Fox in the Wren House

Mixed media collage-18 x 18 3/4 image, 29 x 30 framed

The Story


It was a dark and starry night when the SS Wren, a barely-worthy sea-going ark, set off for the Isle of Blight. There was a muffled silence as it stealthily moved away from the quay into deep water.

It was an odd looking vessel: a lapstrake built 100 years prior to sale. It had become a rather seedy, old migrant ark renamed the SS Wren by a gang of birds selling black market seed. They had risked dozens of hazardous trips back and forth during the years 2006 to 2017 moving illegal barrels of black oil sunflower seed and millet from Mudford Quay at Christchurch across the water to the Isle of Blight. (Originally, it was named the Isle of Wight, but after eleven years of depositing illegal migrant birds and barrels of seed for resale, the shores and land inevitably became dotted with dung)


Migrant birds had been fleeing overcrowded lands and gull-bullying in search of calmer seas and more hospitable landscapes. Therefore, they were easy prey for unsavory types like the Good Captain Crow, who was eager to accept exotic feathers, eggs and cash for a little bird smuggling. Birds, feathers, eggs and seed were to set her up in a comfy retirement nest on the northern coast of Washington state in the U.S.A., where she could live easily disguised amongst her many relatives and other fine feathered friends.


By 2004 Captain Crow had steered the vessel many times and knew the Dover Ditch and all the vagaries of ocean tides and swells off the coast of England. She was a brilliant navigatorand clever skipper, so the short trip from Mudford to the Isle was easy-peasy. Besides, the booty was a bonus in spite of the danger of illegal passengers and contraband. Certainly worth the risk!


This  led to how she accepted the biggest and last bribe of her sea-life, and it was nearly her undoing. It was on that dark and starry night that the little ark was stuffed to the gunwales with passengers plus one extra (that came aboard covered from head to toe with a feather boa wrapped and re-wrapped around its body). It was one odd and rather large bird that moved silently, belly close to the deck, and settled in amongst a bevy of its fellow travelers.  


Captain Crow had already accepted and pocketed the bribe. She was so preoccupied with seed and avian loading plus keeping everyone silent while easing the Wren out of the quay, she did not glance twice at the oversized bird with an odd gait. If she had, she would have written it off as an illegal migrant in disguise, one that crept more than hopped. But Captain Crow did not.


The trip was only an hour in the light, but at night to avoid the Petrel Patrols on watch for illegals, the traverse took twice as long. They had to remain as close to the shoreline as possible and only venture out into open water between patrol shifts.


The SS Wren finally hauled onto the sandy beach about 3 a.m., and every bird that debarked was relieved and glad to arrive.  Captain Crow was thrilled that this was her last trip. With the “fees” she had collected from the illegals plus the feather, egg and seed sales, she had banked enough cash for her long flight to the American West Coast.


She was in her cabin examining her world map and laying out a flight plan when one of the crew came flying in, highly agitated. Only half the passengers were debarking and the rest were no where to be found, except for the oversized, odd ball bird, that lay snoring in the hold.


Captain Crow rushed below. Half the boa-feather disguise had come off the bird’s body exposing a wet black snout, fat red tongue and wicked sharp teeth attached to a two- eared head— which in turn was attached to a very furry red body.


The Captain, like many animals before her, had been hoodwinked by a clever fox. It had consumed enough bird in two hours to last its lifetime even if it never ate another bite of anything. But this fowl deed had blown up the fox to twice its size, and it had fallen into a deep sleep.


This was a good thing. The remaining crew and clever captain dispensed all the seed on the shore, closed up the old SS Wren, and set it adrift in the harbor, fox aboard and fast asleep. Each still-fearful crewbird flew off with its share of the booty and never considered black-marketeering again. Captain Crow headed west, more or less.


No one has seen a fox steering a rickety red lapstrake in the Dorset area, and we can only hypothesize that the SS Wren drifted out to sea with him on board. Or, perhaps it landed on the Isle of Blight. Oh oh.


If you wish to anchor your vessel and go ashore, be forewarned: Look up. If there is a fat crow wearing a tattered sea captain’s hat and preparing to land on your little ship, best to either post a guard or skip your dinner altogether. Remember that Captain Crow is a brilliant navigator and clever old bird, even wilier than a fox—after the fact. She just may be bored with her retirement and on the lookout for a new adventure.


D Snow, ©2017

Mixed media collage: The two 8 x 8 inch book boards are recycled covers from a sample art book never completed,

Mounted on black rag board as a diptych, matted in white, and then framed in a black wood frame under glass, it measures  19 x 26 1/2


There is a narrow black separation in the center of the two boards and the black frame is near invisable on the black website background but is slightly over an inch and a half wide and one and a quarter inch deep. The quick shot above showing the diptych separation was taken handheld with glass reflection. Sorry about that.



