SUBMITTED march 2015

23Kachinas Bronze Hummingbird

I have had many solutions to the poem but the only that intrigued me the most was when Forrest gave me some lost wax at his home in late September this year and showed me how to mold it under warm water to bend it for an art project he encouraged me to do. My heart leapt out of my chest as I thought “begin it where warm waters halt!” but tried to keep my cool because after all I wasn’t 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. Forrest’s direction was to make a wax art piece and return it to him to be bronzed. He said if it was ugly he wouldn’t make it – no pressure so I took a good two months and brought it back to town when I was on business in early December to be bronzed.

Maya3 Maya1      Maya2

The end of that story thrills me even more as I mapped Shidoni Foundry and see that it could be 8.25 mile north if you take a certain route to the place. His mid December posts about bronzing methods and patina fueled an excitement I cannot explain in words. I wondered how long would it take to make a bronze?

I got an email from him around the toothbrush post asking when was I coming to get my bronze? Again, imagine the excitement of seeing something you created with the help of Forrest Fenn actually materialize into a real thing?

I worked on finding time to go back to Santa Fe and was able to fly out there late January to pick up my beloved Maya hummingbird with all of the light blue, green and grey beautiful patina she is. I would say it felt like having a child only because I’ve never had one and this was such a special treasure for me in my life.

As I walked into the Collected Bookwork’s I saw Forrest in line at the coffee bar. I hoped he would like my crazy hat (Yeti with blues eyes and horns) but he doesn’t know I’m part Norwegian and I wore it to look like a Kachina. I hugged him warmly with a big smile so happy to see him again. He said hi Kid.

After the greeting, Forrest gave me a red box, asked what I wanted to drink – so I said what your having (hot chocolate) to take a departure from my double espresso routine. Next Forrest told me to take the box and go sit at one of the tables. In the back of my mind I thought about his comment it took two trips to hide the treasure but we all know what it’s like to start thinking everything is related to the chase. I retrieved the red box and sat at the one nearest the books with the box and tears filled my eyes but I held in the emotions from boiling over because people were around.

I was so full of joy and nervousness. I couldn’t wait to see how the lost wax was turned into a bronze hummingbird I named Maya. By the time Forrest joined me with our hot chocolates I think a year had passed. Eternity is clearly when your waiting with too much excitement inside of you.


When he sat down I opened the box and melted into the moment of seeing Maya for the first time. This is where I didn’t follow the advice tarry scant with marvel gaze. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the creation as I studied all of its beginner flaws. What a sight to behold. We chatted for a while and I inspected a tiny arrowhead that he included since my previous SASE letter had been returned for lack of postage. He told me that little arrowhead the size of my pinky finger could kill a buffalo. Crazy I thought..what an efficient weapon. He needed to go rather quickly back to his appointments of the day so he said bye Kid and I hugged him then watched him walk away wondering if I would ever see him again. It felt a little cold to me but I guess his mind was preoccupied with meetings with writers coming in a snow storm from Salt Lake City. At least Forrest made time for me and made me realize a creative side of myself.

MayawsnowmanI get sentimental about the whole thing because it was such a moment for me that I needed time before I could tell the blogosphere. Sometimes people online can be cruel and really I’m not wired to deal with unkindness. Right now I have more questions than answers and I miss Forrest’s post on the blog as much as anyone.

It was the thrill of the chasing the wax and the bronze for me. Maya gives and gives and gives back every time I hold it in my grateful hands. Thank you Forrest, I owe you one. I’m keeping our pinky swear for the million year deal.



67 thoughts on “Maya…

  1. That is beautiful 23K! Great job…
    But do find her a cozier place to nest.
    She looks awfully cold.

  2. That was such a beautiful and thoughtful thing Forrest did for you Kachinas. It was truly humbling to read this post. Makes the weekend start off perfect. 😉

  3. Yes thank you for sharing; it made my day. Your story brought it to life for me. I think I can hear Maya humming in the distance. Now every time I see a hummingbird I will think of 23K and Maya. You lucky girl.

  4. 23 –

    Forrest wants to make positive differences in our lives. He did this for you. You too will make this a better world for having passed by. Treasure your treasure !

  5. 🙂 very nice 23 I would treasure it as well. It’s something special that Forrest did for u.

