Garden of Earthly Delights

After checking out the sculpture of Pierre Riche, I had spied these eyes (of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg?) further in the field.

They keep watch to a gateway leading to a Boschian world of wonder filled with terra cotta fantasies and magical mosaics. But before journeying any farther, let's take a closer look at one of the eyes. The artistry astounds!

Just beyond their gaze is a commanding grouping of stone walls forming a courtyard of sorts.

It, too, is adorned with mosaics both pretty...

...and precious.

There are nooks and crannies and cut-outs chock-full of surprises!

The peanut gallery hiding under this ledge are really no larger than peanuts, yet they are so lively. Look at them hooting and hollering!

"Keep it down, boys -you're giving me a headache!"

The arched openings provide views of the wonders beyond. 

This massive wall has a few tricks up its bricks.

Mosaic panels have been placed throughout...

...and dramatic scenarios have been sculpted onto miniature stages.

 Check out the heads on this one.

Figures are bustin' out all over!

 I think I dated this guy in college.

Past the walls and courtyard sits a quartet of columns, each with an intriguing tale to tell in tile.

 I love those apes looking on as a skeleton types!

 What appears to be another grouping of columns...

 ...becomes a wall of trees!

Then there's this magnificent wall, mimicking the shape of the mountain behind it. I can imagine a very large bear poking his nose through that window.

Our journey comes to an end with the Dove Whisperer. What do you think he's telling his friend?

I really wish I had more pictures to share, but I was in stealth mode. Even though there were no signs posted, I felt uncomfortable traipsing about. I saw buckets and other materials, so I'm wondering if it's a work in progress. And what a work it is! The photos don't capture the beauty and surprise of it all. It was so animated, so full of spirit that I could almost feel the stones breathe.

Head Case

The Catskills have long been a haven for artists - from the majestic Hudson River School of Thomas Cole and Frederic Church to the artisans of Byrdcliffe, the oldest continuing arts colony in America. Surrounded by mountains, we are also surrounded by the visionary works of eccentric, eclectic and hugely talented artists. This thought-provoking sculpture sits in an open field across the road from Wambli World.

The flip side:

The artist, Pierre Riche, states that his "inspiration for creating art is to evoke awe and wonder in hope of awakening the divine within." Yes, I would say that's a possibility.

I'm glad I stopped to take a closer look at Possibility, because I may not have seen this impressive piece. I'm not sure if it's a work of Riche's - I found no signature.

Like all art, it's open to interpretation. My first impression was of Libra, the goddess of balance and truth. And what do you suppose the "caged" objects represent? The shiny silver shape is a star, but the other reminds me of a Seussian fish.

I don't know if I was trespassing - there were no signs - but all the same, I always get paranoid when I stroll off the path...I get the sense that someone is watching me from the shadows. This time it was true!

What I found just beyond these penetrating peepers took my breath away....but I'll save that for another post ;-)


A few years ago, while beachcombing on Cape Cod, I found a pair of large skeleton hands. They had five knobby finger bones, much longer than a human's (or any human I'd want to meet). They were pretty freaky. I wondered what strange beast possessed such formidable digits. My research pointed to a seal, or maybe a porpoise - possibly even a whale! I was amazed that a flipper would contain finger-like bones, but it makes sense.

Over the years I've acquired quite a collection of bones and skulls, many found while hiking these beautiful mountains in the Catskills. My dog is especially good at rooting them out. Here are a few - but my challenge to you, dear reader, is to help me identify them.

This first one is easy - a deer - but they're going to get a lot harder.

This one really stumps me.

Here's a view from the top. Rather aerodynamic, but I don't think it's a bird.

This one is teeny. A chipmunk, perhaps?

 and another view, showing some pretty impressive dental hygiene.

An unusual shape on this one, although if I knew what it was, I'm sure I wouldn't think it unusual at all.

Another view of the same skull. My, what a flat head you have!

This one has the teeth of a carnivore.

Same skull - different angle

This one is rather beautiful in its symmetry.

...and from the side.

A bitty bird....but what kind?

Georgie O'Keefe once said, "Bones are as beautiful as anything I know. They seem to cut sharply to the center of something that is keenly alive." I agree.