My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Afternoon at Fontainebleau State Park (Updated)

One of dozens of American coots.

One of at least dozens of red-winged blackbirds.

Pied-billed grebe (the 1st I've ever seen.)

Caspian tern (who later caught a fish.)

Great egrets.

One of two nutrias, invasive marsh-destroyers of the South.

The obligatory sunsets...


(Update, May 2009; Published in the book of the Generation Fig Tree '09 art show.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Feathered Friends

Apologies for my recent absence. I've been hard at work at a new painting. Here are some more shots of "the kids."

Carolina wren.

Carolina chickadee.

The numerous cardinals are still around.

Some of the goldfinches seem to be getting their brighter colors & darker caps. I suspect they'll be heading north soon enough.

Chipping sparrow.

Blue jay.

American crow.

At 4pm today, a plethora of robins (with a few red-winged blackbirds,) showed up to pick through our yard for 20 minutes. At 5pm, a plethora of red-winged blackbirds (with a few robins,) showed up to do the same.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Award & Recent Yard Birds

Many thanks to Michelle for this award. I'm supposed to tell you 7 things I love;
1. Charles.
2. Nature (being in, listening to, watching, photographing, etc.)
3. Water (being in, listening to, watching, photographing, etc.)
4. Painting (& other forms of creativity.)
5. Funky, colored-glass things (my collection's starting to get out of hand.)
6. Chicken (no food is more perfect.)
7. Coca-Cola (I am, unfortunately, an addict.)
Now I'm supposed to pass this on to 7 others. Since most of my art-blog friends don't "do" awards, I'm going to break this rule. And now for some recent yard birds...

Carolina wren.

American goldfinch.

Pine siskin.

American crow. (They only come down to the yard when they have chicks, so I know they're nesting nearby.)

Red-winged blackbird.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Birds & My Art Display

We had a couple of rare bird visitors to our yard lately. Working on a couple of art applications at my computer yesterday afternoon, movement out my window attracted my eye. A great blue heron flew low across the yard & over the house. This morning, watching out the window in Charles' office, the birds came for seed like a torrential downpour (I'd fed them a bit later than usual, so they were hungry & waiting.) As I pointed them out to Charles, a pair of hairy woodpeckers landed on the tree right in front of the window. Although I've seen both of these birds here before, it's only been once (each,) in 2 1/2 years, & never a pair of either. I hope that the woodpecker sighting implies that they're nesting nearby & we'll have new chicks to watch this Summer.
Here's a little video of the coots bobbing for marsh weeds at Fontainebleau the other day. It's very short & you can hear Charles burp at the end.


Here are a few pictures of my display at Mandeville City Hall;

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Few More from Fontainebleau (Updated)

I ended up with so many photos the other day (I took about 250,) that I wanted to share a few more...

A couple more American coots.
(Update, Mar. 8, 2009; This photo was featured on the cover of the St. Tammany News' "Northshore Life" section.)

The bald eagle nest. The bird in the distance isn't one of the eagles, unfortunately.

Here are a couple more photos of brown pelicans...


Last (but not least,) yet another sunset.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Award Thanks & an Afternoon Hike (Updated)

First, thanks to Holly for this beautiful award. I'm glad to have made her acquaintance through the blogosphere & I'm sure you'd enjoy her blog as much as I do.

We had such beautiful weather today Charles & I decided to go to Fontainebleau State Park for a hike. First we went to see the new bald eagle nest (the first in the park since Hurricane Katrina.) The parents weren't around, but a helpful employee (with a scope set up on a tripod,) pointed out one of the chicks. From there we headed to the lake. It was pretty windy along the shore, but not enough to deter us from going out on the boardwalk. There were many birds around, to our delight. Beyond the range of my cameras was a large group of white ibises.

Louisiana's state bird, the brown pelican.

Some kind of heron (in the foreground of the lower right hand corner of the picture--click for larger view.)

A great white egret.

One of dozens of American coots.

We were treated to another breathtaking sunset.

