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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Wind in the Dolls

They've been talking all week about the big storm coming, and it is now firmly under way. Winds of up to 100 mph are predicted for the coast and our valley winds could make 70 mph. I'm hoping I don't fly away, but if I do I hope I have a donkey or maybe Boone at my side for warmth. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the power and phones stay on. We sat by the fire last night listening to the torrents of rain, dogs and cat warm at our feet. Being inside in a storm, makes one feel graced.

Going out to do barn chores in the wind gusts this morning was special too. There's always sort of this anticipation in a wind storm. I don't take them lightly after making it though a straight line wind storm in Minnesota. Out here, the barn roofs flap and the barn itself makes the most peculiar sounds. The pouring rains pound the tin roofs, animals all inside, soaked, their bodies letting off steam. It feels safe in the barn, especially on a rainy day. I spent time buckling down the hatches, and giving extra hay to everyone. The chickens are miserable and I'm low on feed. I was almost lost in 4 tons of hay bales, as I climbed to the top, about 15 feet up, and put my foot in a crevice. Safely back down on the ground, I slipped in mud but Hazel the barn cat was there to greet me. Even the ewes, always up for stormy weather, have stayed in the barn most of the day.

As I quickly made a new trench in Boone's pasture to help keep as much water away from his dry area as possible, I was struck with the fact that I get to do things almost all day that I got to do as a child. I was making a little river in mud, and creating little channels to alleviate the gutter runoff- it was just like making streams and dams as a child...And I climbed on hay bales - up on top, it felt like a tree house. I came inside and made more raggedy dolls , like this Grandmother Mouse, and the Funny Looking Donkey. Working without a pattern or plan, just free form, just like the messes I made as a young girl.

Here comes another wave of downpours. I can smell soup cooking in the kitchen.