Haiku My Heart
March 1, 2013
Haiku My Heart is a weekly meme done on Fridays. We gather through Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon blog and share stories, photos, art and poetry. We visit each other and make our day a little brighter. To see more and learn how you can participate,visit recuerda mi corazon
|First pair made in 2013|
Deep cotton hillsides
Walking on top of snowdrifts
A thing of beauty
This has been a busy year for me making snowshoes. Five pair in one season. Seeing as I am retired and I don’t advertise for business, that makes it an extremely busy year.
We haven’t had big snow. We still never got that massive snowstorm like we’ve seen out East earlier this Winter season or in Kansas City and other midwest regions recently, but it’s better than the complete lack of snow and cold weather like we've had over the past few years in the upper Midwest. Better for the badly needed moisture in the ground and better for getting out and using snowshoes.
|Dark frame, light colored lacing|
Bending white ash strips
Textile weaving knots and loops
Uncommon art work
Might it be a statement about the economy? People buying snowshoes? I don’t have any idea. I don’t get rich from making these, and I don’t judge my own prosperity wholly by selling an item or two now and then.
|Wolf tracks, wood burned and the toe wrapped in color|
Love to see them used
Word gets out by talking heads
And playing in snow
Back in the day when I lived at the Canadian border in extreme Northern Minnesota, the silent Winter sports of dogsledding, cross country skiing, ice fishing and snowshoeing would take up much of the long darkness of Winter.
|My four direction logo|
A whole day was wasted getting up, getting dressed in layer upon layer of garments designed to ward off the cold, then, strapping the snowshoes to your boots and pulling a sled laden with ice fishing gear a couple of miles, over a land portage, and onto Duncan Lake. Imagining the life under the thick ice sheet of huge lake trout just waiting to grab the lure, dropping a baited line and sitting there, in the deafening silence, waiting for the phenomenon of a fish striking your hook.
|Light frames, dark colored lacing|
Why I’ve had times when the 8” diameter hole wasn’t wide enough for the girth of the fish and I’d have to chop out the hole with an iron steel chipper with one hand while holding onto the ice fishin’ stick with the other in order to get it out of the lake. And that’s no fish tail either!
Then there was that hot thermos of coffee, the metal cup/top cap heating your mittened hand. The crushed snack crackers from the parka pocket as I watched an Eagle soar overhead. Getting home, reversing the process of layered clothing, cleaning the fish and eating, thanking Creator for the bounty. Ahhhhh, what a lifestyle I have had the honor and pleasure of experiencing through the years.
|The wolf tracks|
Traverse across lakes
Cold and snow, a way of life
The frozen tundra
Nowadays, I do like to sit indoors on a cold Wintery day and weave the age old pattern for the webbing as it’s hard for me to breathe that frigid air. I love to think, plan and do the wood burning and see how the burnt carbon area glistens when the varnish is applied. I’ve got a language of my own as well. Loops, crossovers, hitch, half-hitch, turns, wraps. They are all part of the process.
Ironically, I was watching old reruns of TV’s longest running western show, Gunsmoke which blended into an episode of Rawhide while sitting at my table using the Colwood woodburning tool. They were showing branding of cattle on Rawhide. My mind went back to 1840, on the grassy plains of Northeastern New Mexico and I saw myself branding the snowshoes just like they throwed, roped and branded cattle. Who says the old ways are lost and forgotten? Maybe I was there in a former life and that’s how I know how to do it!
|These will be fitted with bindings to secure the boots.|
Twists, knots, loops on wood
Wrapping, lacing, thick varnish
Lasting a lifetime
Anyway, working on these and other projects has been keeping me busy this Winter. I guess as I think about the fact that today is the first of March and we change the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time in a week, I managed to exchanged travel to the Southwest for branding. Stay tuned for more finished folk art to show up here as Winter quickly wanes into Spring.