Sunday, April 18, 2010

Agony and...

About this time last year I bound a set of little booklets, ten small books that fit just so in a cigar box. A single booklet fits in the pocket of my jacket, so I always try to have one with me when I go out. Four or five of these little books are now filled with species lists and walk-induced musings, along with the occasional lament. Recent exasperation with the fickleness of the season prompted this scrawl:

April is agony.

 Rainy April morning on the Arkansas River

Uh huh. Agony... and delight.

I'm back in my morning walk routine, in part because it's the time of year when every day yields something new: migrant birds arriving, grasses sprouting, tiny proto-leaves emerging. Friday I went out the door in the rain and was rewarded with wave of 500-plus swallows along a 2-mile stretch of river. Sure, yesterday it was snowing in the morning... but today dawned crystal clear and glorious. Winter may be reluctant to concede defeat, but the season is changing.

It's agony for me to stay indoors and get work done, but I do keep trying. (My printing-first-thing-in-the-morning-whilst-still-in-pajamas routine has been supplanted by my walking-along-the-river-first-thing-in-the-morning routine.) I mounted the new 14 x 14-inch lino block last week, and this weekend drew up the image. I'm still trying to decide how to begin, whether to go ahead and do this image as a reduction print or to plan for two separate blocks. I anticipate just four colors for this edition (WHAT?), but I'm undecided about the first one... so here we sit.

I did get a stack of paper trimmed, though.

The week ahead will be a busy one, especially since we're headed out of town next weekend and I need to get some contract projects in good order before we go. Hopefully my enforced efficiency will also get this print underway.

What was that? You want to know where we're going? Well, since you asked.... We're going camping at the Grand Canyon! Yippee! The DM has never been to the canyon, and I haven't seen it since I was a child, so off we go. Keep your fingers crossed for us.... the forecast calls for SNOW there this week and we'd rather that not be the case when we arrive. The trip is going to be exciting enough without having to shovel out a spot for the tent.

But even if it's a little on the cool side, I'll have the perfect new field sketching attire. For everyone who so kindly cheered my epic scarf-knitting project, I proudly offer proof that it won't always take five months for me to finish. Behold! Fingerless mitts made in a weekend! And I figured out how to use double-points all by myself.

Yeah, April might be agony, but it's definitely not boring.


  1. "April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, ...." or so said T.S. Elliot in "The Wasteland." But you've bred fingerless mitts and a new block and a ton of journal entries, so you're way ahead of him! Hope we see you before you head off on the GC expedition....

  2. I love your mittens! Congratulations on finishing them in a weekend.

    I love your blog AND your prints!

  3. We could use a lilac or two, doncha think, Suz? But I found a sort of bluebell blooming in last year's leaf litter, so I guess that will have to do.

    Welcome, Hannah.... I see you're busy with Alyson's triage class... looking good!

  4. The fingerless mitts look great. I do hope you really won't need them at the GC. Looking forward to hearing of your camping adventure and seeing some special sketches of that magnificent place.