Click on Image to return to the Home Page

Click on Image to return to the gallery

D Snow Studio

Stories and Details

Scroll down for all stories


Click on Image to return to the Home Page

Enter Text

Fish Ferry Fugue

The Story

The Fish Ferry Fugue

Two Ancient Book Covers


The Flying Fish Ferry was thrilled to have a beautiful flutist aboard on his long journey plying the Pleiades. He frequently visited the Seven Sisters, nibbling at star krill and catching up on heavenly gossip.


It turned out that the flutist was the Eighth Sister, never recognized and destined to ride the Fish Ferry for an eternity. ‘An’ eternity sounds like there will be a second one. Well, perhaps there might.


Anyhow, her name was Pleionia after her mother, the Oceanid Pleione. Her father, the Titan Atlas, was not her sweet baboo. He was a fierce dad and abandoned her to The Fates. To make a long myth short, it was The Fates who took pity on the little babe. They gave her the remarkable gift of music (of the spheres) which she played on her flute throughout the heavens and into the depths of the ocean.


It was Pleionia who gave the whales their resonant calls and the birds their musical trills. Sadly she had forgotten the crows.


Pleionia’s story was written in a single handmade book, which she carried with her at all times. Then during one thunderous storm, it fell into the ocean. Over centuries all the pages were turned to coral. All the text was lost and became tiny fish. But the two covers which illustrated Pleionia’s flights on the Flying Fish Ferry remained intact.


In 1958, two very old fisherwomen were out snagging what they could catch for their dinner when their net came up with not only two fat fish, but the two covers of a book, fore and aft. They knew a good catch when they found one and immediately sold the covers to an oceanic antique dealer named Salty Waters.


Salty had the covers float-mounted (of course) and framed and sold it for a small fortune. Since then the art and antiques market has flattened, and so dear reader, you might consider grabbing this stunning piece of old art for a song. Or if you play the flute, a tune.


The End.


Donna Snow © February 18th, 2017

Flying With Cranes, Swimming With Koi

Collage/mixed media - image 14 1/2 x 19 3/4

6 inch mat in wood frame - 28 x 33 1/2

Story in the works, so stay tuned

Flying With Cranes, Swimming With Koi

Enter Text

The Story

Flying With Cranes, Swimming With Koi


Mixed media collage

image- 14 1/2 x 19 3/4

with six inch mat in wood frame 28 x 33 1/2


Who hasn’t dreamt of flying like birds or swimming like sea creatures? It is not a coincidence that you are longing for such a rare experience and are reading about it just now.


Keep your eyes riveted to the six mythical souls in this painting who have actually flown with the cranes and swum with the koi, and will now come to take you — yes you my friend — on an adventure beyond any you can imagine.


Hang onto your hat because the adventure will happen this very night. Go to bed in your warmest clothing. Skip p.j.s. Wear a coat with heavy lining and a hat that ties under your chin. If you have them, wear aviator goggles and your warmest wool socks and boots.


You will, given proper GPS alignment, soar through the night clouds, up into the stars and away (missing all the electric wires). Or if you wish, down into the depths of the oceans to see a world of deep-sea creatures and fabulonomous, iridescent fish people.


Truly. And for the deep sea trip, decorative wetsuits and fins graciously provided. This is magic. You will not need to wear an air tank.


Donna Snow © 2/2017

The Windup Bird's Annual Night Picnic

Mixed media collage

image- 9 1/4 x 11 1/2

Matted in black wood frame 16 1/2 x 18 3/4

GPS | dgi:pi:’es |

abbreviation

Greater Paramnesia Suppression: A way to stop forgetting something you do over and over again and keep it buried, so you won’t do whatever it is again.


The wind-up birds keep forgetting that they can’t swim in the pond and that the water rusts their winder. They need to use the new GPS to keep themselves reminded not to swim in the pond.


Every year prior to the longest starry night, Grandma and the wind-up birds conferred with the ants about co-hosting their annual “spontaneous” picnic. The ants told the frogs, the wind-up birds told the clams and the monkey, and Grandma sent out invitations to everyone else. There would be a celebration of celestial proportions with food, swimming, and of course a general meeting—this year to discuss the new GPS that has confounded so many of the attendees.


After a lot of pond water imbibing and general gluttony, the meeting began in earnest at midnight. It started off when Grandma told everyone not to listen to the wind-up birds because “They don’t use GPS and never will.”  Apparently she thought she knew what GPS stood for. That started a mighty argument. It ended with the wind-up birds frozen in place, unmoving and staring wishfully out into the night sky. Their feelings were hurt, and their winders had rusted shut, which happened every year after they tried to swim in the pond.


