Sunday, March 15, 2020

Reflections from the frog pond

Reflections from the Frog Pond

As long as I live
I won't forget
when I first saw it
Just a kid of 8 or 10 

I was seldom indoors
No my natural habitat
was the woods and creek beds
that edged our little town

A world extended
by intermittent visits
to the nature section
of the school library

My niche included rabbits
blue jays monarch butterflies
giant tree fungi fossils and minnows
that I stalked and read about

Then, I found the frog pond
just an old muddy pool
on an abandoned farm
where cows had drunk in better times

I was attracted by the growing ends
of cat tails emerging from
drying and shredded leaves
at the interface of ground and cloudy water

It was about one foot
from this muddy edge
that I saw the jelly-like mass
that would frame my entire life

There gently undulating
just beneath the pond's surface
warmed by mid-spring sunlight
was a clutch of frog eggs

I returned to the pond each afternoon
on my walk home from school
alone so as not to expose my precious discovery
to the clods I otherwise considered friends

They would not understand
They would stomp
splash and destroy
laugh and leave

Alone I observed for the first time
that incredible first phase
of every life
embryonic development

I brought the old magnifying glass
that my grandmother
who was nearly blind
used to see the Sunday funny papers

Through that bulging eye
I watched amazed
as randomly assorted eggs
white on one side black on the other 

Rotated to position
all of their black halves
capturing the sun's warmth

Over the next several weeks I watched them divide and grow into spheres
elongate into rippling crescents
and hatch into swimming tadpoles

Each evening I read about
amphibian embryonic development
in the growing pile of overdue library books
that accumulated in my small bedroom

This nascent glimpse of the connection between
things living now and in the future
was the point of departure
for my entire life's passion and journey 

On subsequent visits to the pond
I watched the tadpoles
transform into frogs
resorbing their tails to grow legs

I began to note new relationships
complex interactions
connecting the embryo/tadpole/frog
and its pond environment

Looking back, this first glimpse of
one of today’s most vexing problems
came from my young boy's glance
of frog embryos and their environment

I began to perceive
mammalian embryos
including human embryos
in their environments

I began to perceive the interrelation between
the emerging individuality
of a developing human fetus and
the individuality of a pregnant woman

I began to understand
a dramatic tension between
interdependence and autonomy
of fetus and mother

I began to recognize
the incredible responsibility that
even this glimpse of the human reproduction
had placed on me

It wasn't until I was a teenager
that I heard about contraception
It wasn't until I was in college
that I learned about abortion

I worked most of my life
in the turbulent vortex of
women's health population
and environment

And even these controversial issues
have always felt like sub-plots
to that main mystery of
emerging fetal and maternal life 

Sometimes, when the noise around me
reduces to a level that
I can hear myself think
this is what emerges 

People who have an abiding belief
in the sanctity of life people
who share fundamental beliefs
in the rights of women

People concerned about
population growth and who care about our planet's future
all have a great deal in common

Yes there are dynamic tensions
at the intersections of these issues
important tensions
But there is common ground

I return to that frog pond of my boyhood
often in my mind
especially when the din of conflict
rings loudest in my ears

And there with the sun's low glint
on muddy water
with iris shafts slowly bending
to gentle surface ripples

With the trill of tree frogs
or chirps of leopard frogs
or croaks of bull frogs
I see this common ground

And it occurs to me that each of us
must have such places
deep springs where fundamental values
flow free and clear

And it seems to me that in these times
with harsh diatribe screaming from the poles
we must each find our own frog pond
hidden somewhere in memory

And, visit there often.

Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD
August, 2006
Revisited August, 2018

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Chatham Latitude and Longitude

Chatham County is the geographical center of North Carolina. It is the locus from which we view the world and create art.

Place these Lat/Long coordinates in: and it will give you the address and a map to each studio.

