Hiking in the White Mountains near my home I am always moved by the twisty, gnarly, junipers. They also have this wonderful shaggy bark that they shed. In fascination I collected it up, as I hoped it would make a striking covering for a large bird. What a fun project this has been! I sculpted a heron shape from chicken wire, and attached a nice large stone beak, and tail from old downed juniper. Beak and tail I also collected while hiking in the White Mountains near home. Then I set about adding the pieces of juniper shreds as “feathers”. A bit of an itchy process, but well worth it! I used little undeveloped pinyon cones for eyes. A true bird of the White Mountains that I love to roam in. I enjoyed taking it out for a photo shoot at my local lake where we have watched many heron along the shores. This heron now resides in my front yard beside our little summer pond.
I am always playing. Something I have always enjoyed playing with is balancing sticks and things. This is me with a stick balanced on a stone, which is sitting on a flat stone, which is sitting on my head.
When I am out hiking amongst the beautiful sculptural dead juniper trees there is often an opportunity to play with balance. And I like that it won’t last. The stick will fall eventually so I will not spoil another’s walk in solitude among the juniper and pinyon.
It is rather thrilling to combine my bird sculpture with stone and wood and balance.
The joy of balance is everywhere. Sitting by a stream, playing with a stick on a stick.
I made this bird shortly after George Floyd was murdered. This is my little pal to keep me reminded, to not grow complacent. I made it as I read the wonderful book by Ta-nehisi Coates “Between the World and Me”. I am humbled and changed by his writing.
I take many walks out in the wilds away from people with my husband, John. It is so peaceful out here in the high desert. I always come back home feeling revitalized. There is always something wonderful to see. A dead branch against the blue sky, a twisty bit of branch on the ground with a flower emerging through it, a roadrunner disappearing into the sagebrush, a lizard skittering for cover. And the smells! A favorite is sagebrush after a rain. And of course the gentle quiet.