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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Painting the sound of water

It's been raining, a lot. After moving to Oregon in 2002, we had mild winters. To a Minnesotan, 'mild' meant "late spring" and I remember when I first visited in March '01, my feet moved with the ground and dirt. I love Minnesota, and feel like the prarie is in my blood and heart and skin, but after so many years there, I was ready for my feet to feel soft ground year round. It seemed so...wise, to be able to feel the ground - and why did I wait so long. Perhaps the freezing winter temperatures and late springs kept me from growing too big a pair of wings too fast. Anway, when the ground gets really wet, and out here on the farm you are slipping in pastures, and horse hooves are wet and muddy and 3 dogs x 4 feet = 12 feet to clean 10x a day, I still think of that frozen ground feeling. It never gets me down, the soft ground.

We have a stream that runs down from the upper portion of our land and comes through the sheep pasture and then follows the gravel driveway down to the main gravel road and then on into the river. On a typical winter, it fills to the top and runs
until about June. By October if we've had ample rain, you can hear it no matter where you are on the 22 acres, and then you can hear the Yamhill River down below. I love that. I always love that, every morning, even if it is one second between thoughts of planning a day. And this morning, I thought, how can I paint that sound? I didn't even dwell on it, it just came to me, the words came into my head like a screen: "You already do"...That was one of those higher being things.

Eventually I'll post some pictures. But then again, who reads this but me? It is still so satisying to write a journal, or write something, rather than always thinking visually. Honestly, sometimes I want to turn it off. This is why the farm is so good for me. To use my hands all day and touch so many things-animals, dirt.

Martyn just drove up. I wasn't going to open the wine, but will. Rain+ fire+ wine+companion. Makes sense.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Singing Mice

A recent news bite came over the radio that scientists now believe
that male mice actually sing to attract the females.

They say the human ears don't ear it - but I would argue that perhaps it is just that most people are not taking time to listen. I have heard at least two mice sing.I didn't know they were singing to lady mice, I assumed they were just lolly-gagging during their morning, or perhaps soothing the stare of a barn cat. I have no scientific data to prove anything I write here, and I'm not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking. The last thing I want is to put yet another blog out there that creates online blog-rage. Then again, perhaps one woman/artist/shepherd's blog observations about her fellow mice will not generate any rage - just disbelief and eye rolling.

Back to singing mice. I will tell you about one such episode I had with these small,tender creatures. Pépé the mouse spends most of his time under the Coastal Redwood trees near my studio. I assume the pickings are good, as their are many insects to find, plenty of cover from cats and hawks and owls. And I think the small bird and rodent cemetary there, established in 2004, gives Pépé a place to sit quitely and visit with his distant relatives Pédro and Juanita...Anyway, I was tending the cemetary, making sure the ground covers were not overtaking Tucker the Chinchilla's grave, when I heard a faint sound. It gradually grew louder until it was as if some distant car radio was left on in the upper hills above us...I continued working, and then heard some rustling of leaves, turned to see who or what had joined me - and there was Pépé [identifiable by the small chink in his left ear]. I greeted him, and he very still, as if waiting for me to continue my cemetary maintenance. His singing slowly returned,as I began working and as I grew closer to weeding around Pédro and Juanita's grave, it grew louder, until it finally turned into more of a dirge. I have no doubts in mind that this took place.

I have not seen Pépé for some time. It makes me wonder if perhaps he has died, or knew he was dying and came to me that day as a farwell, knowing I would bury him next to his kin, under his favorite Redwood trees.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thank you!

All orders
Once I receive your payment, I'll email you with a ship date and a quick 'hello'.

October Book Special 2014
If you ordered more than one book, you may mix titles. For example, if you purchased 6 books, you can let me know you want 1 Misfit and 5 Donkey Dream, etc. I will ship with five days or sooner. Books are signed and hand wrapped Apifera style [be surprised}. All orders included USA shipping. Int'l orders will have to pay more for shipping, which will be invoiced separately.

Book Orders
I strive to ship within 3 days. Books are signed and hand wrapped Apifera style [be surprised}. All orders included USA shipping.

Int'l Book Orders
You will be invoiced for a separate additional charge for international shipping. I only ship Priority.

You are so wonderful, thank you! If you donated at a reward level, I'll be getting that off to you in a week. Subscribers receive a book after they complete $50 of subscription payments.

Online Workshop people
Once I receive your payment I will email you with pertinent info.

Thank you again for reading, following, caring and shopping!

Katherine/Apifera Farm & The Misfits