Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Red-bellied Woodpecker

I keep trying to get good photos of this Red-bellied Woodpecker.  He visits my feeder now and then.  He is pretty alert to movement at the window so this is my best shot.  This shot does show off his red tinted belly quite nicely.  Something I don't ordinarily notice what with his gorgeous red head stealing the show.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Installation, Day 1

I keep thinking I'm making work that's easier to move around.  (Then, say like, 6 foot stretched canvas)  But does this look easier to you??  No.  It seriously was NOT easier.  But I did finally get it all shoved into the car.  Now poor Matt is struggling to get it hung from the ceiling.  I might have to rethink "easier."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trying Something New

I'm always amazed at the way Olivia is willing to dive in and try new things.  This year, without any previous experience, she decided to join the swim team.  Very cool and it gives me the opportunity to play around with my camera at the meets.  Lots of fun opportunities to take pictures.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


One of my favorite genres of non-fiction is the hiking adventure memoir.  I've read several books people have written after hiking the Appalachian Trail, one about a walk across Afghanistan, and one through the Gobi desert.  Most recently I read "Following Atticus" about a guy and his dog hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  As I was reading I began to think about my hiking limitations (about 5 miles) and how I would need to expand those limitations (about 13-30miles) to get to the top of some of those mountains.  As a result I've begun to hike at least three miles every other day.  I just finished my first week.  3.5 miles on Sunday, Tuesday, and Saturday and @5miles on Thursday.  Thursday I limped home and collapsed on the couch and didn't move until Friday morning.  So I am happy to say that after this mornings 3.5 mile hike I walked around a little more and then went to the grocery store.  (And my toes didn't even hurt.)  We'll call that progress.  It was all totally worth it just to take that photo of the water this morning.  What a beautiful day. 

And in case you are interested here are the titles and authors of the books I mentioned:
"Following Atticus" by Tom Ryan
"Walking the Gobi" by Helen Thayer
"The Places in Between" by Rory Stewart
"Walking Home" by Kelly Winters

Friday, January 27, 2012


An image from yesterday's hike.  Note the carousel on the right corner of this machine.  You just never know what you are going to see on a hike.  Today I've chosen the perfect day to stay home and frame works.  Grim and raining.  Even so, I'm hoping it clears up enough for a walk later on.  I'm feeling guilty about leaving Angel behind yesterday.  I think I owe her a nice hike.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Busy Week

I've had an incredibly busy week.  And look, it's only Thursday.  Monday I was lucky enough to see Michael Pollan at the Kimmel Center.  I've read his book "The Botany of Desire" which I really enjoyed.  Monday's talk focused primarily on his latest book "In Defence of Food: An Eaters Manifesto."  It was both interesting and alarming.

Tuesday night I started my sign language class and Wednesday night I joined the Stammtisch group for a drink.  (German speaking group.  I'm working on my language skills.)  Wednesday afternoon I filled in for a friend and took her class to the Fabric Workshop to see the Nick Cave exhibit as well as a behind the scenes tour.  Unfortunately they didn't allow photos.  Cave's work would be tons and tons of fun to photograph.  But you can see some images here.

This morning I'm off to Morris Arboretum where I am certain to find more fabulous trees to photograph.  Oh yeah, and in between all this I sewed hundreds of triangles together.  Monday I begin installation at the Abington Art Center.  Hopefully it marks the last time I sew a triangle.  For a while anyway.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


None of these images are enhanced.  This is just what was out there today.  The aftermath of a whole day of rain falling on snow.  I guess these are for all those people that think neon colors are unnatural. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Turkey in the Straw

I haven't had a lot to say lately.  Sewing together hundreds and hundreds of triangle shaped pieces of canvas does not generate a lot of conversational possibilities.  However, today I was able to see the bottom of the box.  So...soon I'll be done and maybe even have something to show.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Want Snow!

Olivia in Michigan circa 1999

I want snow.  Like this.  And also, since I'm being demanding, I do not want any freezing rain on top of my snow.  Just the snow, please. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Long-tailed Duck

 These are very strange looking ducks.  They didn't come nearly as close as the Harlequin but at least I was able to get a few decent shots.  Hopefully next time I go to Barnegat they'll more within range. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not Alone on the Rocks

Rudy Turnstones huddled together

Here you can see the big spaces between rocks.


Purple Sandpipers
First of all, I walked right past those Rudy Turnstones without even seeing them.  I was following one little guy when I turned around and BOOM there they were.  Lucky I didn't step on any.  The Dunlins were hanging out on the other side with the Purple Sandpipers.  All of them pretty much look like little balls with beaks and legs sticking out.  Gotta keep warm.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

This is Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.  I parked near the lighthouse and walked down the jetty.  About halfway down I turned and took this photo.  Walking on these rocks...here I paused to research a bit more about them and came upon this horrifying story!  This is more or less what I was afraid of although I can't say I imagined getting stuck!!  Terrifying just to read.  Anyway, I was going to say it is difficult to walk on these rocks.  I was very intent on their surfaces and on the lookout for ice.  Needless to say I did not walk on these very beautiful rocks...

Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Favorite Duck



Sorry Pintails, I have a new favorite duck.  I drove out to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and took the long walk down the jetty.  A bit nerve wracking for the wimpy and clutzy but totally worth it.  Those new hiking boot sure are proving their worth.  These Harlequin Ducks were an awesome sight.  And so close.  I took all of these shots with my 300mm lens and didn't need to crop any of them.  The duck hunters were making them a bit nervous which is how I got the in-flight shots.  It never ceases to amaze me how many awesome sites there are to see.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I have vivid memories of “exploring” new territories as a child.  Each time we moved or visited some place new presented an opportunity to go exploring.  I love to go exploring.  Ever since I started birding I’ve found I can explore the same places over and over again, every time finding something new.  This time my discovery is these Horned Grebes who were hanging out with the Buffleheads of whom I was trying to get a decent photo.  These two photos below I shot about an hour later.  I'm amazed at how much color the black part of the head contains.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Splendid Grass

Almost all the birds I saw today were between myself and the sun.  Not great lighting conditions for bird photos but fabulous for grass!  So glad I braved the cold for a walk around Heinz NWR.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Interest in Cows

My sister one time asked me, as we were traveling through Cameroon, why I was so interested in cows.  I believe the question came up because I kept making us stop so that I could photograph the herds of cattle we saw.  Or maybe I was just bemoaning the fact that we didn’t stop for cattle photos because I can’t remember seeing any the last time I went through the photo album.  At any rate, I told her that they presented a different kind of texture in the landscape.  (They also had cool long horns.)  

The truth is I take pictures of just about everything.  Trees, tree bark, fungus on trees, fungus other places, cactus, buildings, people, and birds to name a few of my recent faves.  Birds are particularly fun to photograph and offer awesome textural variety to the landscape.  By now the pintails feel common to me but I still love their sleek design and stunning beauty.  I also love the fact that they stay relatively still and close enough for my 300mm lens.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Great Day

A great day at Forsythe NWR.  I believe this is an immature Cooper's Hawk but I'll have to check with some experts to confirm.  I have so many more photos to share.  It's taking me a while to get through them all.