Flying Off To Wausau, Fashion Forward

19th Century Quarry with Hermit Thrush, 22" x 15" pastel and graphite on paper, drawn plein air in the Harvard Forest. Now on display in Birds in Art through November 15
19th Century Quarry with Hermit Thrush, 22" x 15" pastel and graphite on paper, drawn plein air in the Harvard Forest. Now in Birds in Art through November 15 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.

There’s a new word in my head the past few days; Ant Man put it there as hummingbirds ganged up on the feeders and each other, fighting more than feeding. It’s just days before migration and they are tanking up for the journey. But between the hummer hostility and high numbers of birds, some feathers are flying, so to speak. Hummingbirds aren’t known for their sweet personalities. And then there’s zugunruhe.

Zugunruhe, pronouncedZoogunroo” means:

..anxious behavior in migratory animals, especially in birds. Zugunruhe involves inreased activity towards and after dusk with changes in the normal sleep pattern. This term is German in origin and is a compound of Zug (move, migration) and Unruhe (anxiety, restlessness). (From Wikipedia)

I sympathize. My own anxiety, restlessness and changes in sleep patterns can be blamed on just about everything these days but today I’ll happily attribute it to my short journey to Wausau, Wisconsin, where the annual Birds in Art exhibition takes place at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum. I’m excited to be in it this year, and looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

And there’s the outfits. The Birds in Art opening weekend is a gala occasion, filled with special events, luncheons, cocktail receptions, dinners, ceremonies, all hosted by the Museum and made possible by the generosity of its donors and members.  There’s a lakefront barbecue with the possibility of hiking, swimming, canoing, and birdwatching. After-hours drinks at the bar. Breakfast by the pool. What’s a gal to pack?

  • Cocktail outfit for Thursday night reception- a black and gray cowl-necked halter top rayon dress with full skirt, wide black silver buckled elastic belt;  black tights and ballet flats. Simple earrings, maybe pearl. Goes in my carry-on duffel bag for a quick-change act. The duffel has lately seen the Amazon, just so you know.
  • Jeans and new turquoise shirt (Coldwater Creek) for Friday luncheon and artist’s preview.
  • Cocktail gear for the Friday night official opening reception, ceremonies and dinner: V-neck little black dress with ballet flats, lime-green shoulder wrap, turquoise jewelry, beaded black clutch purse. Funky-fun eyewear.
  • Casual after-hours slouch-wear: boat-necked wheat-colored sweater, belted, over jeans.
  • Possible birding-wear, in case it’s possible to rouse me out of bed for early-morning activity: funky old jeans, filthy horrid tennis shoes, unmentionable t-shirt. Light fleece jacket.
  • Saturday morning public reception at the Museum: corduroy skinny jeans, flashy shirt, killer ankle boots with near-spike heels.
  • Saturday outdoor fun at the lake: jeans, tennis shoes, wool sweater and denim jacket. Shorts and flip-flops just in case. The lime-green shoulder wrap doubles as an oversized neck scarf.

In case you’re wondering, all of this fits into a small roller-bag and a little duffel. I pack good and tight. And as for girl-dip (that’s what I call makeup), I’ve learned how to use a lip-pencil for this trip and it’s just brightened my whole life. Which tells you how thin my lips are and what direction my life’s been going lately. As for my own personal zugunruhe, I’m hoping a whirlwind weekend with the flock at Birds in Art will do the trick. I need the sleep.

5 thoughts on “Flying Off To Wausau, Fashion Forward

  1. Ken Januski says:

    My third attempt without getting into the show this year I’m sad to say. But I was even sadder when I found out the Master Artist was John Busby. It was his book ‘Drawing Birds’ that convinced me to switch from abstract and non-objective work to drawing and painting birds. ‘Double-drat’ as they say that I didn’t get in.

    My online friend ColleenC from birdforum.net wildlife art section I know will be there so I hope you’ll meet her. I was hoping that I’d actually meet you there but those dratted judges didn’t cooperate! Ah well. I think that there are something like 500 disappointed folks like myself.

    I do hope to see the show though. If things go as planned we’ll be in Wisconsin at Horicon Marsh later in the month. The drive to Wausau is longer than I’d like but I still don’t see how we can miss the opportunity to go up and see the show.

    Looking forward to seeing this drawing in person! Hope the opening is great.

  2. Ken Januski says:

    I should add that if I had been selected and were to go to the opening gala I would wear my all-purpose wardrobe:
    jeans and Keens. Toss in a shirt and perhaps a fleece vest and all possible occasions are covered……………

  3. TR says:

    This is all great! But remember you are your most beautiful when you are just plain ole Debby Kaspari with smudge stains and banjo callouses and a pair of binos in place of a cashmere scarf.

    My friend Jen described you as nothing short of an Oklahoma treasure and Renaissance woman after interviewing you.

    Ok, that said – I can’t wait to see pics of you all dipped and draped in big girl clothes!!!

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