  6. Well done 23kachinas. The patina color and name are beautiful. You will always have a Fenn bronze to treasure.

    • Forrest,
      What a wonderful thing you have done helping 23Kachina’s Maya come to life. Hope you are having a wonderful pie day. I am sure you are reminiscing about your pie caper adventure.

      Fred Y.

    • Forrest, I forgot to wish you a Happy Pi Day! 🙂
      “The price of a pineapple pie was a nickel, or two (ππ) for a nickel if they were broken”… Oh go ahead Forrest… INDULGE!

    • Forrest, thank you for the fond memories. Life certainly has more meaning when there is something worthwhile to chase!

  7. Being creative cures everything! Nice that Forrest inspired you to bring an idea to life…and he helped bring it to fruition.

    • Forrest, your creative support of artists and their success is a legacy worthy of celebration.

  8. 23Kachinas, your hummingbird is beautiful…thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. I, too, love hummingbirds and shared a picture of many feeders outside a little store in Cowles, NM when I did a search in the Pecos Mts area last year. The fact that you are so creative and that Forrest was a piece of your creation makes this more special than anything else will probably ever be…I understand your sentimental feelings…You did much better holding back your tears at the Bookstore than I could have…poor little birdie would have been drenched. Once again, thanks for sharing. cynthia

  9. Great story Kachinas and I enjoyed the pictures of your little bird. I’m glad you sent your story in. Looks like I’m going to have a big crop of hummers this year…..I have to fill the feeder every other day. Lucy likes watching them chase each other around.

    This is just my opinion; I’ve never met Fenn. Having been accused of the same thing many times; I’m sure he didn’t mean to seem cold to you. Some of us just don’t wear our feelings on our sleeves. It seems to be difficult for emotional folks to understand.

    • Heck, I thought it went pretty well for 23kachinas. 🙂 When I met him, he just didn’t say much. Very reserved. Almost acted like he had better things to do. Which he probably did. 🙂 I did all the talking it seemed. I just wanted to see his extensive and amazing collection. He just really only wanted to talk about the blogs. Guess I should have talked about the blog instead? Who knows, he might have slipped up and gave me something helpful, …..nah!! 🙂 But I did get to see a lot of his stuff and it was unbelievable the amount he has. Millions of dollars worth!! Who knows? Maybe he’s gotten bored with it. You have so much for so long and you kinda gotta find other things that get you going, … hiding a chest or something. :-). And writing books……..

      But probably just me. Probably just the way he is, … the fellers. 🙂

  10. Wow…thank you for sharing. Warms my heart to know there are folks like you and Mr. Fenn in the world

  11. Shidoni Foundry is my favorite place to visit in Santa Fe. I wander around the grounds and through the galleries as a meditation. I often think of foundries as a possible HOB, but I just don’t see the other clues yet. Except Tesuque.

  12. 23K Wow you are very lucky! What an awesome bronze! You’re lucky to have the opportunity to be with FF. The only time I see FF is in my dreams…I keep asking FF if he needs any help putting an Estate sale together…because I want to see all the treasures he has accumulated over the years…I feel like a kid in a candy store! There is so much life to live and adventure to take! I will get my FF time when I find the treasure…that’s my vow to myself. LOL

  13. Lovely hummer 23K! You did a great job and the foundry did too. It was nice of Forrest to help you like that. Enjoyed your pictures too. 🙂


    • We all have a special connection with Forrest. I’m not rich, or famous so I was lucky to have him show me around and help me create Maya. My grandmother wasn’t as lucky as Forrest, she died or recurring breast cancer in September of 1988 so the friendship means a lot of things I never expressed to him in person.

  15. Beautiful hummingbird 23. You should feel very special! Both for meeting Forrest and for the bronze he helped you with. Forrest helped me with a bronze as well. I wanted to make a buffalo, but I’m not an artist I found out, but I was able to make a beautiful Texas with a cross engraved in the center of it. Forrest was so very sweet to bronze it for me. I think the world of him and hope to meet him in August when I leave for my trip of the chase. I hold my Texas everyday and keep it by my chair. I appreciate Forrest very much for all that he has done for all of us. He has given so much of himself. I’m not sure if he realizes how much he has done. But 23, enjoy your special bird every day and know that you are special, just as we all are and remember that Forrest has his own life and be happy that we can all be part of it and each others even for a little while.

    • Carolyn, I’m happy you also had the chance to create your Texas heart and cross in bronze with Forrest’s help.

        • You were scared and you posted anyways. You were brave. Now if you could just be brave and in the wood, you would have it made.

