Friday, February 25, 2011

Mini SWARM

Today's http://www.illustrationfriday.com/ theme is swarm. I think you'll have to use your imagination on this one! Imagine the friendly looking bee flying off and swarming with his pals. BBBZZZZZ!

I did this illustration around 3 years ago. It depicted a scene from my story, "The Tale of the Magic Cat Whiskers" I really shouldn't let my idea of magic cat whiskers go to waste. I still love that idea. But the illustration...not so much. I've really grown as an illustrator since I did this piece. But one thing I do love about this illo is the glowing green color of the flowers. Speaking of flowers...


This is my magic orchid. It was in full bloom last May. I always call it my magic orchid because it has been blooming without fail for many years now.

Flash forward... to today to be exact. And my orchid is at it again. The magic buds starting forming around 1-2 months ago. And it now has 4 blooms and many more to come. And it was only about 6 months ago that it was still in its last flower mode.









I do have 2 cats. And that is a lot of magic whiskers after all!




Friday, February 18, 2011

The LAYERS of a King and a Princess

I've been waiting for a reason to start posting some of this year's photos of the Mayan ruins in Belize. And today's http://www.illustrationfriday.com/ gave me a fun tie in. My self portrait illustration, Princess and the Me was a wildly fun and self indulgent portrait I did for the CBIG website. You can click to enlarge to see details. Besides the Princess part it couldn't be more fitting to portray my sensitive personality. Of course the layers of mattresses are what fit the theme!




Now for the journey to see the King's digs. That's our rental car taking the short ferry ride across the river to Xuantunich in Belize.



Belize is a country filled with large and small Mayan sites. Most are still unexcavated. Xuantunich was the first site we visited on our trip. And it also has the 2nd tallest pyramid in the country. When the sites are first discovered they are usually completely buried beneath the jungle. They basically look like a hill underneath the jungle growth.





Layers!











An interesting fact about this carved frieze is that what you see is a reproduction. The original was reburied underneath the ground to preserve it.


















When we were sitting at the top of the temple we thought,"We're on vacation now!" There were armed guards flanking the top as well. And we discovered later that they were there because of this temple's close proximity to the border between Belize and Guatemala.


Sometime soon I'll post photos of an awe inspiring site we visited in Guatemala called Tikal.







Monday, February 14, 2011

San Luis Waterfall

Joan over at http://www.myretirementchronicles.blogspot.com/ hosts a fun monthly photo challenge. And this photo was my submission for this month's Bridges theme. I had to laugh at one of the comments about my photo. Basically that it looked pretty darn scary. The funny part was that this was not even the scary part of the slippery nail biter of a trail. Actually, some adventurous and sure footed people would have no problem with it. But I am not one of those people. I have an adventurous spirit and a scaredy cat brain. That being said I made it to the end and was rewarded with the roar of a waterfall so huge that we couldn't even see the top. This hike was so obscure that the Costa Rica guide books didn't really have a lot of information on it. After all, most people that travel in Central America do not rent cars and only hit the more touristy spots. But this was a not to be missed rock hopping challenge. I don't know if we captured the scary part in our photos. (My husband filmed the short movies) But hopefully we captured the fun!




This might not look scary. But there's a waterfall at the edge of those slippery rocks. You can see me sitting on the right and contemplating my demise.




















video





video


I hope you can play the videos. Have you purchased your plane tickets yet? Be sure to bring your trekking poles. This hike inspired me to never leave home with out them! Oh and Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite hiking buddy/sweetheart!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Have you ever seen the REVERSE side of a Blue Morpho?



It's illustration friday. http://www.illustrationfriday.com/ And I have a really fun post to go along with today's illo. My pick today is an illustration from last Winter's fiction project. I wrote and illustrated a journal called, "There's an Iguana on my roof!" for Art House Co-op.


The Blue Morpho was an easy pick for today's theme. It has a brown moth like reverse side of the beautiful blue that we all know and love. Now for the interesting part of this post. Be sure to cruise down to see the complete life cycle (approximately 3-4 months) of this butterfly...
























































We visited the Blue Morpho hatchery at Chaa Creek in Belize earlier this month. The butterflies start out as a tiny opaque droplet on the underside of a jungle leaf. Then the photos take you on a journey as they grow to a cocoon. (They actually are quite toxic during their caterpillar stage) Then they magically pop out of their shell for a brief and beautiful life on earth. The photo of my husband is funny. The reverse side of the butterflies look like hat horns.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paw Prints




Yes, these are Jaguar paw prints. (minus the actual Jaguar thankgoodness!) We were hiking at Mayflower state park in Belize earlier this month when we spotted these prints. We actually saw quite a few paw prints during the hike. I guess it only makes sense that the Jaguar would choose to walk on a trail just like humans do. And get a load of the huge claw marks.





I couldn't resist adding my own paw print.




illo paw.










These paw prints were photographed at the Crew hiking trails near Fort Myers Florida. They are from a panther. Again, no big cats were spotted during the actual hike. But it is sort of creepy knowing that they could be watching us from a nearby tree or behind some bush. Got Claws?








I know, I've posted this paw before. But have you ever seen a cuter paw? I call them calico paws. And there's nothing to be scared of here. Except an exceptionally rough tongue!