Freshly Mown and Rolled Balir Pessemier Acrylic/linen 13 x 25" 33 x 64cm
Roses in the Dark Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/flat canvas 16 x 11" 41 x 27cm (not stretched -to frame under glass)
Oranges, Tropea Onions, Garlic Laurie Fox Pesemier Acrylic/canvas 12 x 12 30 x 30cm
Modern Roses Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 16 x 11" 41 x 27cm (to be framed under glass)
The birds perch at the edges of the lawn, cocking their heads side-to-side; butterflies can’t light – their world, which existed for the past two months, has been destroyed in one fell swoop: The Mower. Two or three times a summer, the giant mowing tractor, with its sweeping blades, tears across our yard.
Blair and I have mixed feelings about this event. Pretty much, we like it... it must be done – waist high grass is a fire hazard, and the yard is so much more open when the lawn is shorn. For several weeks we’ve been eating our lunch (and lately, our dinner) watching the aerial displays of our fellow flying beings. “Look at that yellow one”; “the bird just dove into the grass” – it’s been a riot of activity out there. We knew it would come to an end. Harika’s 2-acre jungle has been leveled. It all depends on your point of view, I guess. The yellow feral cat is furious.
We keep our own little lawn mown, with our push mower. Yesterday we bought electric clippers to neaten up around the flower beds. A friend brought by two curry bushes, some lavender and carnations. The “fowl” force, which lives alongside us, is afoot to destroy our planting work. I fight them with the garden hose. A local contadina suggested we position thorny rose cane around our plants to fend off chicken – they hate being pricked. Harika puts the chickens on the run, if she happens to catch them scratching at the expensive roses, or the butterfly bushes. A white hen came in the bathroom window this morning. If it wasn’t my house it would be funny.
Situations are temporary at best – in the life of a butterfly, two months is like two score for us, maybe longer. It is remarkable how long we humans can stay in a place. I know people who have lived in a single house all of their lives. I know others who live on the streets, mostly gypsies. One of my best New Year’s resolutions was to feel that I was always at “home” regardless of where I was. It stuck, and like a turtle, I can pull in and make myself cozy, mentally, at least. Right now, we are planning our foray to the USA for the summer.
My Dad is out of six weeks hospital and rehab; he’s puttering around his apartment once more, with the help of my sisters. He never wants to leave home. I offer him a room at Villa Loris, or at least to go on winter vacation together, but he sticks to his patch. Me, I can’t go more than a few months without a trip. Venice beckons, and the Biennale. I am looking forward to jumping in the lake in Connecticut in July. We have many “side trips” planned.
In a matter of hours, the chickens have discovered the empty yard, so has a big fat jay. He perches momentarily on one of our yard stakes, and bends it to the ground. The starlings are having a literal “field” day. The butterflies are even checking it out. Blair leaves one little grassy strip long, so they can have a refuge.