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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The countdown to stories unleashed

The stories from "Misfits of Love" will have a life of their own. The words of each story, printed on paper and then bound in a book, will be yours to mingle with, ponder, and retain meaning or inspiration of your own.

There are 32 days left to gather more pledges, with 29% being funded. Thank you to everyone who has pledged. There is a lot of legwork to do to get more pledges but I feel very strongly that I want these stories out there, in print, to be held.

It's easy to pledge. Your money is held [your credit card is not charged[ and only if the project is fully funded by the deadline will you be billed. Gift levels are spelled out at my page on Kickstarter where you can also read more on the project and see a movie.

But for now, I am posting one story [click "Read More" below] from the proposed book. It's an important one, as it is about the first old creature of Apifera, Old Man Guinnias. He is over eighteen now, and every year I hope for another, if it is meant to be.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Natural hat of hen

They rush about in businesslike manner seeking, investigating, conquering tiny pebbles of grit that many would not notice. Their natural red hats might flop when they scurry off the compost pile but they always right themselves without my intervention.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pino's Christmas Pageant

He's just a little donkey and he had such a dream. Alas, he found out how difficult it can be to direct-produce-act-and-sing in a production. So turn off your tweets, disengage from your face or his face or myface or facebook and give the little guy 7 minutes of your time. It's full of song, philosophy and more...right through the credits.

You can watch the video on our movie channel too, it might load faster.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Tale of The Christmas Garland

One day Apifera received a big box from a kind woman who makes lovely hand made items. She had met many of the barnyard creatures while attending last fall's Art Workshop and inside the box were lots of animal crackers to be shared by them. But what caught the eye first was a beautiful garland of felt and wool she had made. Little did she know it would become a piece of great admiration by so many diverse characters. After last week's sadness, it was good to have such care free joy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Aunt Bea has gone on

Thank you to everyone who partook in Aunt Bea's Celebration of Life to help pay her medical and vet fees.It was greatly needed and appreciated.

She fought so hard, and so did I.

She started here with the cards stacked against her, after being rescued by New Moon out of a starvation situation. Her blood work showed the havoc malnutrition had on her little body.

But one of my three wonderful vets and I fought hard to help her, and I have never had such a brave little patient. Shots and drenches every day, wrapped in old sweaters for warmth, she hung on and on, always eager to eat, but unable to get up or walk. Her walking was worsened when her right front leg suffered some kind of nerve damage making her unable to put pressure on it. I was getting her up at least four times a day to move her, and pat her sides to help her rumen and the water in her lungs. I had even looked into buying a wheelchair for her.

Her treatments were nearly over after 18 days so the vet came to do a blood test on her today. We had hoped to see any kind of improvement in her Pac Cell count. Instead it was worse. We discussed an option of more injections for three weeks to see if we could stimulate the bone marrow - a treatment that has helped dogs and cats. But with the blood work in, we both felt it was time to help her over. It was a hard decision - because I had fought so hard too.

But you have to stand back and ask what you are fighting for - you, or the comfort of the animal. She had become more uncomfortable in the last few days - constant groaning - which could have meant so many other things were going wrong in her.

I held her little head, and she fell off to sleep, sweet slumber, and then she was gone. To not see her teeny little head sticking out of the hay bed tomorrow morning might just kill me. But the vet said it best - she had more attention in the last month than her whole life. I know this.

It was dark when I left the barn. I looked up to the sky but there were no stars. Just like her little blanket had kept her warm all these days at Apifera, the sky now offered her a blanket of fog to keep her warm on her journey.

Thank you to all who helped.

Matilda's window

Matilda will have her own chapter in "Misfits of Love". Please consider pledging for this project. We are 20% funded but time is running out. Help me share stories of old and neglected creatures who have a purpose.

She is the first to dine on hay, which is presented to her through her own window. Too high up for the mini crew to reach through, I show her the hay, she grabs a bite and looks at me with, "That will do, thank you."

I don't ever have to search for Matilda, her ears and eyes are always there for me in the morning and evening as I enter Old Barn. I say her name, and the tips salute towards me in acknowledgment.

We have an understanding that no matter what, it will be a new day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Barnyard harbor

I rarely go to the barn after dark. If I do find myself there after sundown, it is usually because of an emergency or helping a sick or needy animal, including my shepherdly duties each March.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Walk with Professor Otis Littleberry

Much attention has been spent, out of necessity, on helping Aunt Bea, but little Professor Otis Littleberry can not be forgotten.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Christmas for Aunt Bea

Yesterday I intended to finally sit down and spend the day writing. But instead, I was physically and emotionally pulled to paint.

I know when a muse speaks internally like this it is no use fighting it. I painted this for Aunt Bea, or for me, or for both of us. She was outside the studio in the paddock, soaking up the earth and sun, and I painted quickly, with abandon. I had an internal sensation that I had to get it done 'in time' for her, and even had hesitated to look out the window when I was done because I thought somehow my finishing the piece was tied to her time on Earth.

But she was still hanging in there. I showed her the piece and she looked at me in an expression I have grown to know well - little head with little eyes, "Are you really taking care of me? No one has cared for me for so long, when will you leave me?"

I felt Aunt Bea deserved a Christmas, not a holiday, a Christmas. So I painted her in one. No matter how long she is with us, I will know I gave her that.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Aunt Bea we are with you

Sweet little Aunt Bea is struggling to survive. The malnourishment has wreaked havoc on her little system and we are doing all we can do to give her a chance to live more days in the sun.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Help me share the stories of old creatures

I have had this project in my heart and mind ever since the first old goat arrived at Apifera. I guess there was a reason 8 years ago why the universe kept me from doing it - how did I know so many more old, crippled or challenged creatures would wander here, with some floating away to rest above the tree line when there final day had come? Each one is special, with a voice, and a story. We can learn from those stories.

So, I have created a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds to make "Misfits of Love" a book of short narratives, photography and art. The funds will get the manuscript professionally edited and prepped for publishing and will allow me to market it to publishers - or go the self publishing route if necessary. Making books is a long process. The campaign page tells how I will use the money.

This is a labor of love, people. While I have lots of book projects out there looking for publishers [with my wonderful new agent- more on that later] and I love all of them and believe in each one - this project is one that obviously makes me sing and cry all at once.

Kickstarter works like this: You pledge an amount [from $15 to $1,000] and I in turn pledge to send you a gift in return [you can opt out of the gift]. Your credit card is not charged but your money is held in escrow by Amazon when you pledge Only when the entire goal is reached will your amount be charged. If I don't meet my goal, you don't pay a dime. I have until Jan 30 to make my goal, and if I do, your card will be charged. Visit my campaign to see more including a video.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Such beauty in a compact form, my Rosie. Each morning, precisely timed after her breakfast digests and beauty routines are complete, she takes her mass up against the old wall of the chicken coop to gather it's warmth into her skin. Blending together, the pig becomes one more structure in the barnyard with purpose - to stand and be admired in the light of a new day.