          • Carolyn, I’ve been brave in more ways than anyone will ever know in my life. It’s been pretty woodsy in my 41 years.

  16. Thank you so much for taking a leap of faith and putting your heart on a limb to share your story with us. It was very heart warming. Your work is amazing! You and Forrest made a beautiful treasure together … what a lovely keepsake for you. Keep on taking a chance on us and share your stories again. Much love to you ….

  17. Thank you everyone for the kind words, I was away all day working on my final project measurements for Building Biology – electromagnetic fields, radio-frequency and air quality. It was such a wonderful surprise to read everyone’s comments. I consider myself lucky and wish you all of the best on the trails this year.

  18. Very entertaining, such a wonderful thing to have a place where so many creative people can share things. Thank you 23Kachinas for sharing your wonderful story.
    Thank you Dal for posting and many thanks to you Forrest for showing us all that we could very well have hidden talents.

  19. Thanks for sharing your story, 23Kachinas. That’s a beautiful creation and it was very kind of Forrest to help you like that. I’ve seen him do things like that many times, but I’ve never been lucky enough to meet him like you. You now have a “timeless” creation to remind you of the beauty of real hummingbirds …when they’re not around to see. They’re so tiny and fast! There are a lot of them on my mom’s farm. You’re lucky to have a bronze one. 🙂

      • anna – hummingbirds are all heart.


        Hummingbirds are viewed very positively in most Native American tribes. They are associated with beauty, harmony, industriousness, and integrity.

        In legends, Hummingbird is often portrayed as a healer or as a spirit being who helps people in need, and sometimes plays the important mythological role of fire-bringer. Seeing a hummingbird is a sign of good luck in many Native American tribes, especially Northwest Coast tribes. In ancient Mexico, hummingbirds were considered sacred and associated with royalty and warriors; the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, patron god of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, had the hummingbird as his divine animal and was sometimes depicted in hummingbird form in traditional Aztec art. In some Mexican tribes today, hummingbirds are believed to be messengers from the afterworld or manifestations of a dead person’s spirit.

        Hummingbirds are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Hummingbird Clans include the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico. Hummingbird is an important clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, and can sometimes be found carved on totem poles.

        • Thanks 23;)
          They certainly are beautiful and industrious, not to mention world class travelers. I really enjoyed your Native American lore. Such a welcome diversion from a migraine today.

    • Wow JC, I want to thank you too! I have never seen one of their nests either, but have always wanted too. I never would have thought that it looked like that though. Thank you very much!

  20. That’s creative and cool 23k….your effort was worth the cold(the bronze) great job. Must be a challenge knowing your creation is final when you cast it..

  21. 23K, Have you by any chance read the book Hummingbirds; My Tiny Treasures, by Arnette Heidcamp? If you haven’t, you’d probably like it. There’s three different stories in the book… It’s about her life (Arnette’s ) and caring for these tiny birds that overwinter in her sunroom. The book also has full color, up-close photos. Just thought I’d mention this to you since you like these little jewel-like birds so much…. 🙂

  22. Hey 23 Kachinas,
    Nice story! I knew there must have been a reason that kept telling me to photograph those hummingbirds babies in the nest when I was at Ojo Caliente

  23. just saw your story and your humming bird.its beautiful.your lucky,wish I could do that with mr. in arvada,metro area of Denver,co. I see some tiny green leaves coming out on my tree.and my flowers are up about five inches tall now .spring is coming.I have been so tired of the cold and snow.

  24. That is a very lovely bronze casting, Kid. Forrest, provided you with a real blessing and then moved on, probably not being one to talk much about his gift. However, allow me.

    My father was a sculptor and is buried in Santa Fe. He worked in both marble and bronze, so i have some small knowledge about the bronze process.

    Forrest didn’t just cast that piece (or have it cast) he made sure that it was brought to life with a beautiful patina. It takes either centuries or chemicals to make bronze turn to a lovely blue green.

    Not only did Forrest make a gift for you, he saw to it that it was beautiful. So, how blessed can one possibly be? Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Hello Jeff. It’s so nice to hear from you again! I think many are getting anxious to get things started.

    • Good to hear from you Jeff …. nice to see your recovering well… thank you for your caring words.. you be safe as well. Until next time… see ya my friend ………

    • Jeff, Glad to know you are still in the chase! I hope you continue to recover and return to searching this year. You have a safe and happy new year as well!

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