Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Two Short Sketch Outings

This past weekend I managed to get two short sketch outings in, one at Magnuson Park community garden and another at Twin Ponds community garden.

Here is Tru at Magnuson:

At the Twin Ponds garden, a plant sale was underway.

I don't know when I'll get out sketching again with the new foster dog around -- she can't travel by car yet (needs to recover from digestive upset first) and I can't leave her alone too long yet.  So there may not be updates for a while.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Well, This Is Different

Things may be interesting here at Dog End over the next few weeks -- I have acquired a foster dog!

I'd been thinking of giving fostering a try ever since retiring (wow, nearly a year and a half ago now!).  But there weren't any rescue organizations specializing in dachshunds until recently, when Hearts4Doxies was formed.

After an application and a home check, they asked if I wanted to foster a one-year-old dapple girl named Chloe.  !  Truman already knows a Chloe quite well, so I decided that might work okay.  She arrived on Saturday afternoon and is settling in.

She is a sweet, friendly girl.  After a bit of initial growling and snapping, Truman is mostly tolerating her, though not making friends with her yet.  We shall see.

She's quite a barker, and Truman's habit of barking at everything out the front window is not helping with that habit.  It was a noisy weekend, as the weather was very warm and sunny throughout, and the neighbors were out in their yard, making for lots more barking.  Yay.

Once she is settled in and calmed down after her long trip (she came from Oregon), the rescue group will schedule her for spaying.  They estimate that will be in about two weeks.  I'll also be working to introduce her to walks and park visits and try to address any issues she may have.

Once she's recovered from surgery and is deemed adoptable, the rescue group will put her up for adoption, and I suspect there will be a lot of interest as she is young, cute, and well-mannered.

Hope all goes well!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stroll 'n' Sketch

Most of the time I like to combine sketching with a nice walk/stroll with Truman.  For one thing, his stroller's storage compartment is handy for hauling the bulky camp stool, as well as food and water.  And of course, I get my daily exercise out of the way while exploring new places.

Yesterday's Stroll 'n' Sketch was not to a new place--I decided to return to the North Seattle College campus and environs--though I did explore more of it this time.

We started out by parking about eight blocks away from the campus, by Licton Springs Park.

This is a pleasant little spot with a sketch-worthy stream, but it was too cool at this point to sit and draw in comfort, so we moved on.

Another four blocks or so along is the local community garden--another good spot to sketch, but again, still too cool.

We arrived at the campus (this used to be the North Seattle Community College--they've dropped "community" from the name).  My idea was to roam around the buildings looking for good views, but I quickly discovered that the campus is positively riddled with stairs, with no obvious accessible routes or signs.  Rather frustrating!

So I moved on to the greenbelt, which runs alongside the main parking lot.  There I found a very simple scene that I liked, and by now the temperature had risen just enough for a bit of sitting and sketching.

Just as I finished, more clouds rolled in, things cooled down a bit, and I decided that was it for sketching.  So we just roamed around the greenbelt area a little more before heading back to the car.

There are rumors of much warmer, much sunnier days ahead--could we possibly see seventy degrees soon?  We shall see!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What, No Photos?

This post has not photos, because I don't have any to illustrate this topic, which is "Odd Insect Names."

My current Seattle Audubon volunteer project is proofreading a book on Pacific Northwest insects -- not exactly my favorite thing to read.  However, there are moments when it gets fun.  I've discovered that many insects have bizarre common names, which I'm going to share with you -- aren't you lucky?

Here are the most peculiar common names I've run across so far:

Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid
Bird Cherry-Oat Aphid
Blue-Green Sharpshooter
Piglet Bugs
Big-eyed Toad Bug
Four-humped Stink Bug
Twice-stabbed Stink Bug
Devil's Coach Horse (a type of beetle)
Monkey Beetle
Little Bear Beetle
Handsome Fungus Beetles
Tumbling Flower Beetles
Confused Flour Beetle (is the flour confused, or the beetle?)
Punctured Blister Beetle
Ponderous Borer
Blackberry Skeletonizer Moth (where were they when I tried to eradicate my blackberry?)
False Owlet Moth
Squash Bug  (I take that as an instruction, not a name...)

As I'm only about one-fourth of the way through this tome, there may be more to come!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Indoors and Out

The Saturday forecast was for cool, unpredictable weather, so the Northend Sketchers got together indoors to draw from photographs.

We found photos of cool old Irish castle ruins and projected them onto a big TV for easier sketching. The first photo was of Dunluce Castle.  I spent some time on a drawing with lots of details, and then did a second one as fast as possible.  I like them both.

The 25-minute version:

The five-minute version:

I don't know the name of the second castle ruins--I didn't get the colors quite right (the reddish parts on the walls were more vivid with magenta tones), but oh, well.  It's only practice!

On Sunday there were sun breaks in the wacky Spring weather, and Truman and I managed to get out to Magnuson Park for a stroll.

Last year I started a series of drawings of various views at the P-Patch Community Garden there, but I started them rather late in the season.  This year I want to sketch there from Spring onwards.  This is the entrance to the garden, with a small tool shed in the background.

There are many fine views and fine flowers in the garden, and if it ever warms up, Truman and I will be back.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Quiet Stroll

The weekend was quiet, with short, simple outings to local parks, plus a bit of sketching here and there.

It started on Friday with a morning walk around Green Lake.  Well, that is, I walked, while Truman mostly strolled.

I did make him get out now and then, but he startles easily, and if anyone rode past on a bicycle or worse, an evil skateboard, he would start trying to climb up my legs to get back in the stroller.

Luckily, there were very few cyclists and only one skateboarder.  And as usual, the closer we got to our starting point and the car, the more motivated he was to walk.

He also enjoyed sitting on my lap when I took a short rest on a bench.

I did just one sketch there of a small church:

It was too cold to sit around long -- yes, after some lovely warm sunny days last week, Seattle has returned to its cool, drizzly, cloud-covered Spring.  Sigh.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Catching Up at Home

When I got back home from my vacation, the sun was shining and it was WARM for three whole days in a row!  Whee!!!

So I had to get out to sketch.  Nicole and I ventured out on Tuesday to the Richmond Beach neighborhood a little ways north, where we checked out a small park.

Next door to the park was a small cemetery with some nicely spaced statues.  For this drawing I used Tombow water-soluble gray pens plus a little watercolor for the tree.

On Wednesday morning Truman and I checked out the Montlake Fill.  The Osprey pair were there--the female, Lacey, was sitting in a tree, and the male, Chester, flew in and landed on top of her.

He rested there briefly before using her as a launch pad to fly to the next branch over.

Meanwhile, the two coyotes were still around -- they were snoozing on a bank, though keeping a watchful eye out for interlopers.

We also saw a lovely Cinnamon Teal.

The swallows were flitting about everywhere -- this Tree Swallow paused for a moment to give us a nice view.

On our way out, we paused to admire the perennial garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture.

Today the rain is scheduled to return, and there is rain in the forecast for the next five days.  It must be Spring in Seattle.  Last night I spent quite some time on zillow.com, the real estate site, doing some fantasy home shopping in the southwestern states.  Goodness, I could buy a 3-bedroom, 1-3/4 bath home with a pool in Tucson for half the value of my current home!  If only I had friends there.  Oh, well.

Then again, with a pool in the yard and all that sunshine, maybe I'd get my friends to come visit a lot!