May the Light Grow...

May our inner light grow...

May our kindness grow...

May the suffering of all beings be eased...

May our failures as well as our successes benefit all beings...

May our mindfullness grow...

May Peace grow...

 

"Wild & Woolly: Tails from a Woodland Studio"

Life is often wild and woolly - literally - when you share your home with an ever-changing population of wild animals and birds. Just ask Linda Johns.

A successful full-time painter and sculptor, she has also opened her heart and the doors of her woodland home and studio in rural Nova Scotia to a constant stream of stray and wounded creatures - some of whom have moved in permanently.

In Wild and Woolly, Linda Johns records another year lived in harmony with the seasons and - not always harmoniously - with her many furred and feathered companions. Here again are some of the resident characters that readers will remember from For the Birds, but in addition to accounts of her feathered lodgers are stories of four-footed and furry personalities.

Here, among many others, are Edna, the mild-mannered rabbit with the bad habit of nibbling on the spines of books - especially those about Edvard Munch; Rogue, the blind kitten; Saffron, Rogue's heat-loving sister, who found a new use for the kitchen toaster; Winner, the tiny orphaned deer mouse with the fighting spirit; Muffin, the thespian dog, whose foraging talents earned him the nickname "Meadow Muffin"; the goats, Noa, Pat, Kamala, Alice, Poppy, and the aptly named Goatlips, who seldom met a gate he couldn't open; and Ringo, the endearing baby raccoon with an insatiable appetite for Fig Newtons.

Rich with feeling, full of funny, affectionate, and touching stories - and once again enhanced throughout by Linda Johns's black-and-white brush drawings - Wild and Woolly will delight those familiar with her earlier books and those who are reading her for the first time.

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"For the Birds: Nature Notes from a Woodland Studio"

Linda Johns is for the birds - in the best possible way. A successful full-time painter and sculptor living and working in a woodland studio in rural Nova Scotia, she has also become known locally as "The Bird Lady" for her services in rescuing and caring for birds and other wildlife.

Always open to nature and to the creatures that surrounded her home, she began by taking in the occasional wounded or orphaned bird that came her way. Soon neighbours found that she was a welcome source of advice - and sanctuary - for the strays they found, but couldn't shelter.

Then came her first two books about her work with birds, Sharing a Robins Life, which won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction, and In the Company of Birds. With their publication, Linda Johns' reputation grew.

Today she shares her home with an ever shifting population of birds - some of whom have moved in to stay - plus one human male named Mack.

In For the Birds, she writes lyrically about the natural world around her studio, and of the sense of unity ahe feels with it and the creatures that inhabit it. But she also writes with verve and humour about the feathered characters who visit or share her home. Each of them has a distinct personality and Linda Johns' gift for storytelling - in the James Herriot tradition - brings them so vividly alive that they practically fly off the page.

Here, among others, are:

  • Bubble and Squeak, the roosters, who like nothing better than cuddling up on a friendly lap for an evening snooze - unless perhaps it's pure maple cream;
  • Basho, the Japanese quail, notably fierce despite his diminutive size, whose birthday is celebrated with the reading of festive haiku verses;
  • Chip, the grackle, who sometimes breaks into nest-building frenzies that incorporate the strangest items; and
  • Desmond, the gentle pigeon, who has faithfully courted his "mate", Molly, through years of persistent rebuffs.

Full of wonderfully funny and affectionate stories - and enhanced by Linda Johns' black and white brush drawings of many of the birds - this is a book suffused with knowledge and love of nature in all four seasons.

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"In the Company of Birds"

This is the story of a spirited woman and the surprisingly close relationships she develops with her lively household of feathered friends. You may have met Linda Johns and her robin companion, County, in her previous book Sharing a Robins Life. Here, you will meet others of a diverse ensemble who share her home and keep the place animated, sometimes chaotic, but never dull.

Linda Johns' humorous, honest, and vivid narrative in The Company of Birds will provoke wonder and laughter over these unusual but touching relationships between herself and her avian companions. The author invites you into her life and her home, sharing her inspiration and lessons in living that she gleans from these unique individuals. There are Bubble and Squeak, two roosters who compete for cuddles and revel in human attention. There is Puck, a determined starling, who enjoys games of daring and understands the fun in the 'element of surprise.' Then there are Molly and Desmond, two Fancy Pigeons who remain simply 'good friends' and busy themselves with pursuing the sunlight as it moves from window to window. There is Rubble the duck who always paddles close behind, keeping a careful check on the author's whereabouts in public libraries. And not least among these memorable characters is Chip, a lively, irrepressible grackle who really knows how to enjoy a good soup while it simmers on the stove.

Each of these birds vies for attention, expresses jealousy, and is affectionately attached to their human companion and provider. Through warding off predators, nurturing through sickness, and witnessing death, the author divulges some of her most profound gifts from these humble, intelligent creatures.

Linda Johns understands that birds have valuable lessons to teach us that could enrich our lives. Her story is persuasive and powerful, conveyed with humour and love.

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"Sharing A Robin's Life"

This is a true story of two unusual individuals; County, a robin, who chose to share her life with a human, and Linda Johns, an artist who was happy to accomodate her. For County, their relationship evolved from nestlinghood to maturity and motherhood, and for Linda, from provider to companion and surrogate "Dad".

Through her delightful and descriptive narrative, Linda Johns draws us into the mysterious realm of an intelligent and responsive creature - one who calls many of our preconceptions about birdlife into question. County communicates in astounding ways; she solves problems, and displays emotions ranging from jealousy, grief and affection to curiosity, modesty and cheekiness. She plays games, sunbathes, selects friends and dotes on her babes. She is a devoted friend, and a demanding mate who keeps Linda occupied and entertained from morning to night.

Throughout the harrowing experiences of nest building, egg swapping and parenting, we begin to share with the author a growing respect for the resourcefulness of these tiny creatures and our commonality with them in the remarkable process called life.

This book is about caring and sharing. It is unusual, provocative and enjoyable. It will change the way you think about robins.

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"The Eyes of the Elders"

Join us on a photo/graphic journey of our evolving relationships with this ancient living planet. Learn from these elemental 'Elders' whose riveting gaze speaks to us silently, yet so evocatively, in plant forms, water and rock.

In our modern world of chafing multiculturalism, elders are rarely honoured for their wisdom and experience. Traditions and histories transmitted by the elders of aboriginal cultures have all but vanished. Though drastically depleted, primal life forms are ever present. Their wordless guidance is eternally valid. Perhaps in our noise-riven lifestyle, silent speech is all we can hear.

Draw near and listen. Follow your own inner journey through "The Eyes of the Elders".

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"Touchstone"


The centerpiece of Linda Johns’ accomplishments this year is a self published book of poetry entitled “Touchstone”, illustrated with reproductions of the seventeen ink brush drawings that are part of the exhibit. Lyghtesome Gallery has produced the intimate hand folded and bound volume with the artist in a limited edition of 50 combining the precision of digital computer technology with the inherent aesthetics of Japanese papers. A keen and vigilant observer, Linda Johns records daily both in drawing and in writing, insights and information she gains from her interactions with the surrounding landscape, with wild creatures, with birds and animals she lives with, with plant forms, with weather, and with the seasons. From these extensive notebook chronicles come ideas for her artwork and reflective insights to bring to her writing, which most recently has taken the form of poetry, a new direction for Johns.

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