Thursday, February 28, 2013

Variations on a Theme

I took a trip up to Middle Creek on Monday with some friends to see how the snow goose migration was going.  The snow geese were hidden back out of sight but the Tundra Swans made a pretty good showing.  As you can see from my last few posts I'm not the only one made more irritable by February this year.  Looking forward to March and Spring! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Different Sort of Struggle

These Mallards had hoped for a bit of bread but the geese did a pretty good job of eating it all.  So they wandered of to other pursuits, a bit of a spring fling, so to speak.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I drove over to Crum Creek today to test out my polarizing filter.  I didn't expect to test it on anything so dramatic!  As it happens I pulled up about the same time as a man who'd come to feed the geese.  (This isn't strictly allowed but the powers that be hadn't thought to post a sign on the bit of road that barely fits two cars let alone a photographer, a guy feeding ducks, AND two cars.  At least they hadn't thought of it yet...) So wow!  I lucked out.  Who knew a goose could stick out it's tongue?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Junior Duck Stamp Drawings

I spend a lot of time at the Heinz NWR.  (In case you want to know how much time click the Heinz "label")  Sometimes I just wander around taking pictures but I also do some volunteering there as well.  Last week I got the opportunity to help out with a middle school Junior Duck Stamp project.  I taught the students a bit about drawing.  These are a few of the 40 drawings the students made.  Next week I'm going to teach them a bit about watercolors and set them to work.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Mergansers are pretty funny on a windy day.  That hair kind of blows all over the place!  The duck numbers at Barnegat seemed to be down from last year (just based upon my personal viewing.)  But to compensate the ducks that were out stayed nice and close to the jetty.  This is absolutely the closest I've ever been to a Red-breasted Merganser.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Something Different

These are the Harlequin Ducks in the shadow of a rock.  I love the color palate in these photos, very different from my other 1,000 Harlequin photos.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Long-tailed Ducks

I had a great time out at Barnegat today.  There were not nearly as many Harlequin Ducks as last year but the Long-tailed Ducks were worth the trip.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wagner Free Institute

Olivia and I spent part of her day off yesterday at the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia.  I hadn't been back since my grad school days but it really is a cool place.  I sketched my way through the collection.  Olivia did much less sketching but I think she looked at every specimen.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Birds in the Art of Japan at the Met

Flock of Cranes
Ishida YĆ«tei (Japanese, 1721–1786)

I spent the entire day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday.  I went to see the Bellows and Matisse shows and stumbled upon this really nice exhibit "Birds in the Art of Japan."  The camera I didn't bring was unnecessary because the Met has great images on their own website.  I cropped these two images to give you a better idea of how much you can take in standing in front of this fantastic screen.  Click on the images to follow back to their source at the Met website.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jackdaw in Paint

The Jackdaw are fun to paint.  In fact I painted a few more in watercolor at the studio today.  These two are more of the 5"x5" oil paintings.  It's snowing at night again.  Thanks to this winter of night snows I have very few snow photos to share.  But tonight I'm okay with it because I have big plans to travel tomorrow. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Yesterday was one of those days where I was foiled at every turn.  Today's going to be WAY better, I'm sure.  First, the sun did not come out until after I finished my walk.  (Good thing Red-winged Blackbirds look great against a grey sky.)  Then I proceeded to bumble my way into an annoying assortment of roadblocks including a store that didn't have what I wanted, an actual roadblock, and a child who forgot I was picking her up and took the bus.  Whatever, Universe, I still managed to get some work done. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


A few more of the little 5"x5" paintings I've been making.  They are fun little bird and color studies.  The first is a Jackdaw from this summer's trip to Europe and the second a Northern Pintail, which is still one of my favorite ducks.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cupid's Undie Run in Philly

I did some volunteer photography this weekend.  This photo is right before I discovered that if you stand in the middle of a race path you WILL get run down.  I had some idea people LOOKED where they were running-ha.  But I escaped still on my feet and so did the runner and they made lots of money for the Children's Tumor Foundation.