Studio # 1 Janet Resnik Affordable, functional stoneware
Lat 35.860290, Long -79.218380
Studio # 2 Vince Pitelka Ceramics / Mixed Media
Lat 35.864790, Long -79.211540
Studio # 3 Jeffrey N. Clark Wood Turning, Jonathan Clark Wood, Barry Udis Photography
Lat 35.848360, Long -79.183560
Studio # 4 Marie Wright Ceramics
Lat 35.846250, Long -79.133770 
Studio # 5 Cathylee Mahin Watercolors
Lat 35.826560, Long -79.109670
Studio # 6 Hamish Jackson Ceramics
Lat 35.836190, Long -79.096930
Studio # 7 Louise Hobbs Ceramics
Lat 35.826460, Long -79.233200
Studio # 8 Judy Bauman Acrylic Painting
Lat 35.856460, Long -79.016640
Studio # 9 Rusty Sieck Stoneware Pottery
Lat 35.830880, Long -79.218720
Studio # 10 Annabelle Stein Textiles, screen-printed and painted silks
Lat 35.810680, Long -79.199400
Studio # 11 William Moore Sculpture in marble, wood, ceramic, bronze, steel and stone
Lat 35.809360, -79.198560
Studio # 12 Andrew Wilson Wood and Jewelry
Lat 35.807750, Long -79.134940
Studio # 13 Doug Dotson Ceramic / Stoneware
Lat 35.808290, Long -79.132220
Studio # 14 Leslie Palmer Drawing, Watercolor & Mixed Media Painting
Lat 35.808360, -79.080490
Studio # 15 Forrest Greenslade Nature-Inspired paintings and sculpture
Lat 35.804910, long -79.087660
Studio # 16 Lani Chaves Watercolor Painting
Lat 35.806049, Long -79.083458
Studio # 17 Steve Shafer Photography, Digital art
Lat 35.804100, Long -79.078770
Studio # 18 Eric Saunders Photography
Lat 35.790150, Long -79.075260
Studio # 19 Vidabeth Bensen Hand screened prints
Lat 35.806220, Long -79.073160
Studio # 20 Michael Blotzer Photography
Lat 35.796880, Long -79.125766
Studio # 21 Karen West Painting
Lat 35.794170, Long -79.067970
Studio # 22 Andi Sobbe Ceramics
Lat 35.784970, Long -78.986940
Studio # 23 Shannon Bueker Natural wonders in paint, clay and cards
Lat 35.769110, Long -79.166560
Studio # 24 Selden Lamoureux Ceramics
Lat 35.769070, -79.149330
Studio # 25 Amanda Greiner Painting, Craig Greiner Photography
Lat 35.774120, Long -79.139910
Studio # 26 Bronwyn Watson Ceramics
Lat 35.743600, Long -79.173050
Studio # 27 Linda Callihan Watkins Painting
Lat 35.731920, Long -79.140910
Studio # 28 Julio Alberdi Sculpture
Lat 35.733360, Long -79.097010
Studio # 29 Linda Collura Drawing painting
Lat 35.722650, Long -79.183720
Studio # 30 Mark Hewitt Beautiful place, beautiful pots
Lat 35.713200, Long -79.132860
Studio # 31 Judith Smith Painting, Rita Baldwin Oil on Canvas
Lat 35.705470, Long -79.103850
Studio # 32 Lee Kazanas Ceramics
Lat 35.620070, Long -79.076600
Studio # 33 Eva Green Basketry, Fiber, Mixed Media, Wood, Gretchen Niver Fused and stained glass panels, bowls, platters, ornaments, and tiles, Lara O’Keefe Ceramics Janice Rieves Glass mosaic, sculptural lighting and ferrocement sculpture, Diane Swan Wood Furniture, mixed media, Painting
Lat 35.682230, Long -79.218310
Studio # 34 Kim Campbell Glass, Heather Gerni Painting mixed media
Lat 35.664650, Long -79.134800
Studio # 35 Beth Bale Painting Sarah Graham Painting
Lat 35.599560, Long -79.199340
Place these Lat/Long coordinates in: and it will give you the address and a map to each studio

Friday, April 19, 2019

Arbor Day in Fearrington Village 2019

We had a wonderful walk along the North Langdon Trail to celebrate Arbor Day on April 18th 2019. Green Scene Moderator Jason Welsch, Trail Master Henry Castner and FHA BOD President Judith Andersson joined arborist and naturalist Frank McKeever who led the tour. It was a "Carolina blue" day with birds singing and soft breezes wafting as we enjoyed Frank's educational talk.
Henry, Frank, Judith and Jason

Frank explaining

Marilyn Racine at the
Charles Ravine mamorial rewilding plot

Jason by the Arbor Day Sweet Bay Magnolia that he planted

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Obscene Comedy*

The stench stung his nostrils, seared
his lungs. Flames tongued up his
legs to scorch his testicles and
abdomen. His back recoiled, then
bent to the slash of the whip
wielded by the hulking, slobbering
demon. He stumbled to his knees,
his head cowered, tears streaming
down his face. “Why am I here?”
he whimpered.

