Monday, April 11, 2005

They're Back!

Each Spring I look forward to the salamander sightings:

salamander2

Sierra Red Newt. I found a much better photo on the web here, and yes, they are that cute.

We live on a ridge, the nearest stream being far downslope, so we have no idea why these guys are up here. But they are, and they come back each year. I have no pets, so, being starved for animal companions, I actually go outside looking for these guys each morning. As I type this, there are two of them making their slow, steady way around the front of the house. One year, we bought bait worms, and I fed them! Yes, they slurped up the worms, and waddled back home (a drain pipe).

They have also made their way into my work:

silksalamander3

This is a graph, and the woven newt, in handspun silk. Here's a (perhaps) better shot of the pile:

silksalamander2

And another bag, this time in wool:

squirrel bag4

This bag has several of my other animal companions represented: one is the squirrel, in front of the red yurt. One year, this squirrel seemed to be living or foraging under the yurt. Several times, when I started down the stairs, he came screaming up them. What did I, fearless woman, do when faced with a screaming squirrel? I dropped everything and ran. From a squirrel. Thank the gods he wasn't a mountain lion.

There is also a reciprocating border of green and red *hooks* on the bag. This is a typical Middle Eastern border on carpets: it's called Running Dogs. I used it in honor of these characters:

doogy1

doggy2

These are the neighbor's Queensland Heelers. I don't know their names, but they come around often, and I pet them and we chat. They are thieves though, we've lost *a* shoe and *a* work glove, and who knows what else. One time, as I was hanging out laundry, they stole the portable phone. Hah! I chased them through the woods, but they were fast, and I didn't have my running shoes. We bought a new phone.

So they made their symbolic way into my work. I like developing a personal vocabulary of symbols, they may seem random, but they are a journal of my days.

The dogs came by last week. I heard quite the commotion on the back porch and went out to find this:
kitty in tree

Kitty in the tree. She is quick, and has her eye on the dogs, as they make their merry way onward, visiting other dogs down the road. She came down eventually, and went into hiding to recover.

We have our independent little lives up here, and every now and then we cross paths, and occasionally my companions show up on in my work.

8 Comments:

Blogger judy said...

I too watch for the newts. We have red ones and also beautiful spotted things, I've built little ramps for them to climb as I don't want to find them petrified in the window wells of my basement.

9:25 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

I see you have leaves as well as critters.

No leaves for me, but cats. Plenty o' cats.

9:44 AM  
Blogger gw said...

It's the season - I have a visiting moggy tabby kitten, very cute and bold as brass. Squirrels, too - and you are right to fear them! Have you ever looked a squirrel in the teeth? Huge and dangerous-looking!

2:39 PM  
Blogger beadlizard said...

If I ever get my eyes working again so I can do beadwork, remind me to make you a salamander.

4:55 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

http://www.californiaherps.com/salamanders/pages/t.t.sierrae.html

Taricha torosa sierrae, what a great name. Lovely rugs. Thank you, as ever.

7:21 AM  
Blogger kimber said...

Your work is beautiful. I love the fact that by commemorating your days in your work, you are a weaver of tales....or is that tails?

10:35 AM  
Blogger Marmen said...

Squirrels can not scream. They just can't. Sorry.

3:26 PM  
Blogger JesseKleinbach said...

Nice stuff Mom, maybe you could do a little homage to Venus, Cookie and Preggers?

11:37 AM  

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