Friday, August 29, 2008

Update on Tree Rats

The tree rats were back tonight. Their days are numbered! Found a flea on Bailey. Could have come from the squirrels I know, but I will not have fleas in my house or on my cat!! We'll start with mothballs (for the rats, not the fleas!). They worked with the possums. I'll buy some


Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Visitors -- Night and Day

Look at these cheeky things! There's three of them on top of the feeder!

This was the biggest. His tale goes up and over the top, so you can see how long it is.

Caught in the act! Much good clearing the leaves and undergrowth did. This was 8:00 last night. I made a change in the seed today so we will have to see if they return. I'm not about to feed the whole neighborhood.

I'm not really into butterflies but MOTH drew my attention to this one. I was able to take quite a few photos and also track down its identity.

It is a Gulf Fritillary, and those large white blobs underneath are actually metallic silver. Quite spectacular.

I'm not sure if I like to be too close to butterflies. They are very beautiful to look at, but I don't want them flying around me. You could never get me into those large netted butterfly houses at the zoo.

The hawk was flying around today in ever narrowing circles over the house. I was watching from an upstairs window and it was quite interesting to see his ominous shadow gliding across the roof of the garage. I don't think he visited the bird feeding area.

I don't know if the tree rats were back again tonight. We were out visiting friends and the rats tend to come early in the evening. Probably get too stuffed to stay any longer!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two More Miniatures in Prisma-colors

This one is of a Flamborough fishing coble, sailing off Flamborough Head. (Yorkshire, UK). Of course they don't use sails any more. There are crabpots and bouys (think that's the English spelling), on board. The two tall black things on the cliffs are:
1) The Old Lighthouse or tower or beacon built in the 1600's. I went in it when I was a child, with my father. It was derelect then, but so fascinating. To signal anything, they had to build a bonfire on the roof. There is some talk of this being lit when the Spanish Armarda sailed up the English channel, but I'm told that there is no sign of there ever having been a fire up there. Perhaps it was built as a response to future armardas.
2) The other is the new lighthouse -- not so new now. Built 1806. You can still go up to the top of that one and what a great view! It also sways in the wind.

I copied this 0ne from a book I have and as an afterthought tried to make him look like Bailey, but it was too late. The ears are too pointy and the eyes are not round enough. The fur coloring is pretty good though. But it was fun doing it anyway.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Look Who Else Came to Visit!

It's our friend, the hawk -- a Cooper's Hawk I believe, but anyone who knows about these things, please feel free to correct me. He must be at least 18 inches tall. Don't forget to look at the tail under the beam. He flew up and over me and perched in a tree off to my right. He was a beautiful sight. His stripes in flight looked quite reddish brown and he was all stripes, head to tail. I'm glad I had my heavier camera handy, it gets a better close-up.

Maybe he will help get rid of the wood rats. Moth is not a happy camper about those. So today Felipe came and cleared a lot of the lower leaves of the Giant Bird of Paradise, and a lot more undergrowth. Between them they are demolishing my jungle!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wood Rat Visitors

Sitting at my computer at 5:00 in the afternoon, I happened to glance out of the window and there were two, what I think are Stephen's Wood Rats, munching on the bird seed. I did manage to get my camera and take a few shots, but most of them were taken through the screen door.

The most notable thing about these two are their very long tails -- about twice the length of their bodies or longer.
Two other things of interest are that it is apparently very rare to see them in the daytime, and the fact that they jumped about three feet to the nearest tree and scampered upwards to get lost in the branches and leaves above.

If any one knows anything more about these creatures I would really like to hear it. In the mean time I'm googling all the information I can.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Prismacolor Miniatures

These are the tools of my trade -- at least, some of them. They had a half price sale at Aaron Brothers and their sets of 48 Prisma color pencils normally $66.00 I got for $33.00 Big expense for me, since I don't usually spend a lot of money on my hobbies. But I think these were worth it. Here they are all beautifully sharpened, ready for work. And I have as many again in another pot that have been thoroughly used but still have plenty of wear in them yet.

Simply Tulips
This I adapted from a picture in a catalog. Simple but satisfying.
OOPS! Sorry, I already posted this one.

Doorway of Memories

This I copied from a photo on Jose's blog Arizona...but it's a Dry Heat
This miniature really doesn't do the photo justice. I should have done it on a larger size card because the focus of interest is on what's on the other side of the doorway and doing it this size didn't give me enough room to capitalize on what you can see through the door. But I mostly do miniatures and I'm doing a series on Doorways and this seemed to fit the bill. So there you are.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quick Tour

Every afternoon about 4:30 about a dozen or more sparrows come for their supper. They congregate in this bouganvillea and make a great racket. One would hope they were saying grace before they eat.

