Jun 25, 2013

Grossway Ranch

Ok. While in Phoenix the other day I heard from quite a few of you that you've been waiting patiently for the next blog post. Well, It's not like I've been slackin'. Since my last post we've had a mosaic workshop and 8 of us made mosaic panels for the Temple of Life. I went down to Gilbert, AZ for a week and built 9' high by 14' wide custom shelves for my aunt and uncle that just moved back to AZ from Alexandria, VA. Been to Prescott twice for Jana's fire group Pyroklectic practice and performance at Tsunami on the square. Hung out with Royce and Nita in Walnut creek. A 12-person travelling circus stayed at our house. We went to Phoenix again for my friends John and Noelle Spann's wedding. A friend from East Jesus stopped by on his cross country hitch-hiking trip. Chihiro from LA swung by on another of his rock hounding trips. Went on a Lake Powell house boat trip for 4 days with the ranch owners and a group from the school. Jana went to her niece Natasha's baby blessing. I co-taught a week long summer school class. The class was about leadership and peacemaking with Mother Earth through painting and weaving organic reclaimed materials taught to kids ages 8-14 at the STAR school with Owen founder of SOLIDCORE. I went back to Phoenix to see Abbey Mesmers show Submerged at Eye Lounge. We had 23 people camp out here for Jana's fire group to create a video to submit to Burning Man to be in Conclave—the largest fire show in the world... Oh, and I had to work on my New Jersey exhibit design project, and I found out I have a solo show at Eye Lounge on August 16th in Phoenix at 6pm. So I have to get crackin' on 6 more paintings that I want to finish before then. All while dealing with the usual and unusual ranch issues that come up when you least expect them. How was your month? 

Frank Redford, Professional Hitch-hiker and story teller. He gets rides cause his thumb is plumb. Check the straightness of his thumb hand on that signpost behind him. Perfect form!

I designed and built this gigantor shelf in 7 days from ash hardwood that all had to be cut straight, sanded, and stained in their garage. This project whooped my ass. I was sore for 4 days after. I love ash. I will work with her again. ©Carol Meyer

Before I installed the shelf I asked my aunt and uncle to write a note and stick it to the wall for whom ever ends up in this house after them and decides to tear out the shelf.

Celebrating a productive day of art making for the Temple.

A Janaramic view of Lake Powell from the boat.
©Jana Davis
Chillin' on the deck. ©jana Davis
We almost ran over this little guy when we drove our kayak onto the shore. He hopped out of the way just in time! 

I don't even think that is all of our adventures since my last post. So until I get a moment to breathe and write up a proper post full of wit and clever insights, I shall lower my standards (and probably lose some subscribers) and give you..... GROSSWAY RANCH!!! A selection of images of gross things I've seen around here in the past couple of weeks.

As you may recall we filled up our wood burning hot tub. After a long day of Temple building I built a fire for it and several of us got in and had a great time. Well, there is no chlorine and pretty much the next day the water was green. In two weeks it was filled with mosquito larvae. Guess who went in there and baled out the gross ass water and got a splash of amoeba/lizard/mouse/mosquito larvae/human funk water in his eye?

I scooped out a few lizards and a mouse from the hot tub water.

The Dreamtime circus performing in the gym. Check out this short video of them here at the STAR school. 

The circus performers stayed here at the ranch. We had a little too much fun hangin' with these guys. We all stayed up till the early morning and they were all awake in before noon and raring to go do their next performance at Hopi in just a few hours.
Why did I put the circus in the GROSSWAY RANCH portion of the blog.......

Because towards the end of the night a clown puked on my studio floor, on the painting (in the box to be shipped to the AZ Biennial), in our sink that goes to the grey water, and in his beard which he calmly picked pieces out of and ate.

To be fair, I drank heavily that night too. Apparently I have become a major lightweight and drank like the old days only without the proper training I once had. At the end of the night I thought I was fine. I walked outside to say goodnight to the doggies sleeping on their couch (shown above). I sat down with them and immediately started puking my brains out. Duke the most chill dog in the universe even growled at me for coming over to their bedroom and barfing. I woke up out there as the sun came up and didn't recover till the evening.

Cow leg behind the barn. Not sure what brought it over, but I'm sure it wasn't our doggies.

Crows were all over this carcass.
Sad...but GROSS!

I found this bunny sleeping in the old water cistern.

