Spring Synopsis

Spring has been cool, windy, and a season of catching up on annual precipitation.  That last bit has been threatening the local cherry crop.   I wonder if that is why the small orchard close to where I walk has been surrendered to the birds.   If the rain splits the cherries they aren’t very marketable.

Or, maybe the farmer wasn’t prepared for the birds.  (Insert a little Alfred Hitchcock mood music here.)  The past week provided the valley with an unusual migration population of Western Tanagers.  Like I’ve never seen.  Thus, the orchard was full of Tanagers chowing down on the partially ripe fruit.  They were accompanied by a fair number of Cedar Waxwings, Robins, Finch, Starlings, and probably more.  There was no saving that crop.

IMG_0775 waxwingcherry
IMG_0821 WR captured the Tanager
with the cherry in its mouth. 
I snapped the gorging
Waxwing and Robin.

I’ve not walked the creek as often in the past few weeks because of a cougar sighting.  The cat was spotted in various places in town before disappearing up the creek.

* * * * * *
I was chit-chatting with Auntie Fern this week, discussing all things in general and our upcoming vacation in particular.  She was reminiscing about her favorite moment,  standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon.

“I could stand there for hours,” she sighed, then added.  “Now they’ve built some kind of platform that you can walk out over nothing.  But, you’d have to chloroform me to get me out there!”
* * * * * *

Here’s a question for those of you who recycle.    Does anyone else wash out their items before putting in the bin?

Several months ago I think the city decided to fire the recycling provider.  For several weeks men picked up the full bin and stacked them on one flatbed truck, and replaced them with empty ones removed from another.  The one that was left on my sidewalk was moldy and stinky and about enough to gag a maggot.    When I called the city to complain about having to deal with someone else’s dirt, they offered to bring me out a new one.  But, I’d already disinfected it.  
Several weeks later the new recycle company delivered a full sized container on wheels.  With a lid!  I still keep the small bin in my garage for convenience.  And I still rinse everything before tossing.

* *  * * * *
Two weeks ago the Caboose turned two!  Smurf-ella turned one this week!  Goober Evalina will be eight next week.  And in a little more than two weeks, Curly Mop will be six.   The last two were 4 years old and 2 years old when I started blogging!
They all have a present sitting on the coffee table.  But, they probably won’t know about it until they grow up.  In the meantime they got fun kids things for their special days.

IMG_1574   The green book  - The Dust Will Wait, 2006 – is sitting on the coffee table!

I’m currently working on 2007.  Taking my time.  It isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Lots of edits are required, especially on photo