“To make Americal great again!"
snarled the  demon'

He felt a weight on his
legs, and looked down to
see a dark soul clinging
to his torso, grasping toward
his face. “Who is this
parasite?” he asked.

“Mike Pense.” responded
the demon.

He stared into a molten
pool at his reflection, but
did not recognize his own
face. Instead, he gazed into
a head split wide open,
with spiders roiling from
the gaping wound. “What is
this horrid image?” he inquired.

told the demon.

He raised his head and glanced
to the right, “Who is that poor
soul with serpents gorging his
mouth, his words tangled, distorted?”

“Bill Barr”
replied the demon.

He turned to the left and
queried, “Who is that, her
tongue swollen out from her
mouth, covered with sores
and maggots?”

 the demon answered.

Frailly, he pointed across a
stream of boiling oil. “Who
is that with burning coals
protruding from his
eyes, his vision darkened
and obscure?”

said the demon

His eyes focused on another
soul with white hot pokers
thrusting themselves into his
ears, blocking all reason and
knowledge. “Who is..?”

“Paul Manafort”
the demon interrupted.

Then he wondered,
“What about my friend Vladimir?”

“There is a special place here for him,”
smiled to demon.

He lifted his body, twisted and stared
above. Millions of transparent
souls swirled, tossed about by
flames and clouds of smoke.

The demon faced up, “The 30 odd
 percent of Americans who followed you here.”

It seemed like he trudged for
hours, days, months. He could not
determine time. His pathway
intersected all the tragic souls
who shared his life and now his

“Art of the deal,”
whispered the demon.

He slogged, ankle deep,
in the now smoldering
molted gold that had paved
his way here, each agonizing
step punctuated by the demon’s
whip. “How long must I endure
this?” he implored.

“Until Mar-A-Lago freezes over,” the demon
explained. “Thank God
for global warming."

Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD

*Many thanks to Dante, whose Inferno inspired me to write this fake poetry.
Special thanks to The Donald for nothing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Artist Studios at Fearrington Village Spring Tour

Artist Studios at Fearrington Village Spring Studio Tour

Saturday and Sunday, April 13 & 14, from 10 AM to 5 PM each day
The high-spirited artists who live and conceive unique works of fine art at Fearrington Village will open their studios to welcome and share their creations with art lovers, Saturday and Sunday, April 13th & 14th, from 10AM to 5 PM each day.  Come and enjoy seeing watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings; pastels, screen prints, basketry, jewelry, wood art, photography, mixed media and sculpture at many charming locations, all within a 1 mile radius.  And for collectors, art items will be available to purchase.  Allow some extra time to visit the unique gardens, shops and restaurants in the charming Fearrington Village Center, and to simply enjoy the scenic drive through the woods in between the studios.  In addition, visitors can arrange to meet artists at a pre-tour, preview reception in the Fearrington Gathering Place on Friday evening April 12th from 7 to 9 PM.  

Participating Artists:

Vidabeth Bensen. Screen Printing
John Makowski. Found objects into Sculpture
Forrest Greenslade. Nature inspired paintings and sculpture
Roy Lindholm. Giclee prints of  Digital  Photographs on canvas and paper
Ginger Anderson. Paintings of local animals and landscapes
Eric Saunders. Outdoor Photography and digital arr
Julie Uhler. Oil Paintings
Matthew Leavitt. Exceptional wildlife and nature photography
Murry Handler. Acrylic Paintings
Enid Handler. Jewelry
Anne Angers. Painting
Jim Aiken. Painting
Pat Stewart. Basketry
Minnie Gallman. Photography
Roni Liberman. Turned wood for practical use and whimsey
Horty Jacobs. Unaltered photography taken in wrecking yards and enchanting necklaces
Steve Shafer. Painterly digital art and fine art photography
Michael Blotzer. Photography
Lynne Griffith. Pottery