Thoughts of corn back home

This week I’ve been writing a lot about Hopi corn beyond the mesas. And yet, the more I write about Hopi corn in Illinois, the more I think about corn back home. Here’s a scene (depicted in the photo) that one can never replicate in the Midwest, or any other place besides the Hopi mesas of northeastern Arizona.

Hopi Third Mesa Corn, Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Indigenous corn

This afternoon I took a break from grading final exams to check on our corn, which students from the University of Illinois planted last week. As many of you know, we are filming this corn for a film by Victor Masayesva, Jr. titled “Maize.”

When I arrived at the plot, I was glad to see that our corn was coming up.

The first photo is of Hopi sweet corn (twaktsi), and the second one shows Tzeltal corn (teosinte) of southern Mexico. They are planted next to each other.

I also added a few photos to give readers a sense of the plot and surrounding area.

Hopi sweet corn (twaktsi), photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert
Teosinte, Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert
Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert
Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Sailing Off Point Vicente

I took this photo on Point Vicente in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. I wanted to capture the calmness of the ocean and the layers of colors reflecting off the sky and sea. From the shore, the sailboat in the foreground seemed so small and insignificant amidst the ocean’s vastness.

“Sailing Off Point Vicente” – July 2010, Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Playing with birds

"Playing with birds" May 2011, Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

In May of this year, I photographed our cat, Twila, stalking a bird in our yard. Although Twila is a great “mouser,” she tends to be gentle with birds. She plays with them (similar to the way she plays with spiders), and then lets them go. This bird was no exception. Thirty minutes after I took the photo, I saw the bird perched in a nearby tree. No longer interested in playing with the bird, Twila moved on to stalking bigger and better things, including a squirrel. But unlike the birds, squirrels in our neighborhood refuse to play with her. She gets the same response from the raccoons.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert