Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sketch Outings Here and There

Last Sunday Tina and I went out in search of boats.  I have a horrible time trying to draw boats, and the only way to get better is to keep trying.  We headed to the Edmonds marina, where I was immediately attracted to a rather odd looking little craft.

You don't see too many boats with trees growing on them, so of course I had to sketch it!

A restaurant at the marina featured a band on the plaza, so I went over to draw them.

Next we stopped in at Sky Nursery in Shoreline, which was hosting the annual Dahlia Association show.

There was nowhere to sit to draw dahlias, so we went into another area to do a little more sketching.

I also got in a bit of sketching yesterday when I went to Capitol Hill to pick up my new hearing aid.  I arrived a good twenty minutes early, so I stopped at the clinic's plaza and drew the fountain there:

Then I tootled over to the hearing aid center.  I'd been there back in July for an initial assessment, and at that time I started a drawing of the waiting room which I never finished, so at yesterday's appointment, I managed to complete it:

On my walk back to the bus stop, I noticed a small community "P-Patch" garden and just had to check it out.  There was a handy bench by the tool shed, so I did a quick drawing before heading on home.

The forecast does not look good for outdoor activities for the next few days, so this blog may not be updated until good weather returns.  Or maybe I'll just take lots of photos of Truman!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bird Update

The very day that I departed for Richland, not one but TWO rare birds turned up in Seattle--a Northern Waterthrush at Discovery Park, and a Wandering Tattler at Carkeek Park.  I found it most vexing to read every day about their appearances...days when I was far, far away.  And of course, the day before I planned to return, the reports ceased.  The birds had most likely flown onwards.  Sigh.

On Sunday morning, despite no reports of the birds, I still decided to go to Carkeek Park in the faint hope that the Wandering Tattler might reappear.  What a fabulous name for a bird!  It is a decent-sized roundish gray shorebird, fond of rocks, which I might have seen once in Oregon but don't count on my list because the Audubon guide, due to it being a long ways off on the sea stacks, wasn't 100% sure it wasn't the very similar looking Surfbird.  We did, at least, see Surfbirds.

Anyway, to cut it short, I did not find a tattler, wandering or otherwise, at Carkeek Park. Sigh.  I did find three other birders who themselves were wandering disconsolately up and down the shore--they had not seen it either.  Oh, well.

I got two consolation prizes that morning:  first, a large flock of Band-tailed Pigeons:

And second, an Osprey diving for a fish:

Speaking of Ospreys, after the Carkeek Park visit, I tootled down the road to the Montlake Fill to check in on the family there.  All three kids are now flying and catching fish and fighting over fish and generally being quite active.

That was it for my birding efforts for the past week.  I did not go birding in the Tri-Cities, because late August is not a good time for that there -- very few birds about and way too hot.  I did see oodles of Eurasian Collared Doves, a species that was rare just a few years ago and is now taking over the place.

I wonder if I should change the name of my blog to The Wandering Tattler?  Because basically what I do now in retirement is wander around hither and yon, and then tattle about it here!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Last of the Richland Adventure

Truman and I have returned to Seattle and Dog End after five days in Richland visiting family.  Tru is happy to have a window to look out again!

I did a little sketching there, and took Tru to the Columbia River to go wading, and did a bit of book shopping in addition to the usual jigsaw puzzles, card games, and baseball watching.  I needed a vacation from retirement and had a relaxing time overall.

Here are the last pics from our trip.  From Friday, a visit to the Richland Farmer's Market:

I managed to sketch some booths before the market officially opened, when it got way too crowded.

Truman posed by the statue of Bodie, a well-beloved shop owner's dog.

Earlier that week, I drew part of the Uptown Shopping Center (built in 1949) which is sporting new mid-century modern murals.

We made quite a few visits to the riverside to cool off from the desert heat.

I also sketched at Goethals Park:

On our drive home, we stopped at Vantage, home of the Gingko Petrified Forest state park.  Before you get to the park, there's a rock and gift shop that has some particularly fun decor.

Now I'm ready to stay home for a while -- no more vacations until next Spring!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fun with Airplanes

While visiting family in Richland, I decided to see what the local chapter of Urban Sketchers might be up to, and it turned out they were having a sketch outing yesterday at the airport.  They welcomed me to join them at this small, non-commercial general aviation airport for private planes.

Those who know me are aware of my severe airplane phobia and may be surprised at my eagerness to go draw them, but I found the small planes non-intimidating and enjoyed the outing.  The group had arranged for a plane to be posed for them in front on the control tower -- its owner is a friend of a group member and is an aerial photographer.

There were also several small craft parked on the tarmac.

I joined the group gathered around the posed plane.

I was not happy with this first attempt at drawing a plane.  I had a lot of trouble fitting both the plane and the tower on the page, couldn't get the wings right, and felt rushed when the pilot said he might have to move the plane (turned out he didn't).

We were also allowed into a hangar, so I moved over there, attracted by its lovely shade.

After looking over all the planes inside, I settled on this red-and-white mosquito control plane.

I was much happier with this drawing -- I didn't have to worry about fitting two objects onto the page, and I was able to take my time with it.

The group convened to share drawings and take a group photo, and then the real fun began -- while chatting with the pilot, I mentioned my airplane phobia.  He promptly invited me to ride in the plane as he taxied it back to its hangar about a mile and a half away.  Well, that seemed safe enough -- he promised not to lift off.  So I hopped on in!

I think our top speed was around 25mph.  It was ever so exciting.

At the hangar, I got to see how you park an airplane.

That had to be one of the more unusual sketch outings I've been on yet!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Visit to the Atomic City

Truman and I tootled off to Richland as I needed a vacation from retirement (because it's too tiring!).  Of course, the first thing I did was go sketching.  This is the Uptown Shopping Center.

Truman and I have also been entertaining ourselves with walks by the river.  Here we are at the marina.

Truman is not allowed in the Yacht Club.

And here is Tru taking a wee dip to cool off in the desert heat.