Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Spring Along Waterman Creek
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click photo for a larger image)

I keep hearing that "summer begins" this weekend. It's that unofficial start that begins when school lets out and the vacation season begins, but I'd rather it stay spring for the next 3 weeks until the 21st of June when the summer solstice begins...I don't want things to move too quickly - time already passes by way too fast!
It does seem like summer though doesn't it?! We had our first Lightning Bugs of the season this week here (fire flies for some of you)...seems a little early. I love Lightning Bugs! Brings back many, many memories of days long ago...catching them in jars and watching them from the bedside at night.
The Waterman Creek photograph, at the top of the blog (taken about 3 weeks back) also brings back memories...memories of the creeks I used to wade along and fish and swim in as a kid. These memories inspire artwork and photography of, somehow familiar landscapes - like Waterman Creek here below the studio. I was attending an archaeological weekend event 3 weeks back when I visited this section of the Waterman. We were visiting the oldest known agricultural field in Iowa at this location. The field was dated at 900 - 1100 AD, and was tended by the Mill Creek culture that lived and flourished along the Waterman Creek valley here. The agricultural field was just 3 miles from the studio - wow...I love to think about who was here centuries back and how they lived! Amazingly, the entire "ancient garden plot" encompassed roughly the same area of 2 1/2 football fields or more.
Off in the distance behind the far trees in the photograph, is the Mill Creek Village that archaeologists refer to as the "Double Ditch" site. There was another village about the same distance in the opposite direction...archeologist's had recovered spoons from that site - spoons carved from Conk shells from the Gulf of Mexico...can you imagine?! It boggles the mind - the trade and commerce of that era. I find all this very intriguing and amazing to think about.Memorial Day weekend...amazing how soon that happened!
Another critter seems to be enjoying this weekend - it's that little bug on the screen among this blog. It is probably the worst scourge I find around here (although ticks and mosquitoes run a close second). They're about the size of the image on the screen (well, that depends on your screen resolution of course) and have jaws the size of Grizzly Bears! exaggeration - but they feel like the jaws of a Grizzly Bear!We've tried many things over the years for them...deet doesn't deter them...they just seem to get stuck to you with deet. Skin So Soft is a joke...they like soft skin too and lather it on; Vanilla works for a couple people we know, but I'm sure it's a weird anomaly or just a psychologically induced phenomena...we've tried it...more than once...with "real" vanilla...I think they really like it as a sauce on their food - US!What am I speaking of??? Black Flies. Huh? I call 'em Black Flies, some people call them gnats...some people call them biting gnats, but the official common name is "black fly"...they are from the family Simuliidae. Everybody reacts to them differently, but Georgie and I swell up like burning balloons! This too shall pass and the high winds we've been having will be more welcome than usual till they're gone :)Blessings to everyone out there and to your loved ones remembered on this weekend...


Ann V. said...

Always enjoy your very informative documentations....and the gnats are SO bad here on the farm we have to stay indoors. Nothing seems to deter them...used Deet, vanilla, without success, The river bend picture brings to mind that the great designer is a master planner. Really is a tranqil, beautiful setting............


Prairie Painter said...

Thanks for your comments Ann! Ya the black flies are bad - Georgie and I are wearing bug hats in the yard and pasture!