It is early morning and we are greeted at the gate of a local nature preserve by staff most serious of purpose.
We purchase tickets into El Pilar, a well kept, multi-purpose bit of land and head off for a hike to see about seeing some birds….
They take us into the forest and invite us into their world where birds reveal themselves in ways previously unknown and we are delighted.
Mostly we see and hear birds alive and well. Calling and chirping, flitting and flying. Yet we also see signs of nature taking it’s course which gives us a way to study closer…
This is indeed a seemingly magical wood. And I begin to wonder where we are in the world.
Up and up we climb, witnessing the world of the flying kind at their own level.
A glimpse of the valley below, and a cookie or two for our efforts, we marvel at the vista and rest a bit before heading back down where the birds have gone into hiding but there are still some interesting insects and flowers to behold.
We head into town for brunch where we revisit the names of all of the birds we saw this day.
Eventually gears must shift and we are back to the workshop scene where birds of another feather are gathering.
One by one, this upcoming week’s workshop participants arrive and are greeted with views of a volcanic realm where there is poetry hiding in the most unlikely places.
Like in the clouds…..
Or under a napkin holder on a silverware sleeve….
Days dawn bright and beautifully and some of us greet the sunrise with an early morning run up the hill for a view of the city….
These recent days have also given us surprise visits from some esteemed guests.
Claudia was here today for a photo shoot….
And she met her greatest fans...
In between complicated scenes….
Mari stopped in to meet everyone today as well. We are hoping she can finish her thesis this week and come to paint with us!
By evening, we are all getting to know one another and making plans for Day 1 of this week’s activities over dinner.
It’s been rich, and we haven’t really even begun. Yet like birds of a feather, we have gathered to feel volcanic breezes ruffle our winter plumage. Our sights are set on seeing the colors for what they are and exploring Antigua in the week ahead.
As the week gets started, I will be doing my best to update on the usual channels where I can, but my priority is, of course, being fully present for those who’ve come here to make art with me. So I’ll catch up here when I can…. Til then…