Monday, October 15, 2012

Revisiting Wormfarm

Last Friday I made my way back to the Wormfarm Institute where I had done an artist residency this past summer from May 20th to June 20th.  I took the Van Galder bus from Union Station to Madison, Wisconsin.  I spent 2 hours exploring a bit of Madison and then was picked up by Betsy, a past artist resident of Wormfarm who came to the Wormfarm sometime after me.  We drove to Reedsburg and went to the opening reception for the 2012 Wormfarm Institute Artist Residents Show where Betsy, myself and 4 other artists had work on display.

I spent the night at Wormfarm and woke up bright and early the next day to explore what had become my home just a few months ago.

My first stop was the chicken coop.  Jay had already fed the chickens and they were scattered around the field searching for bugs and greens to eat.  But I could tell my plump little Honey was not out there.  I went inside to find her and tempt her with my apple core.  She is the biggest, golden lady in the bunch.

A chicken bum in the doorway.  My favorite.

The new rooster.  He is not fully grown yet.  He is pretty but I am not too fond of him.  When a rooster comes along he takes control of the ladies...those ladies don't need a rooster.  No lady needs a rooster.  Hopefully he won't be too cruel to them for his own good.

Milkweed!  So incredible.

I started my adventure, walking around for two hours.  It was a gloomy, rainy day, but it was beautiful.

These were growing on the tree/bush branches alongside the rode.  I am sure soon I will know the names of many plants.  This summer I collected so much information already.

Trouser is the tiny black dot ahead of me on the path.  He led the way just like Cathi said he would when I came to Wormfarm for the first time.  I will be forever grateful to him for walking with me that day.

Everything looked as if it were on fire.

The path was so empty compared to the summer.  All the plants have died and dried up leaving much more open space.  It felt very different from June.  More quiet and still.

Jay said that back in July when the drought was bad, they had to send the cows back to their farmer because there wasn't much grass for them to eat.  Only five remain.

Wormfarm still feels like my home in Wisconsin.  I was worried that it wouldn't feel that way.  I have the opportunity to come back next summer and I am pretty sure that I will. 

Before I came to Wormfarm, I thought I had everything figured out.  When I left, I was confused about the person that I am and what my future looked like.  I thought that as I got older things started to make more sense.  Instead I have learned that I have to accept life as it comes to me and try less to understand everything at once.

After my walk, Jay drove me to see Farm/Art DTour, "a fifty-mile backroad tour of art installations, Roadside Culture Stands (artist-built mobile farm stands), pasture performances and rural culture education sites in Sauk County, Wisconsin."  I was so glad I got to see it.  Thanks, Jay.

I caught the Amtrak train from the Wisconsin Dells back to Union Station in Chicago.  I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time looking out the window in awe.  

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