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.