And this one was sleeping right in the middle of the road!

Jack the attack cat's gifts to Owen
Owen is staying on the ranch while refurbishing the hoogahn. While he has been here he started letting Jack into his trailer and in return Jack is bringing gifts. Owen loves animals and has a hard time when the gifts are still wriggling and has to put them out of their misery.

Might be a Deer mouse torso.

Kangaroo rat?

Another angle.

Jack likes to eat the guts out of lizards and leave the shells.

Jack also leaves other things around.

"Jack" ©Heather Kadar

Jana discovered this pipe full of lizards while working on the house. We thought they went in there on purpose to be a snuggly little family, but came back later and found some of them dead and in stages of dying with some new ones in there on top of the old ones. Yuck. I put a stick in there so they could crawl out and then we capped it. ©Jana Davis

Items that can be found in Duke's "Doggie debris field" are coyote skulls, sun glass cases, cow parts, poop, and the skulls of what may be the previous ranch doggies. The debris field is a place where the dogs bring all of their interesting finds. Jana arranged this little tableaux in a cabinet near the front door.

Macro of a mouse carcass from the "doggie debris field"

While working with the kids at the STAR school we came across this Rat nest in the garden. There were two—dusted like shake 'n bake in dark organic material. Owen grabbed one by its tail and the end of the tail came off. He described it as if a giant grabbed you by the arm and rolled all of your skin off trying to pick you up. EE-Yah!

A couple of the students found a lizard and nearly broke its tail off. It was hanging by a thread and they figured they could mend it by wrapping a wet paper towel around it and then taping it back together. What ever makes them feel better I guess.

Duke hunts for sport. I watched him dig this guy out of his hole and I figured Duke or Daisy would eat him but he just tossed the rat aside after he stopped twitching. Both dogs left it alone. Instagram makes the blood bloodier.

My Brother Steve came over via LA. He heard scrabbling and Jana saw a rat dive into one of our boxes that we still havent unpacked and found a Pack rat nest with a Pack rat and her babies hanging off of her. Her nest was made out of pieces from one of my sculptures. GRRRrrrr!

Cute baby with gross poo.

Cutie. The mother bolted and we figured we would wait for the momma to come back and we would take them all out alive together and release them. Well momma ain't stupid. She just went in there and moved them. Duh?

Nothing gross about this Bull snake. Cleaning fossilized chicken shit out of the coop was though. 4 new hens coming soon. I actually brought the snake into the green house to get the rats.

Datura plant and Hawk moth cycle of life
The moths come everyday around sunset. Its very calming and magical to watch.
Baby horned caterpillars look like rat poo!
Adult Horned caterpillar. What looks like a face is really his butt. These guys eat all forms of Nightshade. They love Tomato plants.
Macro of his butt. I thought about showing the macro of one of the dogs butts, but that would be just plain disturbing.

Macro of his face and little arms.

His body felt pressurized like a swollen finger. If you flip him over he flips right back just as quick, and they are really hard to pry off of the Datura stems.

The result of the horned caterpillar. A Hawk moth the size of a humming bird pollenating the Datura flower.  Watch this video!

The moth is shaped to fit perfectly into the flower. What is really cool is to see their four inch long proboscis uncurl and prod at the flower before they open all the way. The moth goes way down into the flower.
Bam! Back to gross. Jana was welding in flip flops. A piece of molten metal landed between her toes and burned through the skin. 

Additions to Grossway Ranch after July 14th 2013

Just after the big winged ant plague of June 2013 ended we were visited by millions of little black beetles. There were so many we had to vacuum them from the ceiling. While painting in the front room I had to wear a hat. When you go to pluck them from your scalp the leave a nasty synthetic smell I cannot describe without vomiting. We also put pine nuts in our salad so we wouldn't notice if we accidentally ate a few beetles.

Dung beetles... ON DUNG!

Found this hawk floating in the cows water by the frog pond.

Front view after I fished him out.
This bat was in there two. He was big. His head was as big as a racquet ball.

The elusive Northern Arizona Sea cow. Doesn't look gross does it...? Well it smells pretty ripe. Four of us carried the bones back from a long hike. We had to hold them down wind. OCD hand sanitizing commenced when we got home.

This will be an ongoing blog entry as it seems that I will keep finding gross shit around here. Stay tuned.

Hasta la pasta Goat lovers —B

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