How many sparrows can you see in this photo? I assure you there are at least ten. (Click twice).

Answer at the end of the blog.

Here are four of them after everyone flew away.

This is a new succulent we added just recently. Its name is Kalanchoes and the flowers are a bright orange. We also have another one whose flowers are a bouganvillia red.

This is just one of four branches of our plumeria each of which are bearing many bud and quite a few flowers.

And since I haven't posted a photo of Bailey for at least a month, I just had to include this one, taken today.

ANSWER: I could only find four. I marked just below them with a purple dot. Maybe you can see more.

You will need to click twice on these photos to see the birds.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Goldfinches and Finding Gold

Finally managed to get some photos of the goldfinches that are now visiting us on a regular basis. I used our old Sony camera, so am getting better shots, though I think my hand was shaking on a couple. I had to stand so still and for so long to get these photos. I was about 10 feet away and just partially behind some bushes. These are Lesser Goldfinches. They are not so brightly yellow as the regular ones and have more green on their backs. The males do still have the black caps. For you who are from England, the American Goldfinch is not at all like the English goldfinch.


Here I am looking all official at the start of my Ladies Bible Study, with a bit of a crooked smile. Actually, this is a very familiar pose for me ('tho I wasn't posing here, someone surprised me), since I was a teacher and a principal for about 45 years, so I have quite a few photos of this kind -- just makes it easier to follow the aging process when I look at them!!! I must say I NEVER expected to be teaching a Bible Study at seventy years old. It just sounds too old. But I'm having a great time, mainly because I am so enjoying the research and study from all the books my husband has available. Don't I look the real 'school marm'?

We are studying Hosea. Just to pique your curiosity, if you don't know anything about the book written by Hosea, let me ask you: Why on earth would God ask Hosea to marry a prostitute?
Answer that question and you've got your foot in the door. But you do have to know a little about the background and times of Hosea (800BC approximately) to get much further. More than that, if you understand that God says it is really important to REALLY know Him, not just what someone else tells you about Him -- or doesn't tell you--then you're on the right track. I think my ladies are enjoying the study. I know I am.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Simply Tulips

Sometimes I just have to draw. This was one of those times. I wanted to watch "Inspector Linley" on KPBS but I had to have something to do while I was watching. Rarely can I just watch a TV show and do nothing else unless it is a musical, opera or orchestral. Then I'm listening hard. I had seen flowers like these in a catalog and decided that I didn't have time to find anything else that I really wanted to draw, so these would have to be it. I intensified the colors a little, but now I think I like them better with more muted colors. I think the yellow came out more yellow than I wanted and the bottom one I would have liked more ivory. Ah well, next time.

I managed to get a copy of Jose's 'Doorway of Memories' and I will start on that next time I have the urge to draw.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jose's Mexican Friend

Both Wanda , Brush Strokes From the Heart and I, found Jose's Arizona...But its a Dry Heat photo of a man he met while visiting relatives, intriguing. Wanda uses watercolors and is working on a second attempt at portraying this. I procrastinated and just got started on my ATC (miniature) version yesterday. I use Prisma color pencils and pen. Jose's photo just begged to be reproduced. The man is such a character. To see the original photo go to Jose's blog and look in his July 2008 archive.

I will eventually post this one on my Prismacolor blog as well, so that all my ATC's and paintings are in one spot, as well as here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Different Camera - Better Photos?

I dug out MOTH'S old digital camera which he had received as a gift but we hadn't used it much because it is too heavy for him to carry overseas all the time. But this camera has 6X magnification, whereas the small, neat little Sony I carry everywhere with me has only 3X magnification. The first three of these photos of the scrub jay were taken today with the 6X and I do believe they are better than those I took before.

The photo below is taken with the smaller camera at high magnification, and I think you will agree there is quite a difference.

This next photo was taken last week when I went to my favorite Mexican Restaurant,
Rosarita's. It is in Oceanside on Oceanside Boulevard. The couple who own it go to our church and almost any night of the week we will meet someone we know while there.

The beautiful flowers were made by one of their friends, with Duct tape!!


Tomorrow is my Bible Study Day and now I have been asked to fill in at the church office on Thursday and Friday (vacation time, you know) so I will probably not be able to post again until the weekend. But I'm still visiting all my blogging friends, even if I haven't written any comments.