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Articles in "The Dorsal Spin"

"Sweetgrass Trail: An Emerging Artist’s Journey" is the title of Odin Lonning’s October show at Heron’s Nest on Vashon. Odin, a Tlingit artist and cultural educator, is renowned for his traditional Northwest Coast Native designing, carving, and painting. His "Sweetgrass Trail" show is a departure in that several pieces pay tribute to the formative stage of his career, when he traveled across the United States. The artist will be at Heron’s Nest on First Friday, October 7, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

An orca encounter ranks high on the list of healing events we could hope for on any anniversary of 9/11. We were blessed with one this year, from some old finned friends. Chez VHP was observing the reading of the names at Ground Zero, Shanksville, and the Pentagon when the welcome sighting calls started. 

This column was on hiatus for a bit while Chez VHP dealt with what Jon Stewart cleverly dubs "the bubons," and we traveled to several off-Island gigs such as the OrcaSing on San Juan Island and another fabulous event at the Evergreen State College Longhouse. At both places, we memorialized our beloved orca patriarch Ruffles (J1). How fortunate we could sing his praises twice in the Longhouse this year!

Dear readers, your eyes will thank you for checking out Odin Lonning’s supernatural-themed Tlingit artwork at Vashon Intuitive Arts this month. Titles such as “Shaman’s Wand,” “Spirit Canoe,” and, of course, “Supernatural Allies: Thunderbird and Seawolf,”reflect the essence of the pieces.

“Honey, there’s a whale in the yard! Grab the camera,” I shouted to Odin around 7:30 on Sunday night, March 27. A juvenile Gray whale glided sideways, barely 10 feet off our beach, waving tail flukes and a pec flipper. S/he had eelgrass draped over the pec flipper, suggesting s/he was bottom foraging in shallow water for tasty tidbits: crustaceans, worms, et al.