Bare Branches

And now it's November. As if on cue--well, actually on cue--nature knows it's time for the thermometer to plummet, for the warblers and raptors to be on their way south, for leaves to fall so tree branches can scratch at the sky.

I have a great fondness for bare branches.  They allow more sunlight through.  At night they seem to cradle the moon.  Walking through the park or a forest, if you look up and keep your gaze soft as you scan the branches' lacework above, you might see something that's not supposed to be there: a dark oval that is really an owl.  You'll see it stir, then spread wings and silently fly, off on the hunt.

By day you might see corvids perched in the branches.  Such intelligent birds.  My friend in Old Lyme knew a crow when he was a boy.  The bird had somehow sliced its tongue, so it was forked, and the bird could talk.  My friend and the crow would carry on conversations.  He has reported them to me, and I have no reason to believe he misquoted the crow.

While looking for an image of November trees or a corvid, I stumbled upon a beautiful print of both, in the illustration above: by the artist Amie Roman, it is called Bare Branches, and by way of homage, I so title this post.  The image is a single block relief print, created by traditional printmaking methods.

I hadn't known Amie's work before, but I have now fallen in love with it.  She loves nature, as I do, and her photo on her website shows her with a cat that reminds me of Maggie.  I feel a connection to Amie's work, and parts of her life--just as I was inspired by my grandmother and mother, she was influenced by her talented grandmother, Caro Woloshyn, AFCA, and is inspired by her artist mother, Betty Cavin.

I'm grateful to Amie for allowing me to use her print, and I'm delighted by what came of a chilly November day, browsing images of bare branches and corvids, and discovering a kindred spirit a continent away from New York, in British Columbia.