Work hard, keep the ceremonies, live peaceably, and unite your hearts.~ Hopi Proverb

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The Gnarly Root In Hesperus, Part two


Waiting for the sun to rise.

As I start my days, the first thing I have to do is play fetch with Zucher, the dog I am sitting. He seems to believe that every time we step outside, fetch is the only thing to do. Consequently, the start and ending of each day involves a slobbery ball. It also leads to other experiences like watching the sunrise and the cows across the street meandering by. I hear the cry of a lone hawk flying high above, scoping out the fields for breakfast. Then there is the chatter of various other farm animals somewhere out in the neighborhood. Sound carries well in open spaces, and you can even hear the children at play in the local school. All of this, along with a gentle breeze, creates an enjoyable musical to be surrounded by daily.

As a result, a routine without interruptions is being established, and I feel like all I do now is play with Zucher, eat, carve, work on admin stuff, throw the ball a while longer, and carve some more. Then eat, play fetch and repeat the whole process over again. I did take some time off yesterday to drive over to Mesa Verde National Park to arrange a visit into the archives, which will happen soon. All in all, it’s a good routine resulting in getting some work done on the Gnarly Root as I enjoy the light breeze throughout the day.


The first thing I did was set up a canopy outside as a workstation where most of the dirty work will occur. The weather has been perfect for this part of the project. However, it is

so comfortable without the blaring heat of Rimrock so I am thinking about removing the canopy, and just enjoying the full sun throughout the day. My goal here is to shape the final figures into this remarkable piece of wood. I also set up an inside station where I can work a bit more as the day cools off. My inside station is in the living room where I am doing the detail carving and all that it takes to prepare the wood for sanding (an outside job). After that, the process of wood burning the tactile features will begin. Hopefully, I can get to that stage before I depart back home.

Facing the roadway and entrance to the garage.

My trip to Mesa Verde was pleasurable since I got a chance to visit with good friends - even running into a few as I was in Cortez shopping. As I drove through a pass en route to MV, I noticed the fall colors expanding along the mountain range. Sorry, I didn’t take any photos, but will next trip over. What I enjoyed most was beautiful old ranches, nestled within the canyons with cows grazing in rich pastures filled with grass… and nobody in a hurry on the road. Everyone left plenty of space between each vehicle. It was such a refreshing drive… I will take more time next trip to explore a few of the smaller canyons along the route and take photos.


All things considered, this couldn’t be a better time for me to get more work done on the Gnarly Root. In addition to that, isolation is giving me time to clear my head a bit while working on another proposal and getting more of a routine established for handling the admin junk. All good things, In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the photos...


Facing the wood storage area. The grass in the upper left is covering the roof, so the second level is actually underground too! Nothing like living in an ant hill...

This section was started at the School For Advanced Research, and is part of the area where the males exemplify their responsibilities to the culture. I hold a lot of respect for those who still live out home and are keeping the traditions alive. I consider myself more of a progressive...

This lower section is what I hope to get roughed out on this trip. There is the start of a man working in the cornfields. I roughed in a man weaving a sash belt yesterday after taking these photos. The lower section of root is where I plan on carving some of the plants of Hopi agriculture.

This upper section of the previous photo is what I am working on at the moment, Along with the weaver and fellow working the fields will be depictions of men gathering coal and wood for the village - something no longer a tradition since the coal mine has officially closed this year.

May each and everyone of you have the pleasure of experiencing the beauty of fall, and are in a quiet space giving you time to recharge your soul… GQ






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