Of a moody lodge beset by light and weather

nighttime water lined with treesTwo weekends ago, I spent some days in a fantastic waterside lodge for a wedding in south Georgia. Above, a view of the little lake. Mossed-draped trees trace menacing silhouettes across the water. This was late at night, and the frogs were singing— an orchestra louder than the nighttime city.
lake with trees as a storm approaches
The lake, seen Saturday afternoon, just before the storm descended, bringing winds, thunder, lightning, and wide curtains of rain. I sat on the wide porch under its corrugated metal roof during the whole storm, and enjoyed the display immensely.
deer head hunting trophies on a wall in the wooden lodgea rocking chair on the vast porchtaxidermy rabbit in the interior of the lodgetaxidermy deer head trophy with a dramatic angle to his neckEverywhere in the lodge were taxidermied deer and various other beasts, giving the feeling of a hunting lodge (despite being hired out primarily for weddings).the lodge and the lake in sunset silhouette lightview of the lake with trees reflected on the water's surface

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The Museum of Hunting and Nature in Paris

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

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In the trophy room

During my visit to this inimitable and fascinating museum, one of the featured artists being exhibited turned out to be Walton Ford. He’s a painter whose work I first became acquainted with on an episode of ART 21 on PBS, maybe a decade or so ago.
WFord
At first glance, much of his work calls to mind  zoological studies from the turn of the last century, but are often infused with a sense of humor or surrealism. They’re large, sprawling canvases, arresting in their detail and vividness.
002There were several rooms that were set up gallery style in the museum, but also a number of his works sprinkled in throughout the permanent collection; ten of them were painted specifically for this show. Perfect museum for this contemporary artist, really. A fantastic surprise.
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Here is a really interesting, slightly unsettling sculpture by another contemporary artist (didn’t get the name) that resembled a giant snake so knotted into itself it has neither head nor tail, covered entirely in feathers. The feathers were all numbered.

Antler chair
Antler chair
Wallpaper in a case of pottery. The whole museum is underpinned with a kind of tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Wallpaper in a case of pottery. The whole museum is underpinned with a kind of tongue-in-cheek attitude.