Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, Summer Solstice at Lillian Smith Center

The longest day of the year has been happily spent working at the Center. I've had a productive day, so far... it's after 8 p.m. and I have more work to do tonight. But earlier, the day proved to be eventful. Here's the dying light of the longest day of this year as it shines through my window at the cottage where I'm staying, photo taken just around 8:15 or so--

First, I walked down to the bend in the road this morning around 8 a.m. I am still learning how to use the camera my husband gave me just before I left so I took lots of photos... like this red door at the bottom level of the cottage I'm staying in...

I'm the kind of person who begins to work with something... then reads what I should have done--and that's how I'm approaching this camera. I was very interested in the play of the morning light in the leaves.
I also found several more "bound" trees on this walk and I photographed a few of those... photos are below.

I learned a bit about the macro feature of the camera and made use of it with this guy on the porch today:

And also with the moss and fungus of some kind:

During the afternoon the pest control man came by the Center so I left the cottage for awhile, checked e-mails at the Common Room and also made more photos. Then, later in the afternoon, around 4:45 or so, I was weaving on the Penland sampler back in my cottage and heard a rustling and running in the yard... when I look out I saw a half-grown black bear! Immediately I leapt up and closed the front door to the cabin and then I called the Director, since they have a tiny dog they walk during the day. I hoped Robert and Bailey (the dog) wouldn't be surprised by this uninvited guest to the Center. I didn't grab my camera to take a photo because first, I was interested in getting my front door shut! And secondly... I just didn't think about it until after I'd called the Director to give her the bear alert. Some "breaking news" journalist I'd be, huh--sitting safely here behind my closed door! Although, now, because of how hot it is, I've now opened the door again. Bear sighting was a couple of hours ago and he's miles from here by this point, I'm sure!

Here's Bailey with Robert's feet behind... as you can see, he'd be no match for a hundred pound + bear teen-ager!
Tonight, I'll work on my second task a bit more. My two tasks for these three weeks are to weave samples for my Penland class upcoming in mid-August and to submit the working draft of a paper I'm presenting as part of a panel at the Textile Society of America symposium in Lincoln, Nebraska in October. The first draft is due to our panel chair on the first of July.

So my time here at Lillian Smith Center has particular goals for the focus. Writing, for me, is a chore. I'm quite interested in the topic and enjoy that part of the research, which is primarily an interview process for this paper. However, sitting myself down in a spot to write for an extended period of time isn't what I'd rather do! I'd much rather sit and weave or draw or think.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking a two hour bookmaking class at ECHO School of the Arts, just a few miles from here. I'm quite excited about that as I've played around with bookmaking several times in the past. Can you say "procrastination?!" I guess that fills the bill!


  1. Tommye, be sure to put your food away at night - even in the cottage - if you'll have open windows. Bears can and will rip through window screens and doors to get at good smelling people food! At our cabin, I generally shut kitchen area windows at night, hoping all bears will smell is people and dog.
    Have fun at the bookmaking workshop!

  2. Thanks for the tip, Kathy. I've got everything in the refrigerator except some bananas. Kitchen scraps are all in a bag in the fridge, as well... nothing goes in the trash can that is food stuff.

    The whole cottage is one long room so it would be hard to close up the windows just at the kitchen. However, one side of the building has windows quite high off the ground... maybe I'll close the porch-side windows a night!

    By the way, just checked out your beautiful March tapestry on your blog! Congratulations! Maybe the "old fashioned" comment from your husband means it reminds him of Victorian fabrics--because that's what I'm reminded of when I saw it completed. Lush, rich, dense with images--all beautiful ones!