Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Famous and Popular Event with Nature

I visited Washington, DC last week to enjoy the cherry blossoms. We picked a Thursday hoping that crowds would be smaller with people at work. It was also a day after heavy rain and the areas where people walked were muddy. Alas, the crowds were there in full force and the rains had knocked only a very few blossoms to the ground. Some of these are digitally painted and others are right out of the camera. I hope you enjoy the visit virtually.  The last photo has a quote from FDR (Franklin Delanor Roosevelt) taken at the FDR memorial.  

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Even Birds Get Nasty Habits

The birds have been intriguing all winter, but now that the weather is warmer I can stay outside longer to catch them when they drop their fear and shyness.
The White-throated Sparrows are very common and feed on the ground. They turn leaves throughout the woods, but also collect in a group of a dozen or so under my birdfeeders. According to Cornell their sound is "Oh-sweet-canada-canada" or "Old-Sam-Peabody-Peabody". This prior text was a direct cut and paste, so not sure why the capitalization is off. The words are not something I can hear out when I listen. This is primarily their mating call in the spring. They are full opportunity feeders eating seeds, insects and even buds of certain trees in the spring. Like the majority of birds, they feed their young insects. I guess that is why they are so abundant. This Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) above is storing her cache of seeds from my feeder. I do not think this is a nest since I see no entering and exiting. Below is our common Northern Cardinal. They have ganged up on me and gone from one bird who pecks at a window to three or four that peck at ALL the windows around my house! I can no longer take an afternoon nap! I fear it is a genetic anomoly and they will reproduce even more of these birds with a nasty habit.

Sunday, March 20, 2022


Spring is here. Oh, there could be the errant snow that only falls by the window and never covers the lawn for more than a second or two. The weather here is sometimes sporadic. But I took a walk around the yard with my camera and this is definitely evidence that spring is here.  Yesterday was in the 70sF!

Male House Finch in mating colors.

Bumble bee checking out the dead nettle flowers.  Notice his orange pollen?

You can wipe that  pollen off your nose and go back to drinking your nice warm beverage now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Taking Liberty with Botanicals

I had fun "painting" the California outdoor botanicals. Spring is in full swing there now.  Below a cherry tree in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Some textured bark, cactus in bloom, and a Southern California coral tree.
Then there was this little forest that took me by surprise. Needed no changes/painting to enjoy the abstraction! Even the crow was fooled!