(Update, Feb. 13, 2009; This photo was featured on the front page of the St. Tammany News.)

The city of New Orleans, across the lake (where preparations for Mardi Gras are well underway.)

One last shot on our way out; tonight's nearly full moon.

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Painting + Birds! (Updated)

I completed this 16x20" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas last night.

(Update; I ended up wiring this to hang in any direction & renamed it "Under See.")

In other news, I recently noticed new birds coming to our yard for seed--pine siskins;

There's a chipping sparrow & a goldfinch in the upper left hand corner & another goldfinch in the lower right. The other 2 are the pine siskins. Feel free to click for a larger view. These shots of birds on the ground always come out very jumbled-looking (with all the seed husks & whatnot.)

Shout Out

One of my co-BlogCatalog-members, Norski, was kind enough to feature me in a post yesterday. According to his profile; "I'm a fifty-something married guy with four kids in a small central Minnesota town." (Click his name, above, for more info. Who he is & what he's doing can also be seen here.
He has a variety of blogs;
Another War-on-Terror Blog
Easy Griller
Loonfoot Falls Chronicle-Gazette
Narcissus-X
Small Town America: Minnesota
Starting a Small Business Without Losing My Mind
Through One Dad's Eye
A Catholic Citizen in America
and
Apathetic Lemming of the North
where I'm featured. Why "Apathetic Lemming of the North?) I haven't had time to visit them all yet, but I hope to get at least a few more of them in today. Easy Griller might be a good place to start, as BBQ-ing has never been my strong point.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just Say No to "Lana"

There was a time in America when people could relate to the name "Lana" through the actress, Lana Turner. That time was thirty five ago. I found it somewhat annoying in my youth, when every introduction was followed by "Lana...Like Lana Turner?" Yeah, sure. Like Lana Turner (whoever that is, I mean, I'm 6 for Chrissake!) Whatever.
Those days, that generation & even Lana Turner, herself, are gone now. According to namestatistics;

"LANA is the 470th most common female first name
.029% of females in the US are named LANA.
Around 35,525 US females are named LANA!"

Take my word for it. In our post-Lana-Turner world, do NOT name your child "Lana." Regardless of how very simple it seems (heck it's only 4 letters long & only 3 of those are different,) no one will ever get it right, even when it's written down for them &/or they see it on a regular basis. At best, they may be referred to as Alana or Lanna. At least that's close. At worst they will be called;
Lisa
Laura
Layna
Alice
Linda
Liz
Lara
Elaine
Leena
Lindsey
Liza
Lila
Lainey
Lala
Lelia
Alexis
Lacey
Lori
Lada
Alicia
Lane
Lillian
Lauren
Leah
Leia
Lenore
Althea
Helen
Lesley
Leyla
Alisha
Lola
Lily
Lexi
Alanis
among many other increasingly mind-bending possibilities, including, in one case, Susan.
The origin of the name is dubious at best. Some say it's from the Old German for "precious," the Irish Gaelic for "little rock," the Greek "light" or Hawaiian "afloat; calm as still waters." One thing is certain; it's the Spanish word for "wool." Regardless, this precious little rock wool light is growing increasingly UNcalm as my name continues to be mangled hither & yon. I even came up with a sure-fire way to help remember it; it's the word "anal" backwards. How could anyone forget that, right? Still & always, my name proves to be the most difficult word-puzzle ever created by humankind.
If you love your daughters, name them something simple & common, like "Mary," "Heather" or the ever-popular "Caitlyn." I beg you for their sake, do not inflict the constant annoyance that is "Lana."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Art Announcement

My art &/or photography is now on display &/or for sale at;

1. Mandeville City Hall (where I'm February's "Artist of the Month,")

2. Slidell Art Gallery (for the Slidell Art League's "Close to My Heart" show,) and

3. Half Moon Gardens here in Abita Springs.

If you're in the area (or you don't mind taking the trip,) feel free to stop by for a look.

(Update; As of March 1, 2009 all of these displays are finished.)
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