Updates at PsiKeep

A day at PsiKeep begins with a bloat and ends with a bang.

Treating Bloat in San Clemente Island Goats

This morning I found myself dealing with a case of bloat in one of my does. As I was setting out the feed I saw that she was a balloon! She was as wide as she was long and standing listlessly under the trees by the feeder. By the time I got the olive oil and a turkey baster prepared she was lying down and looking pretty miserable. It was easy for me to catch her and put her up on the stanchion. I administered 2 turkey basters full or about 120 cc of olive oil slowly against the inside cheek of her mouth. Two hours later she was back down to a normal size and eating. Lucky I caught this one in time.

Singing Plants in the Garden

It is the time of the shower of the Pleiades and summer is dwindling into autumn with the promise of one or two furnace days ahead. I was walking back up from the goat pens through the Garden of Earthly Delights, the euphorbia and cactus collection at PsiKeep.

Image of path through the euphorbia and cactus collection at PsiKeep

The path through the Garden of Earthly Delights, the euphorbia and cactus collection at PsiKeep.

Image of cactus and euphorbias

Several cactus and euphorbia growing at PsiKeep

The ordeal of treating the bloating goat  made me sit down on one of the ledges of the terraces and rest for moment. This is not something I normally do. I am always racing to the next project as soon as I complete the current one. I have a hard time relaxing. I am the one who orders the relaxation tapes back in the days when we were using cassettes and never broke the cellophane seal on the package. A long time in the grave for resting.

But this particular morning I forced myself to sit down and take a look around at what I am trying to do with this place. 

As I sat there watching the San Pedro cactus and several of the other euphorbia, which I had planted a month ago, I noticed that they were glowing. I stepped closer to investigate. I could see that it was the position of the late morning sun above and behind the cactus and that the light was bouncing off of the fluid in the plant.

Image of glowing euphorbia

Example of euphorbia, which appear to be glowing

But there was something else. I could almost hear the sound of the capillary action as the inside the plant thrust upward, step laddering cell-by-cell toward the sky.

Image of the growth center of a euphorbia

The growth center of a euphorbia

 Out at the edge of the nub where new tissue was unfolding into the geometric five and six faces of the plant, there was a singing but there was no audible sound. It was an empathy of the same fluid within me unfolding, becoming, rising toward the light. And for a moment I felt at one with all that was around me. Blood, sap water, all the intricate fluids of life thrusting from the great wellspring of the earth  into the infinite facets of being. 

Of course I had to run into the house and get my camera and take the photos of the plants and then I had to write down what I saw and put it into the computer all the while leaving that small miracle trailing behind me while I walked into the day with my shopping list of things to do.

Sculpting the Mushroom Wedding Arch

Image of second coat of cement with detailing of the mushroom gills on the top section of the Mushroom Wedding Arch

Second coat of cement with detailing of the mushroom gills on the top section of the Mushroom Wedding Arch

Construction has stumbled to a standstill. Three out of the four sacks of cement I opened were setting up like a fast-set mixture. Something in the  dry ingredients is wrong and as soon as I add the liquid to the cement it begins to set. It is crystallizing in the bucket before I can even trowel it out to spread on the surface of the sculpture.

I had called the company several days before leaving messages regarding the cement but no one had returned my calls.  When I could no longer sculpt the gills of the mushrooms I stamped up the stairs to the phone and prepared for battle. After a number of phone calls and email messages I got the right number and that person referred me to the area rep.

I started out by representing myself as a contractor loosing money on a job because of the faulty cement. I figured I would get a better response than if I represented myself as a sculptor but this guy recognized me right away. “Oh your that instructor who is using our product in the way it is not supposed to be used.”

I could not believe it! I must have  talked briefly to this guy back in 2009 when I had another problem with the chemistry of their product. I told him that I had been using it “in the way that it was not supposed to be used” but that it was working for me for a number of years and that maybe they ought to rethink how their product could be used. It might even open up a bigger market for them. But that was not the issue. The cement was setting up in the bucket before I could apply it “in the way it was not supposed to be used.”

After some haggling he said he would see about exchanging the fifteen sacks and would call me back on Monday.

Ravens

This year’s raven offspring have flown away. I occasionally see them. When they arrive they are like gang busters, squabbling and squawking with each other. The littlest one I call “Little” is still alive. I did not have much hope for that one since he was so far behind the others in growth and size. But he is still hanging in there and seems more aggressive and forward than the other two.

The parents remain guarding their territory. 

Author feeding a raven

Image of the author feeding a raven

They spend most of the day in the blue pines or prowling in the goat pens.  I feed them once a day and they have plenty of water so I imagine they have found paradise.  The only time they disappear is at dusk when they fly off somewhere to a roost for the night. I have no idea where their roost is located. 

Brush Fire

This is not the image you want to see at the end of the day. Ten miles away it holds a warning of things to come.

Image of a wild fire that started at the end of the day

Wild fire that started at the end of the day.

SPECIAL NOTE:

While the saga of PsiKeep  continues you might like to visit my new and second blog at http://tenabraecafe.wordpress.com/.  Sign up at the Tenabrae Cafe for a notice of new postings. Looking forward to also meeting with you there.

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Posted on August 17, 2013, in Caretaking the Forest, Psi Keep Center for the Arts, Ravens, San Clemente Goats, Sculptures, Uncategorized, Unforeseen Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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