They were all trying to understand the new GPS, but the results were total confusion and misinformation. Questions flew around, such as, was it true that GPS allowed frogs to sing, bears to wear bonnets, and wind-up birds to really fly?  Maybe, just maybe, GPS really does stand for Greater Paramnesia Suppression, and the whole gang might have functioned normally should they have used it.  Especially the wind-up birds. It really was just a matter of repeating a mantra over and over again. For example: I will not swim or my winder will rust.


As for the truly real Global Positioning System, only one truly real bird attended, and she was startled to discover that humans even wanted GPS. She had been perfectly fine without it and navigated using her internal magnetic compass. She assumed everybody used it.


Having eaten and drunk too much pond water, the party broke up at three a.m. with farewells and promises to have another try at a meeting the following year. That was the 350th attempt to communicate, and it just seemed too hard to consider GPS.


Maybe, Grandma thought as she drifted off to sleep, she should invite Mr. Tramp, who appeared to know everything and had a grocery cart filled with old clothes and discarded answers. It might be worth the price of a stamp. If nothing else, it would provide entertainment.


Donna Snow © August 2017



The Story

The Windup Birds Annual Night Picnic

Enter Text

Chaos Theory: Year One, The Origin of Celestial Things

Enter Text

Mixed media collage

31 x 39

double matted in black wood frame

The Story


Chaos Theory, Year One


The Origins of Celestial Things: A Cartoon


Blown out randomly and helter-skelter from the Origin Stone, all things we know and love emerged: The Moon arrived early to help light the way, followed by and not in any order, magic carpets, mushroom man, Jackie Coogan, fan dancers (no, not that kind), wine, John Steinbeck, Gertrude Stein (no relation), a very primitive Volkswagen, lantern man, an architectural wonder, monsters, foxes, and everything else including the other kind of fan dancers.


The luckiest artists and writers snagged rides (see V.W. crammed with riders and a much needed industrial engineer, who would go on to create a very successful German auto company) and one adventurous female pilot, who came prepared wearing her leather helmet.


There was a lot of haggling inside the V.W. with Picasso insisting on bringing all his art supplies and lovers. Musicians and film directors also wanted their cameras and lovers, and all the while, the poets chanted poetry to Handel’s tunes. The lovers were bored.


The Monsters missed the scheduled flying carpet rides and had to hitchhike, which led to the famous Guide to the Galaxy novel many years hence. The fox would go along with anyone who would offer her chicken.


The Origin Stone has completely blown itself to bits, but we hear a new one is about ready to explode with the latest tech stuff—like computer wrist watches that can project full screen movies onto gallery walls or your refrigerator door. If it’s white.


That’s it.

The end.


Donna Snow © August 2017



Enter Text

Northwest Navigation and Training School

Mixed media collage

28 x 33 1/2

Matted and framed

Enter Text

The Story

Northwest Navigation and Training School


Volunteers from around the world have arrived for the winter session of the Northwest Navigation and Training School. Birds have also come to not only snag some tasty meals, but to learn the fine art of the system of Global Positioning (GPS). This is how they can navigate themselves wherever they want to go without getting lost.


The volunteers have arrived ill-prepared for a surprise harsh winter at the S. Miller barn, the new location for the winter feeding and training event. The Arab hawk owner has lost his hawk. An Asiatic Pigeon has moved into position on the Arab’s hand awaiting a treat—which he is about to become for the missing but lurking hawk. Madness may ensue at any moment unless the new director intervenes.


Sad to say that Mr. Director, Rabidra R. Rabbita, in his new spiffy, pink velvet smoking jacket is leisurely drifting down the sound on his raft, smoking his new Meerschaum pipe. And talking. He loves talking and is regaling his bird riders with tales of his daring-do in Deutschland and is obviously unaware of the falderol fast turning to mayhem on land.


Mr. Director Rabidra R. Rabbita was under the mistaken illusion that as director he had little to do other than to make sure the feed and seed was available and to hop on his raft for daily perimeter checks and pipe smoking. He was leaving all the training to his staff, who appear to have scarpered off and the volunteers are stranded without a whit of said training. Oh oh. This is clearly a story for you and yours to complete.


Consider these story questions: Who does that bronze statue on top of the barn represent? Where will all the birds sleep at night during the storm? Will S. Miller make room for all of them inside? When will the Hooded Canal Bridge reopen so the stranded staff can return from their illegal outing to the village store at Port Ramble? Who is that Chinese horse? And, lastly who are the two characters with their brooms on the NW Navigation Flag?


