Tuesday, August 10, 2010

May as Well Try and Catch the Wind

Over the course of a year or so I gathered bits and pieces of rust that I found on the ground during my daily walk.  I gradually assembled them into what I called  rusty angels.  I had good intentions of exhibiting them and even ordered wooden cradled panels to house each one.  I left all the panels in a pile in my studio for another year or so.  The fun of creating was spent and the tedium of preparing them all for presentation just blew my mind, so I blew the project off.  Until this weekend, that is, when my sister-in-law blew in from Quebec and had the brilliant idea to suspend the angels from our crabapple tree.

(No angels were harmed in the Photoshopping of this image!)

Angels in our Midst

Whee!  It was a particularly windy day and the angels twirled and swirled with great enthusiasm.

Another air-related sight we experienced this weekend was the labyrinthian wind farm atop the local Kent Mountain.  Back roads, dirt roads, rutted roads, deep puddles and a warped sense of adventure on the part of our driver got us there and, eventually, back out.  There was no map of the place, which seemed to go on forever.  It was pretty impressive but, quite frankly, if you've seen one giant windmill, you've seen them all. 

See the little people?

Oh, look--turn down another dirt road-- and there's another windmill!

Or sometimes even more than one!

And this is what it looks like inside one of the blades, which was on the ground, not spinning around in the wind, much to my sister-in-law's disappointment. .  She blew up some great plans for a theme park, interpretive centre, souvenir boutique, and tower-top restaurant while she was cogitating inside that  blade.

Ah, but she may as well try and catch the wind.

Donovan sang it first but let's have a different version.


  1. Although B.C. has several "real" mountains, compared to N.B. "hills", we only have but one giant windmill atop Grouse Mtn., but then again, we have nary a one "rusty angel" hanging around either.

    Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were such a cute hippy duo
    and now seem to be prim and proper in their old age, sort of like "rusty angels".

  2. Hi Shirl,
    I can remedy that lack of rusty angels hanging about in trees out your way!

    I wonder how long it will take the BC govt. to turn the lonely Grouse Mtn. windmill into a tourist attraction. I can see the t-shirt slogans now: "I had wind when I visited Grouse Mtn."

    I love your analogy of Dylan and Baez looking like versions of rusty angels themselves these days. Happens to the best of us, I guess.

  3. Your heavenly host is most impressive.

    You didn't happen to catch Donovan singing that in his 1967 Vancouver concert did you? Still one of my favourite concerts - ever!

    WV - nomatin - when morning never comes in Montréal

  4. DCW,
    Donovan is one of the few performers that I missed in concert in Vancouver in the '6os. I did see Dylan twice, though (once acoustic, once electric). I'm not sure how it came about that I missed the Mellow Yellow man. I did line up to see his movie version of "Alice's Restaurant" and we did play the record of that song in an English Lit. class up at SFU.

    It was sort of cool when C. discovered Donovan for herself when she was about 17 yrs. old. Brought back all the old faves to me.

  5. do you think don quixote would have fought those windmills?

    The angels in the trees! Brilliant. Much better than in boxes.

    thanks for bob and joan. i found them so inspiring back in the 60's and my heart still aches when i hear them sing.

  6. We have windmills in WV now, but I've never seen angels "Blowin' in the Wind".

    (Sorry bout that - just had to say it!)

  7. oooh, love that song. There is a band here called the Coal Rangers and they do a brilliant version of it too.
    Those Angels - what a great idea! I might have to dream up a cocktail to match them (best not to have it match the wind...)

  8. sukipoet
    I, too, thought of Don Quixote faced with these modern day megaliths! I think it would have been quite a different story: but then, I wouldn't really know as I've never read the book or seen the Broadway version.

    My sister-in-law was immediately inspired when she saw my poor rusty angels languishing in their "coffins" and asked if she could do something with them. I'm very happy she set them free, and I'm glad you've enjoyed them, too.

    I love looking at the pictures of Joan and Bob in this video. Man, it brings back an exciting era! Their music and artistry has certainly withstood the test of time.

  9. Sister Saj
    I have just now seen your pitcher of Angels Delight over at your place. I'm afraid it's rather put me off my cereal. Perhaps a Rusty Nail would have served up better.
    Maybe I can rub some of it onto my rusty darlings' wings to prevent them from rusting away entirely, as I'm afraid the elements will do them in before too long.

    I'm thinking that Angels Liniment might be a more fitting name for that particular cocktail.

  10. God, she was so beautiful! He wasn't bad either.

    I'm sure it's not just me but Donovan looks like the love child of this heavenly pair.

  11. Barry
    I think Donovan was more like the annoying little brother that they tried to get out of the house with bribes.

  12. Things are sounding pretty windy here... maybe I'll hang out with the angels higher up in the atmosphere until things blow over... gosh, I sure hope those windmills don't create so much turbulence that the angels have trouble flying...

    Love your rusty creations, glad they escaped an early and untimely burial, and could come out to play for us all here... and good to know that none were harmed in the process... you wouldn't want any p.o.ed angels out there plotting...

