Welcome to August, the Dog Days of Summer. Whenever I hear that, I picture a bunch of jackals, lying under the only tree in a massive desert with their tongues hanging out. I know jackals aren’t really dogs but my imagination has a mind of its own.
If you want to know the origin of the Dog Days of Summer, Google will tell you this: When Sirius would appear in the sky just before the sun, near the end of July, that marked the beginning of the very hottest days of the year. The Romans referred to this period as "dies caniculares" or "days of the dog star," which was eventually translated as just "dog days."
There you have it. It’s a Roman thing named after the loyal star Sirius. Wasn’t that Superman’s dog’s name? Hang on…lemme ask Google. Nope. It was Krypto. It should have been Sirius. Why would anyone name a dog after a green rock that made you weak and die a horrible death?
Back to our news. As you recall, all of July, I was playing with watercolors and working on other projects that may or may not see the light of day, although I have hope they will.
The watercolors were fun, not anything spectacular, but I enjoyed watching and learning more about how water and color play together. Here are three tiny post-card-sized watercolors for your perusal.
Not all paintings work. I am sure you are aware of that. I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of my recent fails. In fact, I thought I’d add a monthly ART FAILS section to our blogs. Keeping it real.
Here is a sunflower using pastels, colored pencils, and inks that was a total fail. I am leaving painting sunflowers to VanGogh.
This month, I am back to painting animals. I already have a bear and two horse paintings sketched out, so we are off to a good start. I want to paint a series of horses because I love them. In fact, a horse was the first thing I ever drew on the back of a used cardboard insert from my mom’s checkbook. It was very triangular looking. I think I was the only one that knew it was a horse.
Here’s Mr. Al--
There's been a few changes at the HH! After all, summertime consumes carving time when my time and attention are drawn to the maintenance and regular upkeep of all things Huldufólk. Some tasks require the seen to assist the hidden folk.
I'm given the honor to introduce the newly entitled Council House, complete with its recently erected signage, above its main door. 'Gather' was chosen as the verbiage on the sign because the community felt that's simply what the remodeling was all about...'a place to gather.'
Other relatively new additions, or should I say upgrades include a redecorated Solar Pump House #1, managed by Gregear Yeagerson. His brother, Philandear supervises Pump House #2, which required a much more involved restructuring. It seems that discontent began to increase as Philandear noticed that his pump house was much lower in elevation than his brother, Gregear's.
Two obstacles were addressed when their mutual decision to raise the entire building by placing stilts under its superstructure. First of all, it would be the same level as his brother's, and it would also prevent the very real danger of flooding in the event of uncharismatic greater levels of precipitation during the rainy season. Below the raised portion of the building, a new lighted stained glass connection enclosure and, of course, a staircase to reach the higher pump house.
The new, extended pump house enjoys a little better view of the pond, so adjustments can be quickly made if need be. Miki and Anni aren't quite sure why they're not allowed inside the compound. They have nevertheless appointed themselves as the protectors of the hidden ones.
A cobblestone-paved gallery stretches from the lower edge of the pond, past the Dryad brothers' new home and beyond Pump House #1 in front of and around the new Council House.
Some emergency repairs were required after Anni broke into the enclosure and began devouring the walk bridge, breaking off one of the new light posts lining the path. It remains to be reinstalled.
Below are some little nitches the citizenry
erected throughout their realm. The embedded heart in the stone bordering the cobblestone. The glass star is located in front of the hotel commemorating the Faery Star and its points of manifestation.
The lower image is a glass dome housing lighted agates approximately halfway or the highest point of their path to the plaza and onto the Council House. It is flanked by glass flowers and represents something of a tabernacle.
The shrine is really guarded in secrecy as I haven't even been filled in on its purpose. But it's delightful anyway!
Enjoy your dog days! Hope you find a cool pool to splash in with a pack of friends and lots of shady trees.