Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Monday

The gray skies and the rains have returned, and that means I won't be getting out and about as much, and so unless something amazing happens (like a Swallow-tailed Gull), my plan is to post just once a week.  And if, like this coming week, the forecast calls for showers every single day, I may not even post that often!  There are only so many cute dachshund photos one can post to fill up space.

And indeed, the only thing I have to report on for today is one outing with Tina to the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  Some of the oldest and grandest homes in Seattle are found here, and we drove around until we found some we liked (well, actually, we liked them all and just drove around until we found a parking spot).

However, when it came to sketching, I found the grand homes overwhelming.  Architecture is not my strong suit.  So I walked around until something less daunting caught my eye -- and it turned out to be a front porch with wicker furniture.

The weather turned breezy and cool, so we decided to go to the nice, warm conservatory nearby to draw plants.

Plants can be overwhelming too, but I just focused on one small section and that seemed to be a bit more manageable.

That's all for this week -- Happy Monday!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cute Dogs

Because I have nothing else to post this week, here are cute dachshund photos from yesterday, when we had Winston and Chloe visiting all day.  Pippa, by the way (our foster dog) came through her dental cleaning with no problems whatsoever and her adoption posting will go up soon on the rescue site.  Hope she finds a great forever home soon!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Not A Lot Happening Here

My weekend roundup consists of three sketches and three pics of cute dachshunds -- as the post title says, there wasn't a lot happening here.  At least it cooled off a bit (we even had sprinkles of rain!).

On Friday I joined the Seattle Urban Sketcher group at Meadowbrook Pond Park just one neighborhood over.  It's a small, lovely spot that not a lot of people know about, and I enjoyed drawing there.

On Saturday, Tina and I headed to West Seattle to visit a friend, and we stopped first at  Terminal 107 Park which overlooks the Duwamish Waterway and the harbor with its barges and off-loaded containers, and the downtown Seattle skyline in the distance.  Quite a challenging subject!

As for the cute dachshunds, we had a visit from Winston, who Pippa was suspicious of at first but she quickly warmed up to him.

Pippa goes in for her dental cleaning this Wednesday, and after she's recovered, she'll be ready for adoption.  Yay!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Why I Haven't Done Anything Lately

This is what the sun has looked like the past two mornings:

This is from wildfire haze.  We also had tiny flakes of ash falling all over Seattle.

Things should improve today and I have plans to get out sketching on the weekend.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sketch Outing Roundup

I've been out sketching three times over the past week.  First I went to the University district to check out the fraternity houses before the students return.  I found the buildings were too big and too complex, so I focused just on the entryways.

My next outing was with Tina to Magnuson Park, where we checked out an art installation titled Soundgarden -- it makes eerie noises when the wind blows.

It was getting too hot, so next we tootled a short ways down the road to the Laurelhurst Community Center park, which has tons of shade and some magnificent trees.

The third outing (also with Tina) was to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens, which I'd never been to before.

It's a lovely spot.

My first sketch got rushed at the end after I discovered the mosquitoes were biting, despite my liberal application of insect repellent.

I moved off in search of a less watery area.

This caught my eye, but it was too close to a pond.

I left the river/pond area and went to the sunny, non-watery rock garden area.   Unfortunately, the shady spot by a building that I chose turned out to be inhabited by large ants.  Sigh.  The resulting sketch was also quite rushed.

I wandered around some more, finding more fun stuff.

I returned to the rock garden and found a different shady spot where there weren't any ants.

However, by now it was 85 degrees, and even in the shade, not all that comfortable, so again I hurried my drawing.

Oh, well.  Some other day when it's cooler, this would be a fine place to revisit for more sketching.

As it is supposed to reach the low 90s today and upper 80s tomorrow, there will be no outings either day.

Monday, September 4, 2017

New Foster Dog

I got a call from the dachshund rescue group for an emergency placement and couldn't refuse.  Little Pippa had been in foster care but one of her people had unplanned surgery and so I have taken over.

She is TINY -- maybe only 5 or 6 pounds! They think she is between 10 and 12 years old.

She was rescued from an abusive owner at a homeless camp.

She has almost no interest in other dogs, which is fine with Truman.

She's QUIET -- since arriving on Saturday, I've heard her bark just once.

Once she has settled in here for a week or so, she will have a dental, and once recovered from that, will be available for adoption.

Pippa is a sweet, shy girl who just wants to snuggle beside her human.  Her energy level is low and she will wear out after only ten minutes of playing, which is very refreshing after high-energy Chloe.

Our sole difficulty so far has been Truman, who has been systematically stealing all of her many toys.   I just wait until he falls asleep and steal them back for her!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Super-Duper Mega-Rarity!

I haven't added a new bird to my Life List for a long, long time -- because I don't travel much, and I have a rule (well, more like a guideline) about not chasing a rarity that's more than a 30-minute drive one way.

When I checked my email this morning, I saw a post to the local birding listserv about a Swallow-tailed Gull being seen at Carkeek Park, which is a 20-minute drive one way.


I had to look the bird up, having never heard of it -- it's an equatorial bird that breeds in the Galapagos and isn't supposed to be up this way at all.  This bird is only the third one ever recorded in all of North America!

There was a misty rain with poor visibility, but it's a small beach and I easily spotted the knot of birders lined up with their scopes checking out a large flock of California Gulls.  The Swallow-tailed Gull was easy to spot with its black head as it preened right in the front of the flock.

We all kept pretty far back so as not to startle the flock, so my photos are not as sharp as I'd like, but that's okay.   I'm just delighted that I got to see such a rarity -- by far the rarest bird I've ever chased.  I do hope it figures out how to get back south where it belongs, though.