botanizing

We have returned refreshed and renewed from another amazing week at a remote cabin near Yosemite due to the very generous friends who so graciously allow us its use each summer. The heavy winter snows across the Sierras melted into gushing streams, lakes, ponds, waterfalls and rivers of the Yosemite Valley, filling them with cold clear waters and providing epic views of all the waterfalls- most notably Bridalveil, Yosemite (upper AND lower), Vernal and Nevada falls.

We took the opportunity to raft down the Merced River again and had to wait until after 2 pm just to let the river drop. It took half the usual time as the water was swifter and not so lazy. No need to get out and wade the raft through low water over the rocks this year.

A second day we hiked up to the Emerald Pool beyond Vernal Falls along the Mist Trail. A wild and wet steeply uphill climb of about 1.8 miles. Exquisite!

Much of the rest of the time was spent hiking, botanizing, reading, and just lazing. Lots of time to think, stitch some and talk.

I’ll let the camera do the talking as far as the botanizing goes, but I will say that all the water combined with a late spring and our earlier that usual arrival (we usually go in August)
meant that we got to see some beautiful Sierra wildflowers on which we usually don’t get to feast our eyes (and noses!). Some I can identify and some not- if you know what they are-let me know! One in particular I couldn’t identify much to my surprise- it is so prolific, lovely and has the most fantastic honey-scented clusters of flowers. I was surprised it wasn’t pictured in any of the Sierra wildflower books we had.

there are more and you can see them on my flickr here if you’d like. again, most are uploaded in large file sizes so you can check them out in detail which is kinda fun if you like that sort of thing.

I have always loved flowers and enjoy translating nature’s designs into whatever medium I work with. Inspired by the wildflowers of the Sierras, I did a little flower making myself-

I did quite a bit of reading-such a delicious luxury! I took along several things- The Poetics of Space (i think Velma recommended this)-loved the nest chapter, Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (recommended by Jan at Oh Brother!) a great vacation read, a book on Japanese photography– exquisite! I also brought along the Burchfield book . Read a few of the Armistead Maupin books for fun- actually realized I had read 2 of them before but went ahead and reread them anyway!

Some time back I had read about half of the book American Silk 1830-1930 by Jacqueline Field and never finished it so took that along too and really enjoyed the case histories of the the companies profiled there. I mentioned the book way back here on the blog where I purchased my copy while attending the Costume Society of America’s convention in San Diego where the author herself was attending and selling the book. Interestingly, she teaches at the same college that Hirata san’s grandfather went to back in the late 1800’s and met him on his recent trip here just by happenstance. This morning I received a call from her and she will be joining us on the Silk Study tour- how exciting! Things are firming up and filling up for the tour- I will be passing out brochures at the upcoming Long Beach International Quilt Festival later this month. (There may still be a couple of spots open in my shibori workshop…check it out.)

I also did some stitching for the indigo vat, the silkworms finished their cocoons, and I am busy now preparing for the show. It was great to get away and remain unplugged for the week. I had time to think and just remove myself from my usual daily activities.

The one thing that keeps repeating in my head after this break is this:
-it matters how a thing is done.
i will let this be my focus for now.

next post- the cocoons and more from the indigo vat.

13 thoughts on “botanizing

  1. velma

    it matters how a thing is done. exactly. i will borrow this for my teaching, with your permission.

    a beautiful post, you sound renewed.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      it has been taught by many, in many ways, places, and times. just something i feel the need to focus on and something that may help us in these changing and challenging times. a basic that in our haste i fear we sometimes forget. i don’t want to overlook this aspect.

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  2. whereishenow

    very beautiful. I would love to take a vacation like that, to renew spirit and mind….

    thanks for the shout out!!! however…. i think maybe i recommended “Kira Kira ” and don’t know about this book you mention, although it sure has a catchy title… I will definitely check it out!!!

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      hmmm….maybe it was Neki then…
      have to go back and see. someone mentioned it after i posted about Manzanar . the story is set in Seattle in old Nihonmachi-which of course had me thinking about you! maybe whoever recommended it it speak up-

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  3. Kit

    Refreshing! The waterfall makes me want to skip over to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis…. I hear it is rushing like crazy. Poetics of Space is one of my favorite books, though it took me an extremely long time to finish it!

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      i didn’t finish it either. i started at the beginning and skipped to “nests” since it caught my eye. have some saved for later!
      Minnehaha always cracked me up…hahaha

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      i have saved some out and am waiting for them to hatch. another interesting layer of the process. i stifled the remaining ones yesterday. i will follow Micheal’s instructions of 180 degrees 30-40 min several times over 3 days to fully dry them before storing in a fabric bag.
      how is it going with the wild moth you caught? looking forward to hearing how it goes with your silkworms once they start hatching. you and your sister are really going to enjoy the process!

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      1. Aaron

        Well, I put her in a paper bag like Edith, from Shady Oak butterfly farm said, and all was going well. She was making all sorts of commotion, and I went to bed. But, when I got up, and went to see the eggs, There was NOTHING in the bag. So, she’s probably passed away somewhere in the house. I suppose the lesson here is to secure the bag better next time. Hahahaha. My sister was okay with it, saying ‘We can always catch a prettier one.’

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  4. Andrew

    The honey scented plant is a Ceanothus; probably Ceanothus integerrimus (but there are a ton of species of Ceanothus, so it might be something else)

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