Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two Ravens One Bread

I threw a few small pieces of bread out for the birds and by the time I got back in the house the ravens had descended on them and were eating as fast as they I could. A few fights broke out over some pieces.

Had to do a quick sketch, added a bit of color and haiku. 

Such a fun experience and now a memory. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Immature Acorns

I found this branch with a cluster of young acorns on it and knew I had to sketch it.  So I brought it home. The intricate design on the acorn is so neat.

After I wrote the haiku I decided the sketch needed a squirrel because he was robbed of some food.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


After a hard day's work in the garden we finally relaxed with a cool drink in the house.  I noticed how the low evening sun caught the hairy edges of the geraniums growing up just outside the window and tried to capture the image in white gel pen and coloured pencils.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Frogs In The Swim Pool

I was at my daughter's sitting by the pool when I saw a dead frog floating so I netted it out and sketched it.  What long toes it had. 

Made a good specimen to study. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cicada Killer - Laura Gillis

I have noticed several of these BIG wasps flying around here (North Central Texas) lately and I finally got one to draw! After I caught this one, I saw another one flying around with a big cicada in it’s grasp. She (or he) landed in a tree and proceeded to stun or kill the cicada before flying off again. (Or, maybe she was just getting a better grip on her cargo, I don’t know.)

The Cicada Killer is a big, heavy bodied wasp (the body is 1.125” long or 2.9 cm) and she makes quite an impression when she is flying around your head. I assume that she packs one heck of a sting but thankfully, I don’t have any first-hand information about that to share. (Not yet anyway.)

This wasp excavates her nest in the ground. You will see a mound of soil left by an entrance hole which is about .375” or 1 cm wide.

This was just a quick little sketch for now... a tighter sketch is planned for the “bug journal” soon. She really is a beautiful insect.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Downtown Nest!

A friend called last week to let us know green herons are nesting right downtown!  The nest is in a maple planted in a little square in the sidewalk!  The river is about three blocks away.  I wish the heron had picked a location along the river, now right in town.  Hopefully the four babies will navigate the journey safely.

Already the babies are jumping about from one branch two another.  We watched for about two hours and got to watch a couple of feedings.  Bedlam breaks loose when an adult comes in with food.  All scramble for the biggest share.

Friday, July 18, 2014

our resident Berwick's Wren

When we moved in to this log cabin, there were two ornamental log houses left on the bookshelf by the former owners. I needed the space for books, so I moved these outside to a plant shelf in our covered patio. It sits in the corner, up against the place where corner logs meet and overlap.

Recently I was messing about with a plant on the middle shelf when I was surprised by a wee bird flying out from the larger of the two houses. (OK, Bill said I jumped and shrieked.) Apparently a Bewick's Wren has moved in! I haven't seen a wren since I was around 6 years old in Illinois.

I've now seen a pair of wrens sitting on the back of a porch swing, the female having a bit of food in her beak. So I'm wondering if there is a baby inside?