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Sculpture, Installations and Drawings by Colin C Boyd exploring natural history, phenomenological history and  uncanny folklore.  MFA 2008 University at Albany. Middlebury College, The College of Saint Rose, Munson Williams Proctor Institute School of Fine Art. Hamilton College. Mastodon 

Journals of H. Coal Harris, Wilderness Hermit 2008-2012

Journals of H. Coal Harris 2008-2014.  

Colin Boyd

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cold February, still cold

It was a couple days ago when I noticed the moon getting bigger. It was sitting heavy in the sky. Each night for the past week the sky has been so clear. Two days ago I noticed an eclipse, I was unaware of this on the calendar. It was the most beautiful eclipse I have ever seen. That moon was so red. It had become noticably darker out too. It is hard to imagine how shadows can work in such an enourmous place as outerspace.

God, this is a strange place to be.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crystal Mountain

It has been quite cold this winter. In January there was a brief thaw, but in reality that seems to just make things worse, for both anticipation and practicality. The snow melted and turned to ice, making it more difficult to access items I had intered for preservation, such as meats and vegetables I kept in my little ground fridge.

Brother came out once in January, looks like that will be the last time he is going to make it out here for quite a while. He notified me that he is going to be moving down south, taking the family to live a better life. I told him life out here might be even better than that, he scoffed at that remark. He even suggested that I return to "normal" life. I told him after all I've been through out here, going back would be certain confusion and depression.

I am going to miss him.

Two days after brother left I woke to heavy rains early in the morning. I thought for sure that I was going to see another thaw and muddy mess. After slipping back into slumber and then awakening again just after dawn I looked out to see nothing but ice everywhere. I crawled out of bed and packed my leggings and sweater with newpaper threw on my coat and boots and headed out of doors. The sun was just making its way over the distant mountains which were whiter than snow. Each and every branch, sapling, and shoot from the ground had been encased in a neatly ordered one inch ice cylinder. The sun could play no better tricks on the eye in tandem with the ice than what was happening here, every chunk of ice became a prizm. A gentle breeze picked through and echoed the chatter of a crystal chandelier in a drafty room. I was yearning for home, for someone to share this experience with.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Observatory

Big snow last night, about a foot and a half. Spent most of the day digging out the wood shed, forge, and paths.

All that physical work got me thinking about turning the hunting loft into an observatory. It will keep me closer to home on those nights I feel like star gazing, rather than running up the half mile hike to the peak. I might try to figure out a caldendar by keeping record of what is going on up there. I ought to have brother bring some books on astronomy so I can get a head start on this. Its going to take some work I'm sure, going to have to wait till winter is over. I've got the loft stocked with frozen venicin and fish right now anyway, hope it's enough to give me the energy to build this thing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bitter December

Bitter, bitter cold this morning. I rose from bed and stoked the fire in the cabin and began my breakfast. Today I'm out to build some winter shelters, probably will get one or two done today. The old mare is stiff and cold, her days are numbered. I wish she could have passed before the frost. I hate to think of what the coyotes are going to do to her if I lay her out in the forest. I considered taking her meat and smoking it for the winter, but she is too old and honestly I don't think theres enough meat left on her for it to be worth the effort. Though her hide would be prize in making a new coat or chaps, maybe even a blanket. Anyway, I am in terrible pain from the cold, got to keep moving to take my mind off of it. Expecting brother in a couple weeks, as long as the snow doesn't get too heavy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Winter Prep

I have been preparing for winter, struggling with the constant headache, nausea has been coming in waves. On Monday I prepared two winter stacks, or day shelters. The day shelters are more efficient than the cabin for keeping warm, smaller space... less to heat. It’s pretty dumb work, stacking these sticks, keeps the headache from getting in the way. The old mare stumbled a couple times today; I think she may be arthritic. If she falls, she is done for. A beast of burden whether she lives or dies.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Autumn

The anger has subsided. I have been, however, experiencing intense headaches. I wonder if this must be some allergy. The autumn season is in full swing, the leaves have peaked and are on their way to the forest floor where they will blanket the years upbringings and undoings. I have been keeping warm with the little iron stove, wool blankets, and old newspapers. The chill has forced me to reduce the hours of sleep I get, because of the need to feed the fire. My foot has healed completely, though I wish my toe could have grown back, the phantom sensations are always there. The old mare is not doing well, I bring her in the cabin at night, she sits while she sleeps.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anger

