the piece:  Hello, Thank you so much for this watercolor, it’s just beautiful, she sure did do that old barn justice! Tell her we love it. She can paint anything around here that she wants to. Thank you so much, neighbor.. Dee and Dennis

Here are a couple of other sketches.