Saturday, June 21, 2008


Ian went to Cleveland for the weekend to visit his brother. I decided to stay home and print as this is my last weekend with access to a darkroom and I have a few projects to finish up. This afternoon, while I was waiting in the dark for a print to load, I heard an intense buzzing above me. As seems to happen more often than I would like, a wasp had found its way into the darkroom. I am terrified of wasps; there is something quite unnerving about those segmented abdomens and longs legs, not to mention the stinger. My preferred method for dealing with wasps in the darkroom is to run downstairs and tell Ian to kill it. Well, that wasn't going to work this time and things were going quite well pre-wasp, so it appeared I would have to figure out some way to deal with the little buzzing bugger. I had on one occasion overcome my fear and whacked a wasp, so perhaps I could do it again today. But alas today, the wasp was hiding out in the recessed light which made hitting it quite difficult. So, I turned off the lights and opened the door thinking it would fly toward the open window in the other room. I waited and waited but there didn't seem to be any movement. I peered around the corner and saw it had moved partially out of the light and figured this was my chance, so with a rolled up catalog I took a shot....and missed! It came flying straight at me and I bolted down the steps as fast as I could. This was not going well.

After my heart stopped racing I went back up to scope out the situation. The wasp was on the ceiling now closer to the door. I was not about to try to hit it again so I once again left the door open hoping it would fly out into the other room. I came back up a little while later and it seemed to be gone. I looked all over and then saw it out of the corner of my eye just outside the door to the darkroom. I quickly ran in and closed the door locking it out and inversely locking myself in. Every time I thought about going downstairs to get a snack or a drink I would peer out and see the wasp still sitting there. I stayed in the darkroom the rest of the day because I couldn't bear facing it. Finally, after all my work was done I mustered up the courage to dart quickly past it and down the steps. Hopefully it will not still be waiting for me tomorrow morning as I don't know if I can withstand another day of captivity.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Inspiration, Place and Rhododendrons

I spent the day Wednesday hiking in the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area. It is a place I have wanted to go since we moved here and just hadn't found the time or motivation. This past week was when the Catawba rhododendrons were in bloom, so I thought I would go down and take some photographs. It was a beautiful day, albeit a bit sunny for photographing, but I had a great time. The flowers were amazing, but the scenery and wild ponies were even more astounding. It was invigorating and a reminder of how important it is to seek out new ideas and to take time for oneself.

Yesterday Ian and I listened to an interview with Richard Florida on Talk of the Nation. It was about how important where you choose to live is. This is something we have become more and more aware of and have put a lot of thought toward. While we are not currently headed off to Portland or Berkeley, two places we would probably be happiest living, we are paying attention to those things we need to feel energized and inspired. I think it is a combination of where you live as well as how open you are to experience. I plan to keep an open mind and to make time to head out an explore the world around me wherever it is we are living.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mad Dash

At the end of this month we are moving on from our mountain home of the past five years to a new adventure in Florida. It is a long anticipated move, as I have missed the energy and inspiration of city life, but I will miss the beauty and simplicity of this place. Florida was not exactly on our radar and the looks of pity I get when I tell people where we are headed gives me pause. But, a change in perspective can make all the difference in the world; when one looks at a move as part of a journey, every place has value and something to offer. I am quite sure we will have some great times in the hot sticky heat in Florida, just as we have had some wonderful times living out in the Appalachian countryside.

There are so many things to take care of before our move! Amidst all of the housework, packing, looking for an apartment and a new job, I am realizing I will not not have access to a color darkroom for the foreseeable future. As with all projects these days I am forced to prioritize; I have had to choose what I will spend my last days in the darkroom working on. I started a project a year or two back in which I was printing photograms of dried orchids. I have returned to this work in the past month in the hopes of finishing a series. It is fun and experimental work that I can only do in the darkroom, so it seemed fitting. I am very close to completing the series which will encompass 12-18 different orchids printed in sets of 5. After this I will be on a mad dash to print all that I can before we pack up the house and enter a new chapter in our lives.

My new favorite:

Moth Orchid