Last Wednesday I got to meet my Gather friend, Karen E.!
I had realized from one of Karen's articles that she lives in a town about an hour south of me where a fiddling friend of mine also lives. I really wanted to meet her, and fortunately, she wanted to meet me, too, and invited me to come over! So on this day I met with both my friends and introduced them to each other. They both have farms and livestock...as you'll soon see.
My first stop was at Laurel's. Her green tunnel of a driveway dips down into a little valley where you can find their house and orchard and animals and sheds and coops.
(below) The driveway goes past the south side of Laurel's house...
...I drove around the back of the house and came upon Laurel, impatiently waiting my late arrival, keeping herself happy fiddling in the sun...
For a couple of hours we sight-read some new (old) tunes from a book of Scandinavian fiddle tunes I had bought back in the seventies and forgotten about for years...what great music and harmony parts! Even some ancient-sounding old songs...and then it got later in the afternoon and it was time to go meet Karen on the west side of town, so off we went.
After hugs and introductions, Laurel took a pic of Karen and me (first one, above) and then Karen took a pic of Laurel and me (below). You may recognize Karen's barn in the background.
Over to the right (west) is one of the sheep pastures.
We walked down by the barn. Karen called to her sheep and one of the ewes answered her back each time she whistled. Pretty soon they all came over to investigate us. Aren't they beautiful?? Sedro Wooley, the ram, has those fabulous curly horns.
We look around the barn. Karen shows us their store of dried bamboo. Her husband Bruce makes beautiful walking sticks from the canes.
We walk up to the house. Sedro keeps watch over his ewes...
A close-up of them...you'd best stay your distance!
We walk past the lovely fence which separates house from pasture, a steel fence overlaid with designs created in bamboo by Bruce.
Coming up on the house, we pass Karen's herb garden and her inukshuk.
We regard the trees and bamboo in the middle of the circular driveway...
Walking to the other side, Karen shows us her six-braid tree. She has written about this tree on Gather. It is a beautiful tree...or several that have become one.
Here Karen sits with her beloved tree on the seat it has provided her...
We walk on to visit the labyrinth at the end of the driveway. Doesn't it look peaceful? Karen likes to spend some time here before heading off to her work as a home health nurse. We walk around the labyrinth and Karen tells us about the raccoons and crows that like to move her logs and decorations from place to place, and we examine what grows there.
On the other side of the trees to the left, above, we find the chickens and ducks...having the overhanging trees means they have a better survival rate.
Laurel has to leave now, but before she does, Karen asks us to play a tune. Bruce has come out to meet us. Silly me, I didn't get pictures of Bruce or the house. We go inside the house to play. You can see Bruce's work on the walls, and his walking sticks in the background.
Karen and Bruce served me a delicious meal of salmon cakes (made gluten-free with coconut flour!), sausages, fresh tomatoes, and sauteed zucchini, and we talked about art, our jobs in health care, spirituality, and family, and, and..... and we looked at Bruce's and Karen's artwork, and in short had a wonderful visit. When we parted, I had a borrowed DVD in my hand and we agreed that our next visit would be in my town...I am so looking forward to it! Thank you so much, Karen and Bruce, for my wonderful visit to Mayhill Farms and getting to meet you in person.