    Will watch the video when I can put the sound on, right now it's after midnight, and instead of letting it all hang out, everyone's in bed, except me, and I'm headed there now, to dream of angels floating from crapapple trees...

  13. Owen
    How sweet of you to come and hang out under the "crapapple" tree,
    as you so colourfully put it, with the angels and me. Watch your head--their wings are sharp and rusty. Is your tetanus shot up to date? I hope you can hear me whispering to you through the big wind that's blowing--I wouldn't want to wake the slumbering beauties around you. Oh, you've nodded off as well. Never mind, the angels will look out for you all as you dream those dreams of flying.

  14. comme c'est joli et poétique tous ces anges qui attendent leur tour !
    et ils volent, ils volent au gré du souffle du moulin à vent :-)

    belle journée jolie madame

  15. Merci Karine!
    J'ai pratiqée mon français avec ma belle soeur en fin de semaine et elle son anglais. Je ne sais pas qui était pire, mais on s'amusait! She had so much fun hanging up tous les anges, c'était un peu comme à Noël.

  16. They do always intimidate me, those things. Just the sight of them gives me heebie jeebies.

  17. Mme.DeFarge
    I am so sorry if I provoked a case of the heebie jeebies in you! I assume you are referring to the windmills rather than the angels. I suspect that if I actually beheld real angels hovering in the sky, they might provoke a case of the heebie jeebies in myself. Driving around the windmill site with no clear indication of the way out went a long way to Heeby Jeeby Land in itself, but it ended well, if belatedly. I think these gigantic, somewhat spooky windmills will be more and more prevalent in the future so we might as well get used to them--which doesn't mean we have to go and seek them out (must remind my husband of this).

  18. Dear Lynne,
    Honest to goodness, the "crapapple" tree was a typo, can't even imagine how, as the p is not anywhere near the b on the keyboard, must have been anticipating the double p in apple... far be it from me to leave any road apples in your comment box to announce my passage...

    Crapapple tree... pretty funny, now that you've pointed it out... makes me think of that medical condition know as optical rectalitis... otherwise known as having a shitty outlook on life...

    Am far from there though, life is beautiful here in sunny Brittany, though I'm on the road home tomorrow, and back to work Tuesday. Spent all day yesterday out on the island of Ouessant, gorgeous place, will no doubt be blogging about it soon, once I get back to the shade of my crapapple trees at home... see you soon...

  19. Oh, and for a PS, spent a good part of today at the third annual artichoke throwing championship, which will also be blogged about shortly....

    I feel like that dog in the famous cartoon where he's looking down a street where a row of fire hydrants disappears into the distance... and is thinking,"So many hydrants, so little time" ...

  20. Owen,
    You whet my crappetite with your mention of sunny Brittany, the gorgeous isle of Ouessant, the beauty of your life these days, and the myriad of hydrants calling for your dogged attention.

    Bonne route!

  21. i love everything about this post, your idea, the poetics of the elements (air/wind as opposed to rust), the angels, last but not least the song you chose to illustrate it (she has such an amazing voice, doesn't she?)

    i've just discovered an artist who made me think of your approach, i think you might enjoy her:


  22. ps. the rust tree is amazing, thank you for the little video!

  23. Roxana,
    Quite simply, thank you. The tree was an absolute delight and the angels begging to be set free into the blogosphere. They are delicate beings and some of them were not able to withstand the wind and rain that followed but at least they had their moment of glory and freedom and died with their wings on, so to speak.

    I've never used the video button on my little camera before so it was very spontaneous, as you can no doubt tell.

    Thank you for that artist's link. What breathtakingly beautiful work she creates! The gallery link itself is providing me with so many other intriguing artists to investigate as well. Dangerous.

    Donovan's little song is so simple and yet has such depth, especially when sung by Joan Baez and her sister--achingly beautiful voices in their purity, yes.

  24. I NEVER NEVER look at the you-tube things
    but looked at your angels dancing.
    Might just have to steal your idea (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery!)
    I also wept at the Joan Baez --so pure and so lovely and so poetic

    gosh, what an old bat I am
    nostalgia for one's lost youth.....
    need to send you a photo of windmills in Jeselmer on the NW Frontier

  25. Elizabeth,
    It doesn't make me happy that you cried over the Joan Baez/lost youth sentiment exactly, but it makes me...content...connected with you, I guess. It's okay to cry over spilt milk from time to time, as long as we don't get caught in the melancholy and wallow in the past. Clearly, it's not something you normally do, so go ahead and forgive yourself that little indulgence. I'm happy to be (relatively) free from all that DRAMA of my youth. The Dylan/Baez times were certainly heady, intoxicating, exciting ones with nothing but adventure ahead. "Oh but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." The purity of Joan's voice and the power of music to take us to magical places of one sort or another are irresistible forces.

    Go ahead, Elizabeth, flatter me with imitation--make your angels fly in whatever form they take.