Vinegar in the blood for the past few days, I'm not sure why. In the hellish heat of summer I did not snap once, I think I may have even forgotten what it was like to be angry. This is peculiar though, I'm not angry at anything, I just seem to be filled with rage all of a sudden. This feeling has kept me from focusing on tasks, I have not chopped wood in two days, I fear I will harm myself. Each meal I have cooked recently just ends up being burned or bland. The old mare senses my anger, she stands back each time I pass her.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Amputation

Had my brother amputate my infected toe and a good portion of the instep of my foot. Nearly had to take to whole thing off. It has been tough getting around in the woods not being able to step with both feet. I rigged up a sling for my foot to hold it up behind me while I walk. I'm currently working on a prosthetic to replace the toe and tissue mass that I lost. Hopefully, this prosthetic will help me keep my balance on this turbulent forest floor. The piece is carved out of some cherry that was used to build some of the furniture in my cabin. I am articulating both the form the best I can to mimic the severed part. The large toe will be separate as well as an intermediate section, two portions of the instep will also be separately carved. The entire piece will then be bound together with some clock springs, which my brother will bring up soon, and monofiliment fishing line from my own reel. I thought about using the fiberglass rod as a flexing suspension of the individual pieces but I will wait to see it it is necessary. Mean while I spend most of my day cleaning the vacancy and wrapping it with clean cotton rags.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Foot

The corn I have planted seems to be doing well. I built a make-shift fence to keep the larger mammals away, though the lesser ones seem to find any way in to attack the stalks. I have been dealing pretty hard with the mosquitos on myself. The heat is hard to deal with, I have to stay covered to keep the biters away, not working well with my profuse sweating. I have an infection in my left big toe, somehow it took a cut, I must have picked something up in the river. Cleaning the wound is hard enough but the swelling and pain is getting worse each hour. Some black willow bark helps the pain but I have yet to find some sort of antiseptic besides the vodka, which is not working. I'm sure I need an antibiotic of some sort. Worse may come to worse, but I'll have to wait until I'm sure I can do the surgery without risking more. I'm expecting my brother anyday now, I'll see what he says.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Trap

The trap worked! I went out this morning with a canvas bag and carefully pulled the stiff frightened body from inside the box. His heart was beating a mile a minute and he did not make a single move. I put him in a cage that I built last night. It is a similar sized box with rods that I made from stretching out the springs of my box spring matress. I kept him there in the cage on top of my table and watched him for several hours. He looked as if he were praying, maybe repenting, his little fore feet were cupped under his mouth and his little nose twitched, sometimes he would close his eyes for a long time, then open them suddenly

.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Fishing

Fishing today. It has been really cold. I kept the fly larva in my mouth, between my lower lip and jaw to keep them from the cold... the fish prefer the live bait. One good catch.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tar

I set out to make some tar two days ago. I needed to use it to make my moss roof patch more dense and effective. A leak in the roof was letting in not only water but some menacing winged pests.
I first had to find a good size boulder, not to difficult up here in old pasture country. I found a nice one about eight foot in diameter with a perfect divet on top. I went had to spend about an hour hunting down a sappy pine to get my "fat" stock. A nice fourty footer would give me plenty and them some extra fire wood. I cut that pine into thin pieces quartered and then eigthed and sixteenths. The "fat pine" the pieces loaded with resin then went in to a large iron kettle. Packed real tight I turned the kettle upside down over the divet in the stone. All I needed now was a piece of steel and some clay. I spent a good six hours earthing up some clay from the river and walking it back 50lbs at a time. The steel had to come from the cooking sheet that was on its way out anyhow. Under that kettle I slipped the steel with a slight bend in it to run off that tar once it got going. Around the outer rim between the kettle and the stone I packed a good amount of clay to keep my stock from burning. Next I satrted up a nice fireall around the kettle, I kept it burning with the dryer top part of the tree and some extra fire wood I had around. It took a while, I probably could have gotten the fire a bit hotter. but the tar was flowing with no real complaints. I saved about a quart of tar in an old tea kettle and was able to use it right away. Works pretty good.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Radio Down

It has been nearly three weeks since I made this place into my new home. Last night I was using the transciever radio when all of a sudden it started smoking...and kaput. I guess it seems fitting, I've got to let these things go; though I enjoyed being able to explore at my own leisure the conversations going on in the world. Well, I guess I couldn't expect much of anything to last out here. Hopefully brother will take a clue and head out this way. My initial supplies were not quite enough and I haven't yet made the transition of sustaining myself with what is out here.


This is a really tough adjustment.