Had a few hours to play around and so I constructed this small figure fairly quickly. It’s just a reminder that among the first Europeans to venture down the Ohio River were French missionaries who called these waters La Belle Riviere…..the Beautiful River. This piece is constructed from Styrofoam, sticks, acorns, plastic, and what appears to be a rubber-like material (neoprene?)…that’s the material that makes up the robe.
I was walking by a hollow log and a female mallard duck burst out and scared the “heck” out of me! I wondered what this duck was doing a few hunderd yards away from the water and when I poked my head inside I found her nest with eggs. I took this quick photo and retreated. I think we both gave each other a good fright!
Even with the incissors gone, I identified this as a beaver skull. It’s a fairly heavy and dense assemblage of bone. The rest of the skeleton is nearby, but it still has some decomposing to do. I photographed a beaver sitting on its tail during high waters last year. I think of this animal as being one of my collaboraters because I love to use beaver-chewed willow sticks in my art. As they nibble the bark off, their teeth leave marks in the wood that add a subtle pattern. The beaver are making enough of a comeback here that in places they are considered a nuisance.
Here’s the beaver photo from last year. He was drying his fur on the bank when he heard my camera and dashed for the water. Sitting on its tail, it seems almost contemplative. I like that the French word for river and reverie sound similar. Here’s one last image of “Black Robe”.