Music From The Greenwood ~ Masque Re-Release

Hello, everyone,

I’m delighted to announce the re-release of my first CD, recorded with fellow Celtic harper Debra Knodel.  We perform and record as the duo Spookytree.  The album is Masque (originally titled “The Harpers’ Masque”), and Deb has created new art for it.  Take a look!

Masque - CD cover art by Debra Knodel © 2012

Featured is The Green Man – an archetype of the wild intelligence of the plant realm, and much more.  The Green Man has spoken to me for decades now, and I’ve written about this relationship in a few places, one of which is in this article:

May Day/Beltane & the Green Man In Our Time

The Green Man also appears (as the Leaf-face) in my children’s fantasy novel Because Of The Red Fox (by the way, I’ve just completed the second full draft of the novel, and it is posted in its entirety on my Foxtales – magical nature fun for kids blog – at least until July 20).

I invite you to browse the music of Masque – the entire CD is available to listen to for free, and the CD itself is a Set Your Own Price offering, starting at $4.  And also give Because Of The Red Fox a read.

Then go outside (or do that first!) and experience the greenweave all around us, the abundant life in forest, field, and even bursting through cracks in the sidewalk, in abandoned lots, in the most carefully groomed lawn.


Blue Corn Mother

Happy Solstice!  Here in the Pacific Northwest, today and yesterday have been a lovely, expansive, sun-filled.  The rest of June has been rainy!

I’ve been playing with foods today, and considering how food can be our medicine both nutritionally and (of course) by way of nourishing our spirits as well.  As I peeled back the corn husks of the semi-local corn (our first of the season) I was struck again by the unique green spirit that is corn.  Specifically the viriditas that is what I’ve come to regard as the Corn Mother.  In my hands, the corn partially husked was the Corn Mother herself.

I have felt connected with corn since I first successfully grew it (not always easy to do in the Pacific Northwest!).  I celebrated by posing my small wire-strung harp in their midst:

A Harp In The Corn - photo by Jane Valencia

But it wasn’t until my friend Chantel Thurman commissioned me to create some art work for her tamale business (ah, she creates heavenly, soul-nourishing tamales!) that I truly began to enter the wondrous music that is the Corn Mother — in particular, Blue Corn Mother. Listening to Chantel speak about Blue Corn Mother — and about her relationship with the other animals and plants that she wanted to evoke (and even invoke) in the art and in her business, led me down a path with those creatures as well.

I share the artwork for you in this post, to inspire you to befriend the green spirit — the unique life of every living thing. If a particular plant or insect or animal or …(fill in the blank!) … no matter how large or small, captures your eye, it undoubtedly has something precious to reveal to you.

Children know all this already. For a child who has some connection with the outdoors (city or country) it is just part of life.  At least for a time.

May we all return to that time-place in our hearts when we knew that a certain plant or tree, stone or star or animal, to be the friend we needed most in that moment of meeting.

Blue Corn Mother Tamales - art by Jane Valencia

Grateful For Crows!

… but, my, those eagles are wondrous.

I was interrupted just now by a volley of caws — a flurry of crows in our poultry yard.  I ran out, shouting along with the crows, at the enormous eagle descending, talons outstretched.

The eagle flew off, pursued by the crows, and our chickens and two remaining ducks were safe.  We lost a duck to an eagle a week ago, and two ducks to raccoons a few nights ago.  Our electric fencing is reinforced, but our birds remain at risk to eagles.

Thank goodness for the crows!

But, my, that bald eagle is gorgeous!

Peace returns to the farm. The sun sets, casting its rosy glow on the clover …. Such is life — full of mystery, beauty, life, and death … or, in this, a brush with it.  The eagle needs to eat too, as do my chickens and ducks, as do I and my family … Life, death, life for another day …