Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Mrs. Dunn falls in a hole

 “Mrs. Dunn fell in a hole!!!” screamed Hannah as she ran through the barn.

I could hear the feet of small goats rushing about, as I lay on my side...in a hole.

I suddenly felt a nose near mine, as I lay there making sure all my parts still worked. It was the nose of Earnest the pig.

Mrs. Dunn, are you alright?” he asked.

Somewhat,” I said.

The entire herd of goats was around me, including Ollie, the largest goat and also the one who helped get me in this position.

Mrs. Dunn, why are you lying in a hole?!” said Ollie.

I am in a hole because you twirled around me and made me fall into this hole,” I said.

Marcella, the Head Mistress, the Maremma guardian dog who watches after the herd, came over to me. We are a team in the barnyard and she has been with us since birth and is now 9 years old.

Marcella, you made this hole, I know you did and I’m now the victim of it,” I said.

I had very good reason to make the hole,” she said. “Actually, two reasons: rats, and a skunk.”

The large rubber mats in the barn stall lay on top of dirt, and under the dirt down deep are the myriad of tunnels where the rats run, and other critters. Marcella is a Maremma and you can not get anything by her. If there is anything running under those floors she will dig, and dig. I pity those she finds.

I had walked into the stall and as I put my foot down, it sank, into an abyss. At that very moment, Ollie and his 250# body encircled me-a goat trait employed to ensure he will get food. The buckets I was holding went flying, my bum went down and there I was, lying in a hole, surrounded by the perplexed faces of goats and dogs. Their perplexed expressions were not of concern for me, rather they just wondered why the usual routine of me walking into the stall -upright- had changed this morning.

But Mrs. Dunn, you must get up, it’s our breakfast. There’s no time to lay about in a hole!” said Ollie.

I will get up in due time!” I snapped.

What is “dotime?” asked little Hannah.

It means that she will rise up when she feels she is emotionally and physically capable,” said Earnest the pig.

Poor Mrs. Dunn,” and she put her forehead into mine.

It’s okay, Hannah. Falling is hard when your body gets a bit….”

Ancient?” snapped Poetry the old goat. “Tell me about it. Just wait until your my age,” the old goat quipped.

How old is ancient?” asked hannah.

Hundreds of years,” said Pickles.

Are you hundreds of years, Mrs. Dunn?” asked Hannah.

Somedays, I think,” I said.

You should be in National Geographic, Mrs. Dunn! You’re almost as old as that giant tortoise we read about!” said Puddles the goat.

{My blog is free to all. But anyone can voluntarily show support for my writing and art at this link [you pick what you want to give. I recently tried Patreon and just didn't jive with it.}

Monday, May 29, 2023

Now available to read: "Pig & Bucket" an illustrated tale with a little bit of mystery, an old rat, a pig and bucket with a hole

I'm excited to share "Pig & Bucket" with all of you! It is a flip book and I recently finish it and worked on it most of this year.

This is a story the meshes the history of our 1760 farm in Maine with the life of Earnest the pig and Mrs. Studley, a rat [she has secrets you eill learn about]. It is illustrated. 

One day, Bucket is freed after a Nor'easter blows through the farm. Earnest the pig meets him and a friendship begins. Bucket begins his story of how one day the only boy he knew tossed him aside. Earnest helps him see he still has purpose. In time, we learn about the boy and the friends then set out to help him. Mrs. Studley and her digging expertise come in very handy. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Thursday June 1 pop in to my pop up!


If you are in mid coast MAine on Thursday, stop over to my first pop up! I'm not sure who my animal guest will be, but have a pretty good idea. I also have the Lovey Hut set up as a little gallery with my higher end paintings on wood. I really am not sure anyone will show up but we shall see! I did a pretty soft sell on it as I just want to feel my way around it all. No stress on Mrs. Dunn is the motto.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

THE BLOG IS BACK! Little Donkey Ear Shadows are hear to welcome you!

I have decided to come back to the blog and will be shuttering Patreon with the next month [it takes a month]. I had started a Patreon last December. To be honest, it never felt quite right to me. I never liked the layout and there were glitches on my end. 

