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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Illness, Death & a Raccoon (Updated)

Charles has been sick (probably with some kind of flu,) since returning home from his mother's funeral. Unfortunately I've caught it, too (just in time for my vacation.) For those awaiting my newsletter, it's going to be a bit late this time around.
Yesterday evening Charles noticed a dead cardinal on our deck. It was gone this morning (likely dragged off by a possum or a coonie.) I've reported it to eBird. I've been hearing a lot more birds banging into the house this year than ever before. In a way, I hope that's what's happened here. I'd hate to think that our flu might be affecting "the kids."
In other news, we're getting the unusual "afternoon raccoon" these days.

(Update, Apr. 1, 2010; Due to a lack of much health improvement for either of us, today we went to see the local nurse. Charles had a bacterial sinus infection, which has turned into pneumonia for me. And no, this isn't an April Fools joke. At least now we have powerful medicines that should help more than Dayquil has.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

They're (Starting to Get) Heeeeere!

Although they usually arrive here like clockwork on April 7th, the first of the migrating indigo buntings was in our backyard today;

This one's still getting his breeding plumage in. When they first started coming here 3 years ago we had just a few, the next year we had 7, last year 17 showed up. I hope the trend continues.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yard Birds

Our yard birds are starting to change as migration time approaches.

As usual, however, the Hermitage also doubles as Charles & Lana's Cardinal Emporium.

If anything, we're starting to see more of them now.

Another couple of regulars; a blue jay & female red-bellied woodpecker.

There are still lots of chipping sparrows, but many of the goldfinches are already gone.

About a dozen yellow-rumped warblers picked through our front yard yesterday.

A bluebird on our front railing, one of 3 I saw the other day. Sorry for the poor quality, but this was the best I could do.

In addition, I saw a blue grosbeak yesterday. They're not due here for about a month, so that was quite a surprise.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Art Events (Updated)

Sat., Mar. 20th I'll be at the Art for Madisonville Art Market (see below.) My work will also be showing at BLAC's "Art at the Refuge" exhibit (but I won't be there until close to the end of the show on Sun., Mar. 21st.) My work is also currently on display/available at;
Femme Fest in New Orleans,
SAL's "Quest for Fire" exhibit in Slidell, LA,
The "Selections from Art for Madisonville Show" exhibit at "A Work of Art" Gallery in Madisonville, LA and
Phil's Grill in Hammond, LA.

(Update, Mar. 20th; Here are some shots from today's Art for Madisonville market, where I sold a few photos before the wind & the threat of rain chased me away. Considering the wind, I'm glad I opted for a "pared down" version of my "booth" that didn't require dragging out my canopy & all of the gridwalls.)

(Of course, without the shade I got a bit sunburnt today, despite my sunblock & hat, but all & all it was a good day.)

(Further update, Sun., Mar. 21; My "Gyrfalcon" painting sold at BLAC's "Art at the Refuge" show.)

(Yet further update, Mon., Mar. 22; I just found out that I won two 3rd place awards at SAL's "Quest for Fire" show and yet another one in an online show.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Life at the Flatwoods

We went for a hike at the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve yesterday. We saw more wildlife than I'd expected (thanks, as usual, to my eagle-eyed "spotter" and husband, Charles.)

First, this great blue heron flew over.

A Northern flicker.

At the first bridge, Charles pointed out 2 large, juvenile cottonmouths in the water. Thanks for everyone, inc. Jeff Boundy at the LA Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries and Tom Arbour & his sources, who helped me correctly ID these.

Although the longleaf pines are mostly gone from Louisiana, The Nature Conservancy is working to restore some of the beautiful pine savannas that used to blanket much of the Southeastern US. A boardwalk (with interpretive stations,) meanders through the woods along the Abita Creek.

Woodpecker holes in a tree.

2 of 7 turkey vultures.

Besides the boardwalk, there are well-kept "roadways" to follow, bordered by fields of wild grasses.

Conditions were right for a sundog to appear.

Shortly after discussing how we hadn't seen any Canada geese here lately, this pair flew over our heads.

In addition, there were Eastern bluebirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, a tufted titmouse, cardinals and a mourning dove, most of which were heard but not seen. There were also raccoon tracks near the creek. Best of all, there weren't any other people. The Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve is unknown even to most of the locals, making it a great getaway from the trappings of humanity.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The "Hair"mitage & Other Things (Updated)

For those unfamiliar with my husband & I, we both have long hair, but you'd almost think we had 2 dogs. The hairballs we leave throughout our home are incessant & almost impossible to stay on top of. Every 4 uses of the vaccuum, I have to clean out the roller (a quite physical & time-consuming process.) Here's a shot from the latest clean out;
Welcome to the "hair"mitage.

We had a power outage earlier this month, during which I played around with some colored candle holders, my crystal ball & my camera. Here's one of those results;

In other news, I've started a page on deviantART, where my images can be ordered as prints of various kinds, cards, mousepads, etc. Unfortunately deviantART keeps 90% of the total price. Many of these options are available directly through me, of course, and often at lower prices (with more profit going to me,) so e-mail me if you see anything you like either here or on my website. (Update, Apr. 20, 2010; I deactivated my deviantART page, as I got some very nasty malware from the site. Beware deviantART!)

I'll be attending the "Femme Fest" art exhibit opening on Mar. 13th. More details are here.
(Update; Here's a group shot of the artists at Femme Fest.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh What a Beautiful Day! (Updated)

For the first time in a long time we had a lovely day, so nice that Charles & I had breakfast out on our deck--a simple pleasure we particularly enjoy. In the afternoon we headed out for a hike--like everyone else, apparently. There was nowhere to park at Northlake, so we went to Fontainebleau State Park (again.) It seems that all things happen for a reason, and there was much to see. Click to enlarge, as always.

Along the paths in the woods...

A Northern harrier. (I'm currently working on a painting based on this photo.) (Update, Apr. 13, 2010; The painting is done.)

Moss growing on bricks (macro.)

A Northern mockingbird.

Dozens of yellow-rumped warblers.

A male red-bellied woodpecker, looking into what might be a nesting hole. (There were red-headed woodpeckers around, as well.)

Out around the marsh...

One of a few groups of turtles.

Some kind of snake.

A few of probably thousands of minnows.

One of several pied-billed grebes.

A couple of large bowfins (this one was already partly under the boardwalk--sorry.)

My first sighting of a common moorhen (with another pied-billed grebe in the background.)

An oddly straight & rainbow-looking blade of grass in the marsh.

A marsh menace, one of at least 2 invasive nutria

A huge brown pelican (our state bird & a conservation success story,) was diving for fish.

Some of many American coots.

On downloading this shot of random wood at home later, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I'd inadvertantly snapped a photo of an American alligator (our state reptile & another conservation success story.)

There were also red-winged blackbirds, American robins and Carolina chickadees, most of which were heard but not seen. Afterwards we went to Taquaria Noria, where I had a "La Noria" salad that was a feast for all of the senses. If you live on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, you must have one!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Art, Space & Floyd (Updated)

Today Charles & I will be attending "A Work of Art" gallery grand opening, where my "Morning on the Bayou" (below,) painting will be on display. (Update, Jun. 5, 2010; This painting has sold.)

The next few days, astronomically speaking...
Mar. 7; Mercury in conjunction with Jupiter. Last quarter moon.
Mar. 8; Pluto in conjunction with the moon.
Mar. 11; Mars stationary (it's not, really, but it appears to be.)

Happy 64th birthday, David Gilmour!
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