Friday, June 25, 2010

Links to check out

For my darling grandchildren, I bequest imminent death... An eminent scientist discusses why humans will be extinct within 100 years. Tipoff from 10,000 birds.

A very detailed and interesting account of life at a Caspian Tern colony in Louisiana, that (so far) shows no sign of oil. Cornell University blog. 

What's to be done about wild species (gasp!) hybridizing? Prospective number one, prospective number two. Tipoff from Russlings blog.

"Here, mommy will show you how to scrape the oil off of your feet". Globs and globs of oil pellets not deterring moms and kids from swimming at Destin Beach, Florida.  Check out those yellow waves...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roadside horses

I don't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by horses.  No particular incident, no early exposure...  I tend to think it's a particular gene.  What an odd genetic legacy!

Here are two roadside horses.

Awwww, lookit his droopy lip...


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Going Live

Well, not really.  I haven't made up my mind about the header yet.  My name looks very, very big.  But I got a desire to start the first post.  I'm trying to be okay with these inspirationus interruptus.  You see, I've started apologizing for being who I am.  When I was seventeen, I swore I wouldn't do that any more.  I feel that I've betrayed that version of myself, that high school graduate with cherry red hair and a big blue car. 

That was thirteen years ago.  The hair color is back to natural, and I've still got the car.  It doesn't run, but I've still got it.  It's representative of my world.  I feel that my life is on hold, and I'm not sure why.  Don't know what I'm waiting for.  I thought thirty would bring with it some maturity, or something that would pass for it.  No such luck.  I need a t-shirt that says "I turned 30 for this?". 

We won't be getting into a life story.  Not yet, anyways.  Suffice to say, I want to be "me".  Not "me, pending approval".  My first step is integrating two seperate blogs into this one.  I had planned to import all of my blog posts from those two, but I've decided against it.  This will be my shiny, new "moving forward" project, and will seamlessly incoporate those parts of my life together.  Or not.  Either way. 

I tried to think of a witty, clever title for this blog, but I think I'll leave it as it is.  It will serve as my reminder that it's ok to just be me, for realz.  Peace out, peeps! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Somehow or another

Well, not quite sure how it happened, but I managed to coax a bird off of the paper yesterday!

American White Pelican - Graphite on Paper
Copyright 2010, Nicole MacPherson
The American White Pelican is hard to miss, and quite conspicuous in this area from spring to fall.  We live in the middle of the city, but have Pelicans on our yard list - returning from a trip a couple of years back, a group of them flew overhead while we were unloading the car.  How cool is that?  They are often tolerant of a human presence, and are fun to photograph!  They make the funniest faces...  I spied this individual at Whitemouth Falls, one of a large group (maybe about 30) in June of 2006. 

I didn't have a clear enough photo to do a really detailed drawing, this is more of a sketch.  I was thinking about the oil spill while I was drawing, and had trouble with the shadows on this bird.  Maybe it was the oil on my mind, but my bird seemed more "dirty" than white. 

For some reason, I had assumed the oiled birds I'd seen pictures of were all Brown Pelicans.  Not sure why I thought that, it's not like the identifying features were visible. 

Took a quick trip to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Blog to see what they had to say.  They mention that the photos making the rounds online of birds "mired in oil" are Brown Pelicans, but the first bird in the slideshow is an American White Pelican with a good deal of oil on its feathers. 

In my reference photo, the pelican was resting, and probably had his head cocked that way to keep an eye on the water, in case any juicy fishies swam up.  But in my drawing, he looks to be casting a jaundiced eye to the viewer.  But maybe that's just me.