I am not a birder per se. Not so much on the long hikes and mucking about.
Generally, the regular gals and guys visiting my sparse backyard are more than enough company for me. But this brown thrasher above jumped in and made himself known early on. And he's hung around. Or he's multiplied. Hard for me to tell.
I will admit my favorites are the woodpeckers and the nuthatches. This Downy woodpecker was not having it with this carolina wren. She thought they could work it out. He suggested they would not.
I have even enticed my husband into my interest. These are all his photos. I may add to the lot, or I may not. I'm a whimsical free spirit. Plus my hand wobbles.
He caught the nuthatch below in a kind of an armored hummingbird pose. I know the military is considering this for future observational models.
This robin took advantage of a series of water baths I jerry rigged from broken bird baths, plant saucers and some plummet's putty to fix cracks.
I am ending on this little guy. As of this moment he is hail and hearty and eating all the peanuts (and some dog food) that I am putting out to attract a crow. However a couple of his buddies (I believe in my heart of heart that they were buddies) have fallen to my very fat very lazy but still very predatory cat. Tomorrow she's is getting a collar with a bell. Let's call it an experiment. How quickly will the collar come off? How much bell tinkling can I stand? Time will reveal all.
You may think birding is a digression. HA HA, it is not. Birding goes straight to the heart of noticing. Noticing leads to jotting. Next think you are distinguishing. Are these not the three founding legs of visual journaling?
If you asked me what I've been up to, which you did not, I would answer, parenting, birdwatching, parenting, journaling, parenting, napping, birdwatching, and parenting. That's all there is, there isn't any more.
My brain has turned to mush. I think. But I can sit and watch the birds, which I have been doing. My vision isn't actually the best, so I am not picky about which birds visit. I like new friends, but I am happily feeding a colony of grackles, pidgins and house finches.
I tried to do the Every Day In May challenge (which was a variant of the Every Day Matters idea which I have enjoyed). I did quite a few days, but I sometimes got stuck on the idea. Do I got out and find a cupcake? Somehow the universe did not deliver one to me, although I waited. I am using the same style I did for my fake journal, and THAT has been FUN. I am not sketching birds.
Well, not much. Not yet. We just hang out mostly.
I am hoping to do a little less parenting soon. We'll see how that works.
We are traveling today, so in advance, I am showcasing a little of what I've done. I've discovered this trip that I really really enjoy sketching rock outcroppings in ink. I did quite a few like the one above, some more and some less successful, but I enjoyed them all. Very calming and just plain fun.
I also sketched a fair amount of food. The label above was floating in the lemonade, but I took it as a sign that is was made fresh. My husband got a kind of pained look on his face.
I had a blast traveling with this kid.
And this guy took some amazing photos. Seriously.
Today I finished off the only two knitting projects I had going. I grabbed up my knit bag as I was leaving to take someone to an appointment and now it's empty.
Meanwhile at home I am in a quilting frenzy. It's been too long (say my uncalloused fingertips). However, I can't watch soccer and quilt at the same time (as compared to most of my knitting projects). This cuts into the time I'm willing to sit and 'watch'.
Meanwhile my paints beckon. I stopped while walking at a nearby lake, did a quick sketch and then added color at home. It was AWFUL! The remedy is to do more but instead I am resorting to resorting the supplies in my kit, as if that will improve the quality of the drawing. HA!
My sketching is stiff, my eyes are lazy, my shoulder is bothering me. What's a crafter to do?
These are my many children.
Ok. Seriously. My daughter made this. She gets bored sometimes. Then she gets an idea. Then she makes her younger brother do things. She likes to play with photoshop, and also makes videos for her Youtube channel MC1R. In case you are wondering where the name of her channel came from, it's the gene for redheads. She's the only one in our combined families for a couple generations, but both sides take credit.
This is my favorite video of hers. She made it for a PTA contest, but submitted it in the wrong format, so they wouldn't accept it, but it won the school wide contest for all categories. I'm just a little proud of her.
Here's a link to the Youtube channel in case it doesn't embed. And yes, that's her brother's voice. He gets roped in a lot.
I have a friend who is a serious thrift shop visitor. She's always on the hunt for new venues. Sometimes I get lucky and she takes me along.
Sometimes I get lucky. These were two stamp finds - both unexpected. One was in an architectural salvage clearing house. The other was in a little store only open on Fridays and Saturdays. She thought they were blocks.
Recently I've had my eye out for old paint tins. I'm always happy when I find things in non-pristine shape because it's easier for me to mess them up without guilt.
Someone had an end of school party. Ten 14 year-old girls. I'm tired.
I'm doing two month-long challenges combine and posting them at my alternate blog "Paint by Numbers" link to the right.
Traci Bunkers presented a "Capturing 30 Days of Joy" as a challenge to focus on - well - everyday joy. At the same time, Tammy Garcia at Daisy Yellow suggested another photo challenge of "the moments". Both of them are pretty loosely defined but both focus on exactly where I need to be mentally, so I took them on. I've been and will be posting at least one photo (more sometimes because that just happens) capturing the spirit of the day for me - that moment when I felt lifted. Or an image from another time. Whatever the whim takes me.
Where does the whim take you?
We walk around and imagine uses for things.
I take pictures of quilts I will never make. Not in a million years.
I put my grubby little paws on things that should be pawed.
We enjoy the artistic arrangements.
I make people nervous by taking pictures. I'm sure there's a good reason to get nervous from people taking pictures of old paddles, but I don't know what it is and I don't ask. I just apologize and scuttle away.
Generally, a good time is had by all. Mostly. Except this year the bbq did not agree with me. Note to self - stick with the hot dogs next year.
A couple weeks ago, my friend and I went to a craft fair. It was unusally cool (for North Carlina). I don't have any pictures of the crafts.
Except for these radishes, which are not technically crafts, I know, but still, who doesn't like a good picture of radishes. There is not question mark at the end of that sentence so that means it was rhetorical. Just go with it.
Every where I looked, my little piggy eyes just wanted to freeze the view, so I took loads of pictures.
Next year I'm going on my own and bringing my sketchbook. Wonder if the craft fair people will mind.
Another brief note
This was Buster, a Norwegian forest cat. Originally his name was Findus, after a Swedish cartoon cat, but then... he renamed himself.
Today I'm just paying tribute to a fella that brightened and enlightened my life. He's been gone a while now - before I got a digital camera and before I started to draw, otherwise I would have many more pictures and drawings of him. He was quite a poser.
I miss you Buster.
Sometimes unexpected pleasures pop up.