Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shortest Post Ever

I have just one thing for today:  a sketch of the tree cutter working on the Douglas Fir next door.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Down with Trees

The post title ought to be "Up with Trees", but sadly, the people who bought the house next to mine are not of the same opinion as I am.  They've got a tree-removal service out there, chopping down every tree they can find, even though they are perfectly healthy.  NOT GOOD.

Now, I can understand their desire to take out this huge Douglas Fir, which is way too close to their house.

But they also took out the beautiful Western Red Cedar in their back yard, not near the house.  It's right next to my fence (you can see the tree remover guy hacking away at it).

My back yard used to have this lovely, deeply shaded area where that cedar's boughs hung over my fence.  It was Truman's favorite pooping spot, and on the outskirts I planted a shade garden.

Here is what the same view looks like now, without the big cedar.

Thankfully, I still have MY cedar, which is the offspring of the one they cut down.   It still provides decent shade, though that deep dark shade alongside the fence is gone.  It is most distressing.  There were quite a few squirrels who loved that tree, and it was very popular with Steller's Jays.

Maybe I'll plant a new tree there, one that overhangs their back yard!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sketching at Magnuson Park

This morning I annoyed Truman by taking him to Magnuson Park and making him sit in his stroller while I drew stuff.  I'm sure he liked it better than being home alone, though.  I hope.

We stopped at the P-Patch Children's Garden, where there were no children at first (a few turned up just as I was finishing up).

As always, I snapped a pic before adding color in case I ruined it.

Most times I prefer the piece with color added.  This time, I preferred the ink drawing as I put too much color all over and it wound up looking messy.

I also made poor Truman hang out at The Mountaineers building so I could draw their rock-climbing wall.  Nobody climbed it while I was sketching it.

Here's the ink drawing.

This time I liked the color version better.

Now we are back home and Truman is comfortably situated on top on his sofa where he is happiest!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Osprey Poop, a Sketch, and a Wriggly Dog

The Osprey family at the Fill is doing well -- I checked up on them this past Saturday, and the chicks looked a little bigger and all three were present and accounted for.  It was overcast so I couldn't get great photos, but I did get a special view of something you don't see every day -- an Osprey chick letting excrement fly.  What fun!

I had no intention of taking a photo of Osprey poo -- I was just snapping away on continuous shoot mode when one of the little ones scooted over to the edge of the nest platform and spewed out this impressive stream.

The platform is pretty close to the trail, but I don't think it's close enough to land poo on someone's head -- though if  you're walking past, be sure to have a hat on just in case!

And now, on a completely unrelated note, here is a sketch.  I drew only one sketch this past weekend (it's been too hot to go outside for long).  This guy was at the Lake Forest Park farmer's market, strumming a guitar and singing soulful tunes.  He was really good, and made a great subject.

Last but hardly least, we must have Truman!  Here is a short video of His Adorableness, finding something stinky to roll in.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Two Tool Sheds with a Beach In Between

On Monday I checked out a P-Patch garden in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.  Parking was horrid, the garden was small, and I found just one decent view of the tool shed -- which, at least, was a very nice tool shed.

On Tuesday I checked out the Greenwood Station P-Patch garden.  Other than the entrance way, I found it uninspiring.  Small, with a very plain, boring shed.

It is named "Greenwood Station" because it was a stop on the Seattle-Everett railway back in the early 1900s, a railway that no longer exists.  A nearby park had this commemorative display:

I decided not to sketch there.  As it was warm and sunny and I was already in Greenwood, I came up with the brilliant notion of tootling just a few miles west to Golden Gardens Park.

It turned out to be a low tide day.

Great Blue Herons were out and about.

I also could not help noticing a low-flying helicopter with a camera on its nose which kept flying over two boats.

The copter turned out to be part of a film crew, working on the pilot for a reality TV show called "Walk the Line".    The premise involves teams traveling from one landmark to another in the straightest line possible, regardless of natural obstructions.

I have no idea what the goals were in this pilot, but we did get to see three young women contestants jump off one of the boats and swim to shore.  Perhaps they were on their way to the Space Needle...but where had they started out from?  Most peculiar.

That was it for our Tuesday adventure.  On Wednesday it was back to a P-Patch!  This time we picked up Nicole for a sketch outing at Shoreline's Twin Ponds community garden, where I've sketched before.  It has a good tool shed.

I doubt if I'll go sketching today, as it is supposed to reach 80 -- too hot for little Truman and me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Not about art, birds, nature, or even a dachshund

This post is a little out of the ordinary for this blog, but hey, it's my blog and I get to put whatever I want in here, right?  Right!

Last Sunday my friend Cyn and I were on our way to the ball game (Astros at Mariners), and when we got off the bus at the International District station, we heard drumming.  Since it was an hour and a half until game time (we always go early to eat lunch first), we investigated.  And we discovered a festival going on.

We had stumbled upon the annual Dragon Fest, a Pan-Asian celebration with music, dancing, food, and a street fair.

We arrived just in time to see the dragon dancers.

Here is a short video:

We enjoyed looking at the street fair booths, and then we headed over to the stadium for a hot dog and a ball game.  The game turned out to be the worst one we'd seen all season -- full of errors and bad pitching.  By the 7th inning, when the Astros hit a grand slam, the score was 8-0 in their favor.  We decided it might be more fun to give up and go shopping at the Pike Place Market.  A wise choice, as the final score was 8-1.

On a sunny summer weekend day, the market is pretty crowded, but we managed to wend our way through the crowds just fine.  We enjoyed just looking at stuff.

I wasn't planning to spend any money until we hit the kitchen store that specializes in Fiestaware...somehow I wound up with this butter dish.

It's a very nice butter dish, and a huge improvement on the cheap plastic one I previously owned, but when I set it on my kitchen counter, I noticed something.   It looked way nicer than anything else on the counter.  And nicer than the counter top and cabinets, too.  Oh, dear.

Does that mean I have to replace everything else in my kitchen now?   That'll teach me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hooray for Ospreys!

For the first time in modern memory, Ospreys have nested at the Montlake Fill (AKA Union Bay Natural Area).  Last year the pair arrived and tried to build their nest on the light poles of the nearby baseball stadium, which failed due to the round nature of the lights.  This year when the birds returned and started in on the poles again, the UW arranged for a platform to be built for them just across the way at the Fill.

The Osprey took to it, built a nest, and were sitting on eggs sometime in mid-May.  It's difficult to view the activity inside the nest from below (and there's no webcam), so we don't know exactly when the eggs hatched, but tiny heads were seen popping up about two weeks ago.  And this past Sunday, those heads were considerably bigger, giving much better views.

I saw only two chicks at first, though birders had reported three -- so I was happy when the third youngster popped up.

They are already testing out their little wings.

Mom has been bringing in sticks to fortify the nest -- don't want them falling out as they grow.

Dad has been bringing in the fish.

Mom tears off bits of fish to feed the youngsters.

Dad has also been collecting nest material.

These "cute" youngsters can certainly look just as fierce as their parents.

Finally, here is a short and somewhat wobbly video of feeding time. Enjoy!