 But mainly, what I realized was I started because I was feeling my blog was done, over, noone was reading it [which isn't exactly true, its more that people weren't commenting or interacting becasue of so many social media platforms]. I thought the Patreon would expand my readers, instead it made it smaller and there were long time readers that felt they just didn't want to pay even a small fee a month. I understand. So what felt wierd to me was knowing my stories were being read by even fewer people and I couldn't share them publicly with some of the readers that really wanted to read them-for free. I experimented with ways to bring more people in, but really, I think Patreon is much more geared for video, and SHORT things like comics. It can take years to build a wider audience on Patreon-they do nothing to help promote you, believe me. It wasn't the money, the 30 members I had were helping with $300 total a month which is about 2/3 of my online web fees. And I don't scoff at that. But I never did it to make money, I just thought it would bring out people who really wanted to read my work, and were willing to support it. 

 The other thing I realized is-my stories have also supported the farm. People read the heartfelt stories, and it engages them with me, and my work with the non profit. They might not buy a book, but they donate to the farm. That in and of itself is a gift for me. So, I am revitalizing my home here at my first home-the blog. I felt guilty leaving it, and put much thought into it. I also like I can keep tabs on animals histories and such here. 

 There will be audio stories here as well which I've just started experimenting with over on Patreon. And now, instead of subscribing monthly, I simply have a link you can go to in each post, in which you have the choice to pay something, or nothing. All content will be public. I could have done monthly subscribers again, but this way people can pay once and move on, or just keep paying whatever they read. There is no long term commitment. And everyone can read and share the posts, which is important to me. 

 So chalk it up to a learning curve. And to all those first 30 members-I thank you. I just posted the Pig & Bucket story to you and in time it will be made available for purchase, but those first and last Patrons get to see it now. You can now send support for individual posts at this link, if you choose >

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Love Day at Apifera Farm is Saturday June 17, 2023

Love Day will share our mission with you [helping old/needy animals but also sharing them with elders in the community for mutual love and healing], let you meet many of the animals, tour the garden, and also meet our new Lovey Mobile which will allow us to share more animal love around town. 

For the event, the Lovey Mobile will act as a pop-up shop and Katherine's art and illustrated books will be for sale. Pastor Char will do a blessing of the animals sometime during the event. Stink Cartright aka Stinkin' Cute Short Guy [pony] plans to also make his debut, as do the other ponies, and the old donkey Peso. And of course, Harry the llama!

 If you read the Lincoln County News, you might have read Katherine's monthly "Tails & Tales" column where she writes through the voices of the many characters on the farm. Pickles and Puddles the trouble making goats, Peso the old donkey, The Goose and others will be wandering in the paddocks.
Martyn Dunn is a landscaper and the event will be held in the front gardens.
Parking will be limited on the actual property, overflow parking will be on the road and there is ample area for that. 
Children must be well chaperoned. Do not feed animals unless permission is given. 
Donations will gladly be accepted but the event is free as long as you bring and share love.

Monday, October 31, 2022

The old donkey wanted to be a tree....and...

Peso wanted to be a tree, holding a bird's nest, for Halloween. I think he did a sweet job of it.

You can read all about Earnest's celebration of the dead, and other Halloween-ish antics from the barnyard, over at Tails & Tales monthly short story publication [it's free].

We lost one of our eldest cats, Inky this week. He was 22 or so and had come to us many years ago from the shelter, after his owners died. There was some trauma in the house in the end and I do not know how much of it Inky saw. He was always stoic and friendly, never pushy with the others and liked to ride on my shoulders. He had a good death with Catfish looking on, wrapped in a polk-a-dot blankie in front of the heater. I buried him under the lilacs along with so many others.

There is often a shift that occurs after a death in the herd or cat room. Inky always slept, for the past few months anyway, in a basket on one of the perches. He chose to stay on the ground in his final few days, but nobody claimed his basket. Then this morning, I saw that Francine was sleeping there. The empath in me wants to think she waited for the energy to shift, to give Inky time to leave, and to respect his space. I'll stick to that story.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

New holiday card...yes I know it is not even Halloween

I just ordered these and they should be here in a couple weeks. The inside is blank so it's great for holiday season and New Year's greetings.

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