If you sort it out. Let me know.

Thanks.



Donna Snow © August 2017




The Celestial Navigation Glo-Ball Jam and All-Star Challenge

Mixed media collage

20 1/2 x 23

Matted and framed

The Story

The Celestial Navigation Glo-Ball Jam and All-Star Challenge


The Rules for Basket Glo-Ball—A Game of Glo-Ball Positioning:


1. Three Glo-Balls are in action at the same time.


2. Each team is made up of five crows with one rider or swing-crow allowed.


3. In the old peach basket tradition, there is no hole in the bottom of the basket. Instead, the crow team in this space jam use an enlarged silver and copper thimble-shaped basket out of which the swing-crow must retrieve the collected Glo-Ball before another ball is dropped in.


4. There is no double dribbling allowed—too messy.


5. Only “technical” fouls are penalized during a game. No caw-crowing, clucks, fighting, swearing or out of bounds Glo-Balls (impossible to retrieve once in orbit).


6. Foul calls are at the discretion of the shot clock-keeper — referee. In this case, it is C. Gull who is pictured here screeching, “No head butting, No head butting! Foul, Foul, Foul!”


7. In North American basketball, a flagrant foul gives two free throws to the opposing team and gives up the ball to them, as well. In Basket Glo-Ball, it is called a Fragrant Foul, and the player is indefinitely kicked off the team.


8. The game is called off in the event of severe thunder and lightening storms.



Donna Snow © 2017


Sky Polo and the Launching of the Glo-Balls

Mixed media collage

20 1/2 x 23

Matted and framed

The Story

Sky Polo and the Launching of the Glo-Balls

Captain Mars Zi Pan sits comfortably (more or less) in a front row seat, watching the vigorous game of Glo-Ball Polo. The balls are launched by whichever team member whacks the devil out of the ball, sending it zooming off into orbit.


Balls are never lost. It is a system in which they are simply positioned (thus GPS). These games are played in near orbit, causing them to speed zanily out and about, bouncing off satellites, earth’s crust, other balls, and the occasional high flyer.


Instead of ball girls, like we have in tennis matches, the famous Japanese Sumo wrestlers do the job. They stand on each other’s shoulders, each with his own Glo-Ball, awaiting an opportunity to toss it off to start a new game between the Glo-Ball teams.


The Sumo wrestlers are precariously balanced on each other’s shoulders and are in turn stacked on top of the strongest of them all, who himself is balanced on a flexible bamboo pole. No tricky feat—especially if you consider that replacement balls are continually being tossed into the empty hands of each wrestler, as needed.


So, you must know that our satellite navigation is extremely dependent on the Sumos holding the Glo-Balls pretty much endlessly for the GPS teams. The players never slow or cease.


However, Glo-Ball Polo is only played on clear and starry nights, which in outer space is just about all there is. So, take heart and be confident that these guys will keep us safe.

Terrific. Really terrific. :-)


Donna Snow © 2017




The Guardian and the Glo-Ball Board Game

Mixed media collage

20 1/2 x 23

Matted and framed

The Story

The Guardian and the Glo-Ball Board Game

Enter Text

Enter Text



Hovering in medium (mid) earth orbit, the Glo-Ball Guardian holds a very large Glo-Ball and monitors placement of all navigation and specialty satellites. She is also responsible for kicking or blowing satellite-stuff into high earth orbit if it is needed. She is very good at positioning stuff. Stuff can come in odd sizes and shapes and even in fleets and can tell us a lot about where our house is located and what those crazy neighbors really look like in their back yards on hot, sunny days.


Having trouble finding your house after a wild party? Just write to any one of the on-line stuff-guys and they will send you a map marked with a nice red dot indicating the nearly exact location of your house. Or perhaps one of your neighbor’s. Accuracy depends entirely on whether the stuff-guys who have been out randomly orbiting around have become wobbly and may or may not be up to speed, so to speak.


Below the Guardian are a couple of senior Glo-Ball board gamers from Earth, who have been selected to roll the Glo-Balls into position and report their success or failure to the Guardian. If they screw up and predict sunshine and a long hot winter for the American Northwest, they may get sent back to Earth, or further out into orbit. That  depends on the mood of the Guardian because she knows that even we mortals know that they are wrong—about long hot winters or summers in the Puget Sound area. Which is also why the map to your house may be just a teensy bit off.


That is all you need to know about Glo-Ball Positioning accuracy.

But if you are vaguely interested in becoming a Glo-Ball gamer, contact the Guardian.

You must be over 60.



Donna Snow © 2017