Friday, January 31, 2014

Exotic Islands

The theme exotic inspired me to put together my first Nicaragua post.  It may be the first post.  But it all happened on our last day this January.  And last days can be notoriously sad.  But the post-trip blues melted away as we set sail through these volcanic islands off of Granada.

Here's my "IF" illustration.  This exotic flower reminded me of the water lily in the top photo.  It is one of my early gouache florals.  I don't paint many flowers anymore.

You can see Volcan Mombacho in the background.  One of its eruptions formed these little tropical islands off the coast of Granada on Lake Nicaragua.  It is the 20th largest lake in the world.  And it is the only freshwater lake in the world where sharks live!

Our boat.  As you can see we weren't really sailing.  But for $30 U.S. dollars you can charter your own boat and cruise for two hours.  A great deal.

We cruised by an island inhabited by a family of spider monkeys.  It was the first time I'd seen this species.  But you don't want to get too close.  They have attacked tourists who try to feed them.  Or maybe that is an urban tourist myth.  Either way I just zoomed in!


One of the islands held a cemetery.

And one of the islands had a large amount of Montezuma Oropendola nests.  Do you see them?

They droop off the top of trees.

Here is the culprit.  These birds are fun to hear and see.  They make this loopy kind of coo-chirp. And the males do this drop-dip up and down on a branch during mating season.  This lady is impressed.

A close up.

The crew kept picking water lilies for me.  I hope they aren't endangered!

Here we are heading back to the mainland with my bouquet and lots of memories.  It was a great trip.

And for one more photo in this series visit Toemail!  It's a blog for globe trotting feet.

For more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Save a Yeti!

click to enlarge

I wasn't planning to hook up to this week.  But then I realized I had the perfect match for the theme disguise.  I did this illustration for a t-shirt design.  A humorous Christmas present for my husband.  Yetis have been a joke at our house ever since we saw the B-movie, Yeti.  A Love Story.  It was the weirdest movie we've ever seen.  And ever since we are always saying.  "Praise the Yeti"  The movie's catch phrase.  (I put that onto the front of the shirt.  

For the back I came up with a new concept.  Now Yetis are saved by wearing shoes.  They no longer leave tell tale paw prints in the snow.  Now they leave people tracks.  

Save a Yeti!

P.S.  Be sure to pop over and check out my entry in this year's Tomie dePaola Contest  The theme is sneeze.  The entries will blow you away!  Hint...mine is at the bottom.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm cuckoo for Costa Rica

click to enlarge

It was the first morning of our 2010 trip.   A sunny beginning to another bird and monkey filled extravaganza.  And the first bird we saw was a new one.  The Squirrel Cuckoo.  I also had an assignment on this trip.  To write and illustrate in a journal that would be sent to the Brooklyn Art Library for Art House Co-op.  The theme was Over the Top.  (I've posted this set of illustrated poems before.  Many times.  But I don't think I've ever posted the inspiration bird photo. At the very least it will be new to Wild Bird Wednesday fans.) I went right back to our cabana and started writing.  I hope you'll enlarge the illustrations and read along. 

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

I've used this selection as a header.  I also used this image on business cards.  It is an old favorite.

click to enlarge

The end!

P.S.  Please pop over to the Tomie dePaola Contest to see my entry for the theme Sneeze.  It will blow you away I promise!'s at the bottom of the page.

And for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trail Cam Critters

I sorted through around 2,000 trail cam photos just for you.  My blog followers.  Actually, it was kind of fun.  When you quickly flow through all those photos it becomes like a movie.  The deer's ears twitch, their eating and frolicking comes to life and then they suddenly disappear from the frame.  Just like magic.  Well, I picked out an assortment of night critters, day trippers and anything unusual.  Like this deer kiss.  How sweet.

For those of you uninitiated with our trail cam, it is a camera that snaps a photo when it detects motion out in our woods.  So far no yetis.  

A great coyote capture.

Turkeys galore.

A flashy close-up.

click to enlarge

A fisher cat!  This is an amazing capture.

Take a gander at another turkey.

A monster deer.  But not in size.  If you look close his head looks right out of an alien movie.

click to enlarge

Inspecting the junk.

Fight club

Flight club plus ref.

One horn at night

One horn during the day.  He looks pretty beat up.

A raccoon in headlights.

Buck beauty shot.

I wonder if she's saying, "No more photos for God's sake" 

A blurry Bobcat.  It is not a good shot.  But it is still pretty cool to capture one roaming around.

The snow looks like shafts of light cutting through the night.

A post snow frolic.

A snowy dinner party.

I hope you enjoyed our nature photos.  It is fun to catch animals unaware.  And you never know watch you'll catch.  Big foot?  He's on our bucket list.

For more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday