So Wild Mountain

In the last few weeks two blog posts really spoke to me; so clearly, in fact, I feel as if I could have written them.  I didn't though, but you should certainly follow the links to discover the creative souls who did.
"Do you ever find yourself falling in love with the land around you?  I mean, really falling in love, badly, terribly, righteously - like the love for the land might crush you into pieces and you can't really tell where you begin and end when you are walking across it, threading a tight path around aspens and sagebrush, and squinting at the douglas fir as they glimmer in the sun and wind...because the very dirt and root and tooth of it all has become you?  Maybe you feel there's a seamless nature to the interface between you an the stone and the air and the mountain slopes?  Maybe this is what animals feel:  simply and truly a part of it all, born into belonging with their claws, feathers and fur.  I love this land like I'm going to be lost if I lose it.  And I suppose, in a way, I would be.  For right now, I have to be out in it, every day.  Being here makes everything in life so rich and good.  Food tastes better.  Sleep is deeper.  Comforts are pure luxury.  I think this is the way it's meant to be, the way it was always meant to be."

"There is very much a reminder of ones mortality when seed collecting.  Well maybe not for everyone but in my munted mind.  The principle purpose of life as a living organism is to pass our genetic information down to the next generation in the hope that what we are as an animal, our traits, our physical build up, our very being somehow remains on earth in some way, shape or form.  This is all the vegetables are doing by their flowering and seeding process.  It's very much a case of not managing the vegetables but merely facilitating their genetic longevity."

the wing and the weed shadow

I opened the book (Soul Unearthed) and this delicate dragonfly? cicada? wing fell out.  I laid it on the page, grabbed my camera and snapped this shot.  A sweet morning shadow from the autumn grass lounged across the page next to the wing. 
I have been working so hard on my pendants.  A little side track from my usual photographing, printing and matting of images.  But as people started asking for them I had to make more.  They are simple and rustic and each one is unique.  I have been selling them quickly; I guess it is the season.  Earrings are next.
Who can tell me what the pendants are resting against??

the evolution of a wild mountain pendant

many miles of wandering these creeks and mesas and mountains reveal the treasures i love to collect.  it take countless hours of "dirt time."
i find things and beings whose big hearts once beat in their brave chests.
this lovely young man was found in the mountains near my home.
the hunters left his head (face), legs and interestingly enough, his antlers.
of course i went back with a saw.  i use these antlers for various projects (which by the way are shed naturally every spring by the lads.)
check 'em out on ESTY

Five Fact Friday: Reflections of You

~i have been a rockclimber for twenty-five years~
~one time i spent two nights and three days on a "big wall" in Yosemite~
~i also spent three months hiking the appalachian trail alone; i was 19~
~i heat my entire house (600 sq. feet) with this little lovely "Fatso"~
~i have a thing for photographing bones~
~sometimes i have to drive across flash flood areas to get to and from town~
~i have an amazing family~
Ni Hao Yall

cowboy cabin for an introvert

it is no secret i am an introvert; not to be confused with a misanthrope.  i love humans and i love my friends.  
  introverts are often drained of energy after lengthy interactions with other humans; contrast this to extroverts who are energized by being with groups.  
introverts think deeply; talk sparingly.
introverts love solitude; they love quiet; they love home.
enter the wilderness cabin (aka:  the bunkhouse), my dream for introversion.  
it's where i hope to go to recover.
to replenish the spirit.
this particular dreamy cabin is about 300 sqare feet of
remote, rustic minimalist living.
cabin is in an undisclosed location in the mountains of Arizona. 

hand in hand

i found this elk leg with hoof in the meadow; the hunters leave these around after field dressing.  since i collect bones and things, naturally I was excited at this find.  often, the dogs will bring them home, but chew them beyond recognition.  this one was near perfect (would have preferred if it was still running under its live elk body.)

Photo Show in April

My work will be up from April 26th - May 23rd.  This will be a collection of prints from my last year at Walnut Creek.  The location is:  Arts Prescott Gallery on Whiskey Row in Downtown Prescott.  
Come to the opening!  April 27th  6pm-8pm.
Click Here for details.

Autumn Love

I have been spending time wandering the mountains near my home.  
There is something about autumn days in Arizona; the days are warm but the nights and early mornings just beg for a toasty woodstove.

~I had a lovely day with some great photographer friends yesterday; thank you ladies!~

Wandering with Wild Perfection

The photos (and a few words) will tell the story.  Old pictures; we don't use a halter AT ALL to trim anymore.  If she stays, I trim; if she leaves, I pick up later.  She always stays.
Chica needed a little trim.  The horses are barefoot and rarely need trimming; their lifestyle takes care of it.  
I love this girl.  Best horse I have ever had.  Pretty beat up by cowboys when I got her (she was three and already terrified of people.)
After the trim, we went to the creek for a drink and a snack.
Here is Chica surrounded by green, looking for a very specific green (apparently.)
Found it!  Wild sweet clover.
While cooling her feet.
Then down for a roll.  She almost rolled on top of me.
Joined by the wild girl herself:  Bunny
I give thanks everyday for these two friends and for the land we are able to keep them on:  80 acres surrounded on two sides by wilderness areas and the other two sides by ranches.  They live on Apache Creek which drains out of Apache Creek Wilderness.
The perfection and beauty of this wild land has given me one of the most precious gifts I will ever receive:  knowing that I am a part of it.
~and so are you~


Everywhere I turn I am literally surrounded by Wildness and Love.  
Elk in the meadow last night; Coyotes this morning. 
Wild Mint and Watercress.
Finally identified the Yellow-Breasted Chat (with a little help from my friend Ty.)
And I get to see these little lovelies anytime I like.

