Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Getting ready for the annual art show next week. I'm working on some pieces inspired by our neighborhood wild places. The black and white work above is one I am currently finishing up; I'll color it today. It's of a wild place that used to be, but is no more.

This summer, a new subdivision was built down the road a couple miles from our house. The property had been mostly arable land, a former farm. A small woodland, or copse, bordered the side closest to the road.

I often used to cut through the property to fetch Lucy from school, using a well-used pathway that ran between the field and the wedge of woods. On many occasions, I saw wild turkey strolling the fields. Other times, deer would be grazing on the outer edge of the trees. Once, I found a substantial (three pronges!) deer shed. I have this antler in my studio. On frosty winter days, the view down the old path looked like a Currier and Ives greeting card. It was Long Ago Iowa, here in the Now.

A grand old white farm house was there and still inhabited. When I saw the house's front porch being retro-fitted with a wheel chair ramp though, I wondered if the farm's days were numbered. The acreage was sold a few short months later. A sign appeared announcing a public meeting to discuss the new owner's intent to build multiple dwellings. A group of us from a local park organization, Friends of Hickory Hill, rescued some wild ginger from the wooded bit of the property. The farm house was burned as part of a Fire Department exercise. The building commenced. And now, some very fine houses sit in the once fields. But I hold reverance for the place that I used to walk. I took a few photos before the developing began. Along with my imagination and memory, the new piece recreates a typical morning, looking toward the farm from Rochester road. It could have looked this way last year. It could have looked this way 80 years ago. Now, it's a different scene altogether.

But the turkeys and the deer and I will remember.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a beautiful remembrance you've created with your thoughtful words and vivid images. Your fond memories will live in your heart for a very long time.



Claudia said...

Why thank you, for your comments always and for being YOU.

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