My last post, ‘Cloud Portal to the coast’, prompted Caralee Woods of Kanab, Utah, to send her ‘Pink Rain’ photograph with this appended message,
For some reason your photo reminded me of a different kind of rain photo I took sometime back here in the desert, right out my back door. The sun was setting and shining through some virga–rain that doesn’t reach the ground. I thought of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain‘ and decided to call this one ‘Pink Rain.’ The photo wasn’t enhanced, and I like the fact that the sage seems to glow.
Caralee resides with her husband, Jimmy Henley, in Kanab, Utah, where they are building a strawbale compound a few miles from the town. Jimmy and I have been friends since elementary school in the 1950s. In the 1970s, I met Caralee when she was a book representative for Harper & Row publishers. She came into my office at Amarillo College and called me, “Little Francis,” a nickname I had not heard since high school — courtesy of Jimmy, my old school chum.
Their website has several photographs of the guest house, main house foundation and walls, strawbales and their garden: Building Our Strawbale Home! The coloring treatment of their floors is fantastic: a dark copper, desert brown. Caralee and Jimmy established a compound that is off the electrical grid, using solar and backup diesel generators for energy efficiency. Visit their website also for the landscape vistas in her photographs. One of these days I hope to visit them again and see the progress they have made as well as gaze at the glowing sage and pink-virga rain.
Caralee Woods, Cacti Illusion, Fort Worth, Texas
Caralee Woods of Kanab, Utah, sent me a cactus illusion she had in her home at Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas, several years ago. She writes,
Here’s another cactus illusion, one of my favorite photos. It was taken in a hall that led from the kitchen to the garage in the Fort Worth house. You will remember there was a series of three small square windows in which I put little pots of small cacti. The sun would shine at a particular angle, making a shadow on the white opposite wall.
Caralee Woods and Jimmy Henley live in Kanab, Utah, and are building a strawbale compound. You can visit their website Building Our Strawbale Home! Caralee was a regional book representative for Harper and Row before she retired. Her husband, Jimmy Henley, was the undergraduate dean at Texas Christian University and taught sociology. He was a grade school and high school friend of mine in Brownwood, Texas.
Their home at Eagle Mountain Lake near Fort Worth was featured in Architectural Digest [n. d.] before they sold it and moved to Kanab. Their home was built with many of the lines and forms of the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth.
I used to house sit and take care of their companions (doggies and kitty cats) while they vacationed in the American Southwest. I grew so attached to their companions that I regretted when they returned and I had to leave.
Caralee and Jimmy’s home was not featured in Architectural Digest, but in the local Dallas and Fort Worth newspapers. See the comment section below.
Caralee Woods and Jimmy Henley live near Kanab, Utah. They are building a straw bale compound on their place and have committed themselves to a minimum footprint on the land. With solar panel, water well and environmentally-green construction, Caralee and Jimmy portray the best application of technology, science and ethics to minimize humanity’s impact on the planet. They are truly off the grid — literally. You can see their efforts over the past few years by clicking on their website Building a Straw Bale House.
When I posted the piece from Bioephemera Blog this morning concerning the ca. 1686, natural colors, Caralee commented with the email below and provided a photograph of how she and Jimmy artfully and craftily shaped balls of colors from the Utah countryside as a result of finding natural clays for their plastering. I think what she and Jimmy have created is not only an application for their home, but pieces of art that I wish to possess and place as a centerpiece upon my table.
“This is so interesting to me. One of the first things we did here is start looking for natural clay. We had plenty of the terra-cotta colored stuff here on the land for the earthen plaster, but what about the clay paint and finishing plaster for the interior? We drove around for a long time with a bucket and small shovel in the trunk so we could stop and take samples of the wonderful variety of Mother Earth’s colors when we saw something we liked. I would go home, sieve the clay, mix it with some water, and make clay balls that I then polished (I won’t bother you with this process here) to see what we had. The picture below is just a small sampling of the results; I’ve added many since. There are no more beautiful, soothing colors anywhere in the world than what is produced naturally.” –Caralee Woods to Jack Matthews, March 24, 2010.
Art of Caralee Woods, Natural Clay Balls, Utah