Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Scratch Sketches and Why I Don't Paint

I did a few scratchboard sketches.

This is a jawbone that I did for Joy.
This is a Reddish Egret dancing (for no reason) that I did for Heather. The quote is from the Steam Powered Giraffe song, "Make Believe".
This is a Belted Kingfisher that I did for me. This has long been my nemesis bird, I had never gotten a good photo of one. Finally, on the Cocoa Christmas Bird Count, I got a good photo. This sketch is based on the photo.

Watercolor, Turkey Creek.
Watercolor, Sebastian Inlet. This is supposed to be a Brown Pelican, but I was looking at the painting after I brought it home and realized it looks more like this.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Annual Family Christmas Portraits

I've been forcing David and the cats to do an annual portrait since the Nummy and Pita were babies. You can gradually see the cats become less tolerant of it through the years. This year, Barty refused to pose at all, even after being offered salmon treats. Pita was surprisingly tolerant this year. Here is the whole collection of portraits for your enjoyment:

December, 2016 - Maggie, David, Me and NummyMuffinCoocolButter. We rejected this one from being on our card because David's hat was in front of my face. But I do like the way Nummy looks somewhat angelic here. But we all know better.
December, 2016 - Maggie, David, Bart and me. We rejected this one because David's hat was covering my face again and the back drop was crooked. But Maggie and Barty posed pretty well.
December, 2016 - Maggie, David, Me and NummyMuffinCoocolButter. Third time's a charm - this is the version we put on our holiday card.

December, 2015 Pita. Little twit can't pose this nice when it's a group shot!

December, 2015 with Nummy and Pita.

December, 2014 with Pita and Nummy.

December, 2013 with Pita. No one else would pose this year, what a bunch of party pooper kitties we have.

December, 2012 with Nummy looking particularly psycho.
December, 2012 with Pita looking quite photogenic, but I forgot to take off my glasses
December, 2012 with Pita.
 December, 2011 - Test shot with me and Pita
December, 2011 - with Barty and Nummy with an evil eye
December, 2011 - With Nummy and Barty, but I forgot to take off my glasses.
December, 2011 - with Barty and Nummy
December, 2010 -  with Pita and Barty
December, 2010 -  Rare shot of Lisa and Barty
December, 2009 - with Pita looking psycho and Nummy. In fact, you can see that my forehead is bleeding. I think it was Pita who whacked me right before we took the picture.
December, 2009 with Barty
December, 2008 with Barty
December, 2008 with Pita and Nummy
December, 2007 with Pita and Nummy
December, 2006 with Pita and Nummy

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ditch 13 Birding Hot Spots Tour December 9

We had an awesome trip out to Sebastian Inlet today. Thanks so much to Jessica for joining us. Here are a few highlights of our trip.

 We started off with great looks at Northern Gannets.
A Ruddy Turnstone posed nice.
My nom! You can't has!
Sometimes I pretend to be a decent photographer, but most times the birds just make it so easy. This Wood Stork posed so perfect for me, I didn't even have to crop. I love the way she is showing off her dainty little pink toes.
These 4 pictures tell a story:

"Hey, I bet I can make a goofier face than you!"
"Ha. Go for it."
"TA DA!!!"

"Dang, you win."
 (Singing:) "I am the champion, I am the champion, of the Woooooooorrrrrllllld!"
These Willets were almost impossible to see because they blended in with the rocks so well. I honestly wasn't sure if I had them in the picture till I downloaded it.
 Woo-hoo! This was my 319th photographic life bird, Pomerine Jaeger.
 Another story series:

"Gee mom and dad, I can't wait till I get big and my beak turns orange like yours!"
 {sigh} "So do you want to tell him he's adopted, or should we just buy him a copy of Sibley and let him figure it out himself?"
Looking forward to our next tour. Thank so much to Nick at Ditch 13 Gallery and Gifts for helping us promote our tours.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Goodwin WMA and Manatee Watch

Here are some pictures from Wednesday's trip to Goodwin WMA, and today's Manatee watch. It was a classic manatee day, air temperature was 52, water temp was 74. Click pictures to embiggen.

American Kestrel at Goodwin WMA
Red-shouldered Hawk at Goodwin WMA

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Solstice Lights

So, I decided to put up Solstice lights this year. I'm drunk at the moment, but I never learned to photograph in the dark anyway so I don't think pictures would come out even if I hadn't consumed the rum. Anyway, here are my Solstice lights. Click to embiggen the pictures.

Close up of sun and earth. I'm thinking I should add more planets next year. I didn't do a good job with the continents, maybe will take it apart and do a tidier job next year. But I do like the way the sun came out. I wasn't going to paint the bicycle tire, but I'm really glad I did, it looks much nicer.
Long shot from further down the road of the fence, the sun, the earth, and Spongebob and friends.
Spongebob and Squidward. I might have paint these next year, they are getting pretty faded. 
Patrick and Sandy.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ditch 13 Hot Spots Tour

We had a nice tour this morning. Didn't have a huge species list, but we did have some posers. Here's what we saw today:

 We started off the day with a Loggerhead Shrike in the Stick Marsh parking lot. Unfortunately, we immediately realized that they were allowing hunting today (we didn't think they started till Thanksgiving day) so we had to drop back and punt.
 There was a Kestrel on the wire. Kind of odd, I'm just not seeing these in the numbers I usually do this time of year.
A late butterfly.
A flock of Glossy Ibises
A Phoebe who posed nicely for us. David got a great phone skope picture of him.
A Palm Warbler.
A Mockingbird, looking jaunty.
A group of vultures. What made me laugh is that they didn't look so much like they flew in here, they kind of just looked like they were tossed up there by the same type of person who just throws tinsel on the christmas tree.
Part of a larger flock of Great Egrets. We had few.  But then again, too few to mention.
A Little Blue Heron.

Because of the hunting, we really couldn't walk out into the Stick Marsh or Goodwin WMA, so we decided to head over to the buffer preserve to show off our Florida Scrub Jays.
Unfortunately, they had just done a prescribed fire, so the Scrub Jays had scattered. But then, right as we were about to head out, David heard some and this little guy came down to pose for us.
At our next stop, we had a bunch of posers! Here is a Great Egret.
And a Glossy Ibis.
This was my favorite poser of the day, an insanely cute immature Wood Stork.
He even looked right at the camera for me. What a nice bird!
The St. Sebastian River Preserver State Park (FKA "the buffer preserve" is one of my favorite places in Florida, and I am so lucky to live so close to it. Even when the birds aren't plentiful, it's still an amazingly pretty place to hang out.
No Manatees today, but there was a Peninsula Cooter where the Manatees will be in a few days when the temperature drops.
Clearly the air traffic controllers were not doing their job today. We saw these 2 Osprey fly into each other.
And we ended the day with another poser, a Little Blue Heron.

Always fun to be out there in the wild. Please come out and join us on a future trip. Click here to see our upcoming events.