And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have ever been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.
~ Rainer Marie Rilke
|successful firing of 2016 of Lil (the test kiln)|
|Raven with Olive Branch|
ceramic, terra sigillata, porcelain slip
5" x 7" (sold)
at the Tiny Show---January 8-28, 2016
Pence Gallery, Davis, California
We go out bird-watching around the wildlife reserves and sanctuaries of California in December and January. We look for Sandhill Cranes and Tundra Swans. They are such regal birds and trumpet their arrivals and departures in a cacophony of honks and trills like no other bird. We have binoculars and a spotter, but sometimes I just watch them from afar unaided by fancy tools. I listen to their triumphant calls as if to say look out we are here, we have survived and we have conquered another year!
|photo by me: Sandhill Cranes at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve|
In another month most of the cranes and swans, in their wild and intrinsic ways, migrate to greener pastures leaving behind the resident birds---the common backyard species of sparrows and finches, robins and blackbirds. And here, on the coast, the fledgling ravens grow tall to 20" in height, croaking their wariness and remaining year round never hearing the call of a distant land. They roost high in the redwoods and 100' shore pines with an outstanding ocean view. The few feral mute swans, aggressive and hungry, stay for a while near Pudding Creek where it flows out to the Pacific. They are considered invasive and destructive, species detrimental to this particular habitat. Tourists biking across the bridge stop to look, perhaps a bit astonished to see swans among the sea gulls and egrets. They take deep breaths, filled with brine and sea weed aromas, then simply pedal on.
|feral Mute Swans near Pudding Creek (that's the Pacific Ocean)|
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to
what lives within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson