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Hermit Journal Updates | Early Spring Activities

It’s been a busy past couple of weeks here at Wild Ozark. Early spring and warmer weather brings a flurry of activity here at Wild Ozark. I’ve been working on our garden, grinding more rocks, and generally just enjoying the warmer weather. The temps are still cool enough for a jacket mornings and evenings, but at least I can take it off inside the house more often now, haha. And the other day I actually got warm enough outside to peel off the jacket, the long sleeve, and work in a tank top. Of course, moving rocks does tend to heat a body up.

Angles of the Morning Light

I always notice the way light hits certain things when the angles change. It happens in early autumn, and it happens in early spring. This is most noticeable when the rays land on Gloria’s limbs. In spring, it’s morning light. In autumn, it seems to be evening light that catches my eye.

Early Spring Means Garden Work

Here’s the bed I made the other day for a blueberry bush. Each bush is going to get it’s own bed. There are three more to go, and one bed is a LOT of rock-moving. Rob dumps them for me with the tractor, then I stack and place them where I want. he can’t get right up to the spots I’m building them, so each rock has to be carried. The next beds will be uphill on the next level above this bush, so it might take a bit longer to make the beds. And before I can start them, I’ll need to clear brush and a bunch of small trees.

One of my early spring activities are building garden beds with rocks. This one has a blueberry bush planted, along with some pansies and violas.

Rob’s World

Rob always stays busy. Right now in his shop, he’s set up an assembly line of sorts. He’s been cutting, marking, and welding metal pipes to make frames to hold solar panels. This will lead to a few solar arrays (well…. maybe more than a *few*) out on the sunny spot above his shop this summer. It will produce enough energy to power his shop and our house, and the camper too.

With this nice weather of early spring, he planted some fruit trees over on the bench where he has a little food plot for the deer. The last time he tried planting apple trees, the deer killed them. So this time he’s putting up a fence so that they’ll have a chance to grow up and actually make some fruit. We’ll have apples and pears, and some to spare for the deer. Hopefully.

Rob and his fruit trees. He also had to move rocks to build the beds for these, but the tractor can at least go right up to this spot.
Rob and his fruit trees. He also had to move rocks to build the beds for these, but the tractor can at least go right up to this spot.

Shedding Hair

The horses grew a nice winter coat, then shed a lot of it, and then grew it again when we got a late early spring cold snap. They’re still whiskered and furry, but the curry brush is down by the gate now so I can brush them in the afternoons. It seems I shed hair all year long, myself. I don’t know how I still have any, to be honest.

The horses eating hay. They would prefer the nice early spring grass, though.
#horsewhiskers

Solving Mysteries in Early Spring

When I first started making paints from our rocks, Garrison (my youngest son) found a black rock on the driveway. I looked at it under the magnifier, trying to figure out what kind of rock it was. Almost everything here is sandstone or shale. But this one had some unusual characteristics inside it, and it was MUCH harder than any sandstone to crush. So I’ve been experimenting with another one like it that I found recently, and I think I’ve figured out what it is. I’ll be posting about this next. I’m finishing up some paints I made from it after crushing and washing the pigment this time (as opposed to the other times I’ve used it without washing).

Spring Cleaning the Website

(And getting ready for algorithm updates.) Apparently, Google is getting ready to make a major update to the algorithms that determine which websites get seen during search engine queries. One of the major criterion for that will be loading speed for the website. Mine has historically been pretty slow, but I’ve managed to streamline some things that make it more competitive. You may notice there’s no more “Like” button or social media share icons at the end of the post. Nor are there any images for the “Related Posts” sections. Eliminating those things made a LOT of difference in my website’s speed score, and I don’t think it’s going to make much difference to visitors that read my posts.

However, somehow in the midst of all the work, I’ve managed to get rid of the comment box. So, there’s no way at the moment you can reply to this post. I hope to get that fixed soon. My website no longer will automatically post a link to Facebook, either, but it had stopped doing that regularly anyway. Some of my pages did get a lot of social media shares, though, so I’m worried about whether that will impact my goals for greater visibility as an artist. We’ll see.

Wrapping Up

Well, that’s about it for this update on what’s going on out here. Any news or activities going on in your part of the world?


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Author/Artist Info
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Madison Woods is a self-taught artist who moved to the Ozarks from south Louisiana in 2005. In 2018 she began experimenting with watercolor painting, using her local pigments. She calls them Paleo Paints, and her artwork now features exclusively the lightfast pigments foraged from Madison county, Arkansas. Her inspiration is nature – the beauty, and the inherent cycle of life and death, destruction and regeneration.

Her online portfolio is at www.MadisonWoods.art.

Click here to join her mailing list.

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