Greetings 2016

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)
bottom layer

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


  1. I'm partial to ravens, have a great show

  2. Thank you, Linda. Ravens are as beautiful as the tundra swans and cranes, but very common around here. However, they are just as special and regal and vocal!

  3. I love your Raven with an Olive Branch! Looks almost as if it were a wood block print - very cool.
    And what a treat to be able to watch the cranes and swans!
    Happy New Year!!

  4. I liked the fluidity of brushing on the raven and olive branch then scratching in the highlights. Watching all the winter activities of cranes, swans and ravens inspired me this New Year to do some outdoor sketching. And oh, it is cold out there in the marshes and my outdoor studio!


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