Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Standing Still

I love it when a bird stands still! And closeup!! I wish those green herons and least bitterns would learn a thing or two from the egrets and herons. If you are a photographer or have any appreciation whatsoever for images in focus please look away! However, I'm posting the below photos because I'm excited to have figured out the difference between the green heron and least bittern. First photo, least bittern: pale marks on wings. Second photo, (I love that pose) solid green wings. Third photo, green heron: a better look at the solid green wings. (and because I started to wonder about the second photo...but I really love that pose.) Don't forget to squint your eyes while viewing these images...

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Fix Your Piggy Bank

"Because what else are you going to do with a piggy bank without a stopper?"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Immature Wood Ducks

Looks like a lot of wood ducklings made it through to the teen age years. (I think) these are all immature wood ducks having a lazy day at Heinz NWR at Tinicum.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Walk in the Park

We took advantage of the chilly 88 degree temperatures today and walked around Heinz NWR at Tinicum. The water level in the impoundment is very low and after a week of 100 degree temps the fish are kind of smelling up the place. At least near the boardwalk. But, despite needing to breathe through your mouth in some places, it was really beautiful out today.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I took this photo in 2002 long before I started to create three dimensional forms from my canvas. Seven whole years, in fact, before I made this piece:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Osprey Chick in Action

This nest appears to have only one chick. Sunday we visited and got to see a lot of bird activity. Here's mom and chick hanging out in the nest with dad on the post nearby.

Something alarmed the couple and dad took flight to deter whatever threat caught their attention.

Meanwhile, back at the nest, the chick laid low while mom stood protective detail. You can identify her as female by her "necklace" (brown spots on her white chest).

Danger apparently past, dad returns to his post and the chick gets up to take care of business. Wrong way chick-o.

Much better, keeping the nest clean!

Couldn't resist the "ribbon" shot.

And a chick stretches his wings.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Osprey Chicks!

We finally got back to Forsythe NWR and at last there were osprey chicks!! Looks like they are about ready to fledge.

A family with two chicks.

Feeding time.

Three chicks in this nest!

And an only child. More about this guy tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Beautiful Day

Yesterday was a beautiful day! I spent some time at the studio (the white arrow points to my space), met Matt downtown for lunch, and stopped by ICA to see the Sheila Hicks show. And what a show! This piece really knocked me over.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I've been working on this sucker for at least three months now. It's finally getting to the point where I can invite people in to see and comment on it. I asked Olivia about it this weekend. She said reminds her of a big messy room. She had some memory of a cartoon where the kid had to create tunnels through the mess in his room to get out. It gave her that impression. She also expressed a strongly held belief that art should be CONTAINED and this piece, she said, is NOT at all contained. I thought that was a very interesting comment from a psychological perspective. I wonder how many other artists kids wish that the art in their lives was more contained!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lovely Loon

My godparents have a cottage on a lake in Michigan that is about the farthest south loon will take up residence. They are very proud of the loon couple that lives there every summer. This photo is from our visit there in July 2007. Matt and I took their canoe out and found ourselves swimming along the same tributary (ha ha. I don't know what you call the little fingers that jut off of the lake so I figure tributary will give you the general idea.) as this loon. And, even more exciting, I was able to get some pretty decent closeups. Incidentally, I've been watching a nature program where they are using cameras parked half a mile away to get super closeups. Now how cool would that be!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


It's been too hot and humid to enjoy the outdoors. That coupled with Olivia's babysitting job has prevented me from taking many photos this week. But that's ok. Because while Olivia's off babysitting I get to work in the studio.

(Photo: Green heron from our Longwood Gardens bird walk.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Great Spangled Fritillary

While I was walking to the farthest reaches of the arboretum yesterday I saw all kinds of birds. Unfortunately I did not have my camera. I couldn't take a single picture. Not of the cardinal wrestling a bug right in front of me, nor of the blue birds on the fences, nor of the indigo bunting so much closer to me then the one I shot at Longwood Gardens!! Nope. But I figured it was ok because we could come out the next day and I could walk the same path and take all of those awesome photos. Or not. Because I did not see any of those things. Well, I did finally see bluebirds but not close enough for a photo. But that's ok because I got some great photos of a great spangled fritillary. Even more exciting, Olivia managed to catch one for the butterfly house. I love that you can see the pollen on the hairs on the second photo.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cedar of Lebanon

Thursday we went to Tyler Arboretum. Olivia and a friend were catching butterflies for the butterfly house and I was going to sit and draw. I left the girls to their work and walked out to the farthest tree in the arboretum. I spent a lot of time debating which tree, which place to sit. I found a great tree that was near a road the maintenance crews use but that brought back memories of almost getting run over sitting on a sand "road" at the Hubbell Trading Post. Sitting on an even rarely used road can be dangerous, especially if you are partially concealed behind a very large rabbit bush and the driver has NO reason to imagine anyone would be sitting on the road! Anyway, I finally picked my tree, unpacked my tarp, used my bug spray, and sat down to draw...only to discover I'd left my oil pastels in the car!! I had nothing whatsoever with which to draw. SO...I walked all the way back to the car and instead drew a tree nearer to the exit. This tree in fact. It's a stunning Cedar of Lebanon, about 180 years old.