New Foal Crop!

In the shadow of the Mesa, the mares and foals live a natural life.  For miles there is nothing but creeks, mesas, coyotes and cottonwoods.  We walk out among the herd to feel the presence of fresh, new life.  These foals haven't had many human moments, yet seem unafraid of us.  I even reached out and scratched one on the rump and it turned to see what I was doing but stayed!

Today I am giving thanks for yesterday's rain, new life, my sweet friends, and the wildness still in this world.

Linking to:  Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday 
Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange


Tiny Things I Love

I am in Love.  
And I give thanks for my life everyday!
Some people focus on things they don't want, don't like or don't have.
For most of my life (with rare exceptions) I have focused on what I love, what I have, and the infinite POSSIBILITIES of what may be.

Right this moment I Love the smell of monsoon rain on dry soil and Ponderosa trees, dragonflies, my family, the perfection of nature at work, the late afternoon sun across the meadow, using solar power, being able to see, being able to run, being able to hold the creatures I love (human and otherwise,) silence, laughter, fruit on the pear trees, shade, water, fresh garden veggies, cream from Sola (for my coffee) and.. oh yeah, My Coffee!
What are you grateful for?

Leaving what I Love

Something I will miss (on a daily basis) is the way the afternoon sun hits last year's grass and lights it up.  Anyone who has connected to land this way will understand what I mean.  And for those who haven't, imagine just loving the sight of anything your child does.  That pure joy of watching their joy, or the heart wrenching feeling of seeing them hurt.  Loving land does compare to that feeling.  It is deep in you; it is part of your flesh.

When the rancher up creek clear-cuts the old growth Ponderosa for his cattle, you feel it in your stomach; your heart.

I am leaving Walnut Creek for my family.  My youngest child (whose brothers are no longer home) has needed more than what we could provide here on the land.  I am not talking about schooling; though she has decided to go to school after being unschooled her whole life.  I am talking about more socializing and pursuing her dreams of competitive gymnastics and playing with a sting band.  All of these activities are an hour drive from home.  Being in town all day, gas prices, getting home after dark, having my dogs pissed off at me, never seeing my horses, not being able to keep up with my garden, and mostly not being able to do my job here at the Walnut Creek Center; these are the reasons why I could not stay here.  I am back for the summer (my last) until the new managers take the position.  After that...I'm not sure.

My children are only children for another 8 years or so.  I can pursue my dreams after they've gotten a good start on theirs. They lived on this land and close to nature, in very remote and rustic conditions for most of their lives.  That style of life isn't for everyone and it never felt right imposing my dreams on them (unless they, too, wanted the same thing.)

In a few years, I will move back to the cabin in the mountains where all I hear at night are coyotes, tree frogs and elk bugling.  For now, I will enjoy the last six weeks I have with my Love Land.  After that, I will still come twice a week to tend to the horses, walk the creeks and mesas, and photograph the land I love best.

The Daily Wyatt

Strength in Wild Solitude

Ruins Tank, Indian Peak, Apache Creek, Graver Wash, Hyde Creek Seep, Pine Creek, Dead Steer Basin, Deer Tank, Happy Camp, Two Lions Tank, Boneyard Loop, Granite Knob, Juniper Mesa.  These are the names of home; the names of a place I love more than any other place on earth.  This is the place where I have spent the past five and a half years; a place where my spirit set up camp and refuses to leave.

It is morning, early and cool; a perfect time to sit on the south side of any building.  This morning, it is the south side of the old barn facing Walnut Creek.  I can hear it's movement:  a slow gurgle, sluggish, happy and waning from the winter's floods.

There is not a living human for miles, literally.  The ranches to the east and west are busy with their ranchy duties, but in between it's just me, the dogs, the horses and the wildlife.

I haven't heard a single car or plane or human voice since last night at 5pm.

This is a special time for me; four days alone at Walnut Creek.  The family has gone on a trip to California, so it's just me and the place I love.  I haven't had a solo experience (for longer than one day) in about 18 years.  I have four whole days and three nights!

When I was 19 years old, I wandered along the Appalachian trail for three months alone.  It was a planned trip.  I had planned the trip with a partner; however, she backed out three days before we were to leave.  Everyone was sure I would cancel or postpone.  Of course, I went anyway.

It was the first best thing I ever did with my life.  I was alone!  Completely alone and free and walking and walking and writing and thinking and listening.  It was 1984, and at that time the Appalachian Trail wasn't exactly crawling with people.  I walked the 100 mile wilderness 100% alone and I was ecstatic.

As a child I was always solitary, quiet and independent, but that long solitary walk did something to change the way I experienced myself in relation to the world (as in earth/planet.)  That adventure solidified a feeling of connectedness and strength.  I was simply another creature on this whirling blue/green planet.  Nothing more; nothing less.

So here we are:  Mountain Lion, Elk, Badger and Me.