Saturday, September 25, 2010

Huzzah, Long Live the Queen

The Queen Arrives

On September 18th Sebastopol's first annual Renaissance Faire transformed Ives Park into the village of Fenford for a day of living history. Passports were issued to students to encourage exploration of the fair, to ask questions and learn about the ways of their forebears. Activities ranged from archery, rat-a-pult, rounders, the dunk tank and tug-o-war to wheat-weaving and storytelling. 

Guilds demonstrated period arts and how to make such things as head garlands, chain mail bracelets, herbal sachets, and wooden shields. There was a variety of fine food from grilled turkey legs to crepes and refreshing libations at the Pip and Vine Tavern. The weather was perfect and the predicted rain held off until Sunday. Simply put, it was absolutely magical.

It was great fun and a very successful fundraiser for Park Side, Pine Crest, Brook Haven and REACH schools. It could not have been accomplished without the dedicated army of volunteers and sponsors who were ready to do anything needed: sharing ideas, skills, financial support and time. There is talk of extending the celebration to two days next year.

Members of the Queen's Court strolling through the park

Our Sticks and Stones booth was opposite the Fenford stage under a stand of redwoods. A perfect location. We had music, dance, song, and Shakespeare to enjoy throughout the day. It's great fun to step outside the everyday to dress up and play a part. We're hoping there will be a class on conversational Olde English before the next faire so that we not only look part but can translate it.

Ye Olde Shopkeepers

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wonderous Wednesday

I was browsing Etsy this morning looking for something spectacular
to illustrate fall color and found this gorgeous print.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Journal Entry September 8, 1976

Wednesday evening
The silhouettes on the skyline
Capture my thoughts
There is something about
This color of blue
Christo's fence has begun
To breathe

Photo by Wolfgang Volz
The Running Fence was an art installation piece by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, completed on September 10, 1976. The builders removed it 14 days later, leaving no visible trace.

It consisted of a veiled fence 24.5 miles long extending across the hills of Sonoma and Marin counties in northern California. The 18-foot high fence was composed of 2,050 panels of recycled white nylon fabric hung from steel cables by means of 350,000 hooks. The cables were supported by 2,050 steel poles stuck into the ground and braced by steel guy wires anchored to the earth. The route of the fence began near Hwy 101 and crossed 14 roads and the private property of 59 ranchers to reach the Pacific near Bodega Bay. A majority of the work was done by volunteers.

I was working at the Bodega Marine Lab in Bodega Bay at the time. The fence actually bisected the small town of Valley Ford about 12 miles to the South. My boss allowed me to take the morning off so I could watch the fence panels being unfurled. It was truly an awe inspiring sight.

There is a wonderful online exhibition and story of how it all came about at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The link is:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Did They Trade the Family Cow for Magic Seeds?

Our neighbors to the West took a long neglected property and turned it into an amazing showplace, a garden of eatin' not only for themselves but for the birds, bees and butterflies. We've been enjoying the color changes each season as different zones come into bloom. They do constant battle with the gopher nation and give new meaning to two words from the I Ching, perseverance furthers.  

This spring they planted a huge sunflower bed along the fence line that runs between our properties (I use the term fence loosely since it's barely standing and hard to find unless you're right next to it). We watched the sprouts come up, and then noticed one morning they had reached to top of the fence. A couple of weeks later we can no longer see the house and only the tops of the redwood trees. Whoa, these puppies are at least 12-15 feet tall. The sunflowers are the size of dinner plates.

Our precocious little volunteer sunflowers are about 7 feet tall. My husband thinks, like Jack and the Beanstalk, the family cow was traded for some sort of magic seeds. Whatever the case we are enjoying the spectacle and the birds are going to be too fat to fly after their fall dining extravaganzas.