Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Last Post from Noxubee

(Above:  Fiber Vessels made during my art residency.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Time has certainly flown by here at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.  This art residency has been so successful on many levels ... including productivity!  A lot of neglected and "found" yarn was zigzag stitched into cording from which nearly forty fiber vessels were stitched.

(Above:  Me at the provided work table where yarn-made cording and fiber vessels were stitched).

The provided accommodations and heavy work table were ideal!

(Above:  Selection of vintage Hi-Straw.)

Every one of the fiber vessels included some of my recently acquired stash of vintage, acrylic raffia.  These twenty-four yard skeins of Hi-Straw, Swistraw, and Strawtex were donated to my stash from another bidder who regularly attends Bill Mishoe's auction.  She had no use for them.  They date from the 1960s.  They add a bit of sparkle to my zigzag stitched cording and a bit of additional stiffness to the fiber vessels.

(Above:  The monthly meeting of the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild.)

I was invited to share my work at the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild.  These ladies were so very welcoming ...

(Above:  Show-and-Tell at the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild.)

... and talented.  This was only one of the fantastic quilts shared during Show-and-Tell.

(Above:  Members of the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild at Oby's restaurant.)

Several of the members go to dinner after the meeting.  They invited me along ... to Oby's restaurant, an iconic Starkville hang-out.  If it weren't for this quilt guild, my Monday Power Point presentation at the Starkville Area Art Center would have been a bust.  Only four other people came ... but more than a dozen quilters showed up!  THANK YOU!

(Above: The Oktoc 100th anniversary festival)

I was also invited to the 100th anniversary festival for the Oktoc Garden Club.  Held in a former church which was later a schoolhouse and is now a community center, the festival included a professional bluegrass group and a selection of members' quilts draped over the green-painted, wooden pews.  The music was terrific (and I'm really not that much of a Bluegrass fan!) There were so many homemade cakes that selecting a slice was difficult.  The vintage quilt hanging on the back wall was raffled off.  Tickets were only a dollar a piece.  I bought five but didn't win! LOL!  

(Above:  Me in my rain gear!)

Yet most of the time, I've been out walking on the trails and unimproved roads at the Refuge.  Even while it was raining, I was enjoying nature.  My military issue rain poncho came from Bill Mishoe's auction.  It had never been used.  Steve insisted I bring it along.  Yes, I looked rather ridiculous in this gigantic, olive green thing that could easily have doubled as a personal tent, but it did keep me dry and reduced the chill from the wind! 

(Above:  The locked gate at the end of Roberts Road.)

While the Refuge only has a few, rather short trails, it has miles and miles of "unimproved roads".  Many are blocked by a locked gate which makes them perfect for walking ...

... over metal grate bridges ...

... and downed trees.  I've walked on various roads all over this refuge ... Cedar Grove Road, Keaton Tower Road, Smith Field Road, Goose Pen Road, Roberts Road, White Cemetery Road, John White Road and several others which might have names ... but I've either forgotten or never knew!

(Above:  A giant pine tree that fell across four power lines.)

Last Saturday morning, a giant pine tree fell across four power lines in the Refuge's "work area" (which includes the bunk house were I am staying.  I thought I was stuck behind the downed lines without even a cup of coffee and would be there all day and into the night.  But, there was a driveway around the mess and the response time had the situation fixed inside of a few hours!  Frankly, I was amazed that power was restored so quickly.  There are lots of hard-working people around here ...

...including the Refuge's fire team.  Various areas are selected for prescribed burns.  The low intensity, controlled fire remove the underbrush and make way for ...

... new growth.  This photo was taken only a little more than a week after the prescribed burn.  

I've also been walking near plenty of great fishing spots.

I even saw a catfish being caught!

One day I walked out to the Youth Fishing ponds.  The turquoise gleaming water in this stocked pond indicated that catfish might live here too.  Catfish farming is really big in this area of Mississippi.

Beyond walking, I've been kayaking too but mostly just out enjoying nature, feeling creatively replenished, and taking pictures with my iPhone.  Below are some of the images I like best!

I'm still amazed that this butterfly let me get close enough for this shot!

Even the Noxubee Refuge's mud provided excellent visual compositions!

Driving to some of the more distant Refuge's unimproved roads took me passed usual area housing ...

... often surrounded by glorious, white wisteria.

The overall shot is nice ... but so is the detail!

Like this cypress tree!  The whole is gorgeous ...

... but so is the detail.  Having the time to slow down, watch sunrises and sunsets, investigate nature, walk down rarely visited roads, and think about a way of life that is so different from the one I chose are the reasons why I so love an art residency.  These are the days and weeks that recharge me.  I am very grateful to the Friends of Noxubee, the non-profit arm to the Refuge, for returning this program after the pandemic! 

Where else could I see such a colorful lily pad ...

... or chase butterflies?  THANK YOU!


Margaret said...

What a great time you had! I'm so glad the Quilt Guild members appreciated you and your work. They do beautiful work themselves -- and I recognize that quilt being held up! I can't remember the title of the pattern but it's unmistakably a Bonnie Hunter design. I'd bet a buck (CAD) on it! ;-)

Caryquilter said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures from your Noxubee residency. I enjoyed the visit to Mississippi.

Ann Scott said...

I'm glad to have been able to read your great time, thank you for sharing some of it. Beautiful photos!