Cathrine’s Dance: Here is a performance piece inspired by the Euro tornado which hit us at summers end. It flattened 10 trees including our 4 walnuts. The donkeys were scared out of their wits and were found 7Km from the house the day after. The scene in the attic was loud and chaotic from hail, wind and rain pouring in. Water pouring from the ceilings like emergency sprinkler heads. The chainsaw and axe have been very busy
Banjo’s Smile: long and eventful summer. including a cyclone (euro tornado) which blew over 10+ old growth trees (video coming soon. In this video (the Ass Whisperer) the two latest additions to our familia - Oscar and Banjo are introduced. By the way, today they escaped about a mile down the road blissfully munching away in an apple orchard. After searching for hours we faced one last road block on the way to retrieve them - a cow parade returning to Jean-Luc’s barn in Segonzac.
The month of “pont" (bridge) weekends is upon us. These are when the holiday falls on a Friday or Monday. Even better are the "viaduc" (viaduct) weekends which extend two to three days beyond. Asuncion day qualifies for that category this year. Yeah!
ROBO DOG ok, there is quite a story involving this 16mm footage from our early days in France. I shot it with my old newsreel Beaulieu back in 2002. Upon our arrival back in the Bay Area 2005, I sent the footage to San Antonio, Texas for its transfer to mini DV tape. The lab later claimed to have never received and thus I thought it was lost forever. (keep in mind that throughout my photography studio career I relied on the service from the USPS with never a lost package) Then in 2010 I got a mysterious call from a man in Houston, Texas claiming to have my footage and DV tapes (naturally my name and contacts were on the film cans). He said that he had received a package from Germany many years ago that he assumed was intended for his sister (who was in Germany) and he only now got around to opening it. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. This footage was irreplaceable. The other characters were; Grisou (little grey one- named by farmer) the mama donk and her son Georges (named after my gramps) and our stud duck Miro (a real cranky sort). One day the pre-teen daughter of our chatelain neighbors witnessed him swallow one of the newly born chicks (culling the weakest as is natures way). and of course our sweet little nature babe
The Killing Field…. The Jonsred finally died (after 10 years’ service), but have bought a new Swede to replace her: a Husquavarna (maker of fine motocross bikes back in the day). This new troncenneuse cuts like butter, so I dropped another 80 footer to celebrate. Finally got the one stuck against the walnut tree out of the stream. And now am contemplating taking the tree on the left (leaning toward the walnut, in the middle of the pic. - oh no, here we go again…), to have a better view of cliff, and the Chateau d’Anglais, constructed during the Hundred Years’ War. For now just 2 of 5 trees remain. Will be burning these in a couple years…
got a heavy long iron bar and was able to leverage it to this angle. the trunk is now stuck in the stream and two branches are tettering on the edge. I yank and yank and pound and pound, but it still won’t fall. chainsaw in the shop, cut and drop soon. j’espere
Don’t try this at home As a follow up to the last post. I’ve been kicked out of the Norwegian woods club on accout of burning these unsplit mega logs like above. In my defense I did take several overwhelming whacks at it but hey why over expend myself. It burned for an entire day and the morn of the next
Call me Espen (Norwegian wood revisited) I just read an article in the Intl. Herald Trib. (my English info bible delivered daily) about a recent popular book in Norway about the culture of wood there. It is about the art of cutting, splitting, drying and stacking wood and the importance of this culturally. I can relate. I feel like a squirrel, scurrying around with my wheelbarrow in the yard for twigs. Eyeing, planning and timing which trees to fell. Arranging everything in our dirt floor cave by dryness and so on. When the morning frost lifts I’m with my best bud, Jonsred (sorry it’s Swedish) chainsaw, sharpening the teeth, adjusting the tension earphones around my neck ready for action. timber.. oops just dropped a 60 footer which didn’t hit the ground as my wedge cut laid her into the neighboring walnut tree and she is standing at a 120 degree angle caught in her branches. The challenge now is the trunk buckles as you cut and can wedge the chain making it impossible to extricate. (that already happened when I first cut the trunk I had to whack with the splitting axe to complete the cut and free the chain) phew. This wood thing goes on in all seasons too as with fires going every day for 5 months. Wood is also stored in the ruined mill house and outdoor room under the terrace. I wonder which culture reveres raking and tilling. haha.
Imagine driving these skinny country roads covered with ice and snow. Advance warnings are color coded and this rated an orange for vigilance. Even on good days it’s tight when two medium-sized cars approach, let alone anything larger. We had two beautiful snow fall days. The school bus was cancelled so I had to tackle the uphill back road to Loubressac. At that time there were no cars going down, so I was able to hug closer to the middle (they don’t have guard rails on these roads and the drop offs are dramatic). Our 5 speed Renault was up to the task. The picture is from the village, the day after one dump, and as you can see it melts pretty fast. There was time however for building snowmen, making snow angels and chasing the pooch down the hill.