ANTHROPOLOGIE : HOLIDAY BIRDS OF A FEATHER WINDOWS

This holiday season I fell head over heels with the goldfinch--New Jersey's state bird and the inspiration for these windows. The puffy winter-ready goldfinches are taking part in this year's garland dressing and setting. 

The structure is a plywood form covered in chipboard, wire, styrofoam and paper greenery--pine boughs, sugared lemon bundles, gold pinecones, and pine needles. The birds are made out of hand cut crepe paper feathers with gold leaf tipped wings and gold foil beaks. 

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Now for some behind the scene sketches and prep photos... my favorite part :)

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My flock of 15 hand shaped, hand cut, hand feathered goldfinches hanging like bats in my artroom. I sketched out bird bodies from real images and filled out the form with styrofoam balls and tissue paper/masking tape. Each one has an individual wing movement to strengthen the appearance of flying

The hourly progression from jig-sawed wood form to ribbon/greenery covered garland


ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE

With last year's government shutdown, this last fall marks our second annual trip up to Maine and our first annual trip actually IN the park. We camped in the beautiful (but relatively cramped) Blackwoods campground and finally got to drive up for sunset on Cadillac Mountain. 

Sunset from Cadillac Mountain 

Sunset from Cadillac Mountain 

Campsite in Blackwoods

Campsite in Blackwoods

Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain

Jordan Pond for a serendipitously timed Acadia Instameet!

Jordan Pond for a serendipitously timed Acadia Instameet!

This year we allotted for much more time at our beloved Cobscook Bay State Park. Maine always has it's own plans for us....we got rained out after the first night but at least we brought our kayaks this year! We took off right from our campsite (the water rose and fell with the tides just feet from our tent) and explored some islands. 

Cobscook Bay State Park campsite

Cobscook Bay State Park campsite

This specimen friend made the journey all the way home with us

This specimen friend made the journey all the way home with us

Low tide by our campsite

Low tide by our campsite

Favorite hike on earth--the nature trail outside of the Cobscook ranger station

Favorite hike on earth--the nature trail outside of the Cobscook ranger station

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RAVENSBURG AND HICKORY RUN STATE PARK

Pennsylvania must be one of the most underrated and beautiful states. This weekend we camped and hiked in Ravensburg State Park--a park we'd only previously driven by or briefly stopped in on the long drive to Michael's parents house. While my last post found us there on a snowy November day, September's rainy weather made for a misty, mossy, ferny trip that made me wonder if we had been transported to Maine. 

On the drive along I-80, we made a pitstop at the Boulder Field in Hickory Run State Park. Aptly named, this massive field of small reddish boulders (also a National Natural Landmark) is the geological result of thousands of years of glacial melt that carried broken sandstone boulders from the surrounding Poconos. 

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Besides beautiful, the campground at Ravensburg State Park is thankfully small and relatively secluded. Although fairly close to Rt 880, the creekside tentsites (no RVS allowed) are still fairly quiet. In the morning you can hear hoofs on the road as Amish horse and buggies from neighboring towns pass through. All campsites have a raised earthen platform--the majority of which are covered in a soft bed of moss (and adorable little mushrooms and acorns and slugs). 

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After setting up camp, we ran into a park ranger who suggested part of the Mid State Trail for a good hike. While the trail itself meanders through the entire state of Pennsylvania, the portion we hiked also included the Thousand Step Trail--or rather, the Bushwacking and Sliding Straight Down the Mountain and Over Slippery Rocks Trail. Both trails just charged straight up (and down) the mountainside so that we gained 750 feet in elevation over the course of the first half mile. The hike was slippery but gorgeous, and soon evolved into a full blown study of the hundreds of different types of mushrooms that sprout up all along the trail. 

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