Tuesday, November 30, 2010

fox 'n' feathers

we had been wondering where the foxes went!

we used to catch glimpses of them...two of them...
at the edge of the woods out back.
sometimes we'd spot one dashing down the driveway...
heading for the field across the street.
last year we even saw a little pup wander into the yard!

but, it had been a while. with all the neighborhood hawks and owls...
on the prowl...we were a little worried for them.

this past saturday, while we were sitting out back...
and sam was deep-frying our second turkey of the season...

there they were!! two grey foxes!!
of course i didn't have my camera.
but luckily by the time i ran inside...grabbed it...and ran back out...
one of the foxes was still wandering around!
“A fox is a wolf who sends flowers.”
~Ruth Weston

“When the fox cannot reach the grapes he says they are not ripe”
~Greek proverb

it must've been the scent of the turkey frying...
anyway...it was pretty cool...
and even cooler that i was able to get the camera before this one ran off.


on sunday morning while wandering...
we found two more owl pellets...(which i have soaking in water & bleach mixture)

and these bluejay feathers.
((of course...you know me...seeing a few feathers on the ground...
a tussle?  something going after the blue-jay?
there might be a dead bird around...
dead bird = bones.  
nope. just feathers. maybe the bird got away. i hope.))


here's a graphic i found online. the words i've seen before...
but the way this one was done...with the wolf...and yin-yang...
it's very nice.

happy autumn!

well...stay cool.
wander. safely.
laura  :]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

turkey talk...and beyond

...so, the turkeys are safe now...
'til next year.
just kidding...i'm not trying to be cruel or insensitive to the turkeys.
but...really...the only time of year you can find turkeys in the market
is between thanksgiving and christmas.
so what are turkeys doing the rest of the year?
do they know their time is limited?

after leaving a client's home last tuesday...i saw a family of turkeys
on the side of the road. i felt like yelling "RUN! RUN for your lives!"
but i didn't.
who knows, but one of those turkeys may have been OUR turkey...
since i buy ours from a market that only sells FRESH and LOCAL meats and produce.

our thanksgiving turkey takes the plunge into the deep fryer.
it's a tradition.
for years...the day before thanksgiving,
sam's 'job' at work changes from 'machinist' to 'expert fryer'.
he spends all day frying turkeys
for his boss, coworkers...anyone involved with their company
who wants a deep fried turkey for thanksgiving.

sam's boss buys the (peanut) oil. sam might fry 5 or 6 turkeys on wednesday...
he brings everything back home...and we use the oil again for our turkey on thursday.
yum. fried turkey is the best.
it only takes 3 minutes per pound.
the juices are sealed in...and it's the tenderest...best tasting turkey ever!

at least sam's turkey is the tenderest & best tasting ever!
i'm sure it can be overcooked...or undercooked.
but sam's THE MAN when it comes to deep frying!

for turkey day...my two sons...and the oldest one's girlfriend & her son...and sam's mom...
came over to spend the day!
we gave away ALL the leftover turkey...so sam and i bought another one yesterday...
and we'll use that 'seasoned' oil one last time today!

well...enough turkey talk.

BE SAFE turkeys...

a couple of years ago, i downloaded gimp.
it's an image manipulation program.
it's free.
every now and then i play around with it.

here's one of flower my pic's...

and here's the same picture after 'oilifying' it and adding a border:

here's a picture of a visiting red-shouldered hawk:

and then the same picture after transforming it into a 'tile mosaic':

you can morph...stretch...twirl...blur...distort...enhance...

pretty cool, eh?
there's probably lots of programs out there that do the same thing...
but since 'gimp' is the one i use...that's the one i'll pass along...

our weather here has been really strange. 
we've had 'the hottest day on record'
'the coldest day on record'
within about a week and a half!
one day the little critters and bugs are out and about...foraging for food...
the next day they're gone! no butterflies, frogs and lizards...oh my!

and so...i  leave you with a few pictures i've taken during the past week.
a checkered skipper

the underside of an orb weaver
they're nocturnal. 
this one comes out just after dusk...frantically building its web.
then sometime before dawn...she will take down the web, eating most of the silk.
we won't see her again until night time.
for some reason, she left her web up one day!! 
maybe she ate too much during the night...was too stuffed to take it down. 
i don't know...but at least i was able to get a picture of her web!

"The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line."
Alexander Pope


barred owl.
she's like part of the family...
her & her mate hang out in the yard all the time.


"Do not go where the path may lead; 
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

'til next time...
stay cool...travel safe...
laura  :]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

sunday's shuffle

looks like everyone's getting ready for the holidays.

i finished that 'wing, feather & pressed flower window hanger' i started a week or so ago.

if you take a look at my previous 2 posts...
you can see the 'step by step'...
from a piece of glass...
to the finished 'window hanger'.

What art offers is space - 
a certain breathing room 
for the spirit.
~John Updike


the nights are getting cooler. we can open up the windows and let the fresh air in...
without the A/C kicking on! yay!!  it's excellent cuddle weather!

and with the cooler weather...much of the underbrush dies out...
which means we can go exploring deeper into the woods out back.
(another YAY!!)
(dead) tree snail in yard

the rest of the year, the only way to get through there
 is with a machete to cut away the vines...
or follow the little critters' paths...on hands and knees. 
NAH, we'd rather wait until everything dies back naturally.

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.
~John Muir

a woodpecker feather out front...
now in a jar with other found feathers

air fern and fungi on a fallen branch

last week we had one day with pretty strong winds.
when that happens...we always have dead branches falling out of the trees.
at least we hope...it's just branches. 
we've had entire trees fall over!

"Every now and again take a good look 
at something not made with hands--a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. 
There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, 
the assurance that you are not alone in the world."
~Sidney Lovett 

this is resurrection fern. growing on some of the old oak trees in the yard.
it's an air fern...that will look as though it's dead through drought season...
then 'come alive' after a good rain.
OH! i found another 'owl pellet'...
(the regurgitated stuff that the owl can't digest)
more on 'owl pellets'  here: the tiniest bones
see all the tiny bones?!! 
this pellet is NOT a fresh one, 
like the others i've been lucky enough to find.
next step - dissect - clean & sanitize -
and then try to figure out what little critter the owl feasted on.
...and so...i leave you with a few pic's of plants that are still blooming in our yard.
it's nice to see some spring color...hanging in there...
orange-barred sulpher butterfly
The earth laughs in flowers.  
~e.e. cummings

happy autumn!

'til next time...stay cool...

discover. wander. get lost.
open your eyes. open your mind. breathe deep.
skip. hop. be silly. laugh.

laura  :]

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?"   
~Satchel Paige 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

fungi, wing art update...oh yeah! the snake's still here

"It's a magical world, Hobbes, Ol' Buddy...let's go exploring!"   
Calvin's last words, 12/31/95  (Calvin & Hobbes)

ok...something else i love to take pictures of...is mushrooms/fungi!
there are endless varieties. each is unique. so many different shapes & colors.
mushrooms are in 'the fungi kingdom'.
medicinal. edible. toxic. psilocybin or 'magic'.

mushrooms are recyclers in nature. they break down wood and humus back into their original components - they provide food for living plants by returning dead trees and forest litter to simple organic materials.
but not all mushrooms are do-gooders. 
some are parasitic...attacking live trees and causing deadly diseases.

(not all of these pictures are from our yard. some were taken while wandering other places.)

(fungi growing on a dead tree in Torreya St Pk, FL)

this one was in our yard. you can easily tell it's a florida mushroom...
because it has 'tie-downs'...for the hurricane season.

this one looks like it has finger indentations.

little fuzzy ones out back

a trio...like steps...(where are the smurfs?)

"Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands—
a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. 
There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, 
the assurance that you are not alone in the world."
Sidney Lovett 

if you saw my last post...
you might remember i started working on another 'window hanger'...
made of glass and decorated with butterfly & dragonfly wings...and pressed flowers.
it's not finished yet...here's what i've done so far...
this is the front side...i work on the back...adding the wings & flowers...
using 'mod podge' to adhere and coat.
close-up of the front

this is what it looks like from the back

after the mod podge has completely dried (i usually let it set for 24 hrs at least)...
then i give it the first overall coat of mod podge.
it dries for at least 24 hrs between coats...and i normally give it 2 full coats.
then after it's completely dry...i'll give it a coat or two of clear glaze.
THEN after this is all dry...i'll wrap heavy gauge copper wire around the edges... 
making a loop for hanging!
you can see a picture of the one i made before on my last post.
(i'll post a picture after it's finished!)


one more thing before i go...
remember the young yellow rat snake in the shed (again...last post)...
well, he's still there...trying to find a comfy spot...

well...as the squirrels are gathering and burying acorns...
and the hummingbirds have left for warmer weather...
and the ground is crunchy under foot with fallen leaves...
we've had the fireplace going on a few cold evenings. nice!

Happy Autumn!!

"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over 
to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, 
you will suddenly know everything there is to be known."   

'til next time...stay cool...
laura  :]