Friday, June 25, 2010

The Rabbit Diaries, continued

I enjoyed a small foray into Bear Canyon yesterday just after dawn.  Rabbits are still very much on my radar.  This one patiently agreed to pose for a couple of photos.    
I know that a rabbit wants to be in one of my paintings soon.  To that end, I'm doing a little research, 
including contemplating things from a bunny's eye view
No wonder this spot is bunny central in Bear Canyon.  There is a stream just to the right.  To the left is a housing project-sized rabbit warren.   When passing by, I can never resist spending  time here.   It attracts like the field of opium poppies in the Wizard of Oz.  The residents seem to be growing accustomed to me.           
No, this is not a rabbit warren.  That would look more like holes.  This is human land art.  Wherever I go, if I am within 1/4 mile of a trail, there is human land art.  The compulsion to make art is strong.  Most of what I see takes two forms: phallic rock towers or stick-shelters like this one.  The latter seem to be a manifestation of the fantasy of living in the wild.   These creations are everywhere.  The more we trash the planet and its non-human inhabitants, the stronger our fantasies of retreating into their habitat.  The former . . . well, sometimes a phallus is just a phallus, and sometimes it's a pile of rocks.    

Something about leaving traces of my passing in the wilderness goes against my grain.  I'm of the old school "take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints" vein of thought.  Like a bear, I do my best not to leave footprints.  It's a good challenge.  The bears are a lot better at it than I am.   
Like every other mammal, I'm drawn to water.  As summer progresses, it is getting harder to find water.  Below is what's left of the raging run-off that enlivened Bear Canyon a few short weeks ago.  What we laughably call the summer monsoons have started, so I take heart.  Thunder heads are again forming over the mountains as I write this.
Leaving Bear Canyon, I walked through the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, where I still have a painting hanging in a group show.   The gallery is part of the original building and has a lovely Old New Mexico feeling. 
I appreciate the access to wilderness that the Center provides, the birdseed they put out that the mule deer come down to feed on, the fact they understand and buy more birdseed, and the work they do educating kids about nature.  If you are looking for a good nonprofit to support, look no further. 


  1. Miriam Sagan A question--do you experience places in terms of large or small scale? A birdhouse for nesting ground birds in the shape of a church or a glacier and volcano? Both of course--but which speaks the most to you? I'd love some answers--and with your permission--maybe to put together on the blog. I've been wondering about this a lot.

    Hi--I'm getting some cool answers on Facebook--if you feel like responding send me a short answer and I'll use it on Miriam's well!

  2. Hi Miriam,

    Dear Miriam,

    In this post,I was experiencing a rabbit's eye view. That's small, I guess, as when I contemplate an ant's perspective. I've heard/felt mountains breathe. That's larger (I think often of the consciousness of mountains). In my meditation practice, I sometimes experience a harmony in which everything is one breathing consciousness. Perhaps the answer is that I don't experience space as large or small scale, although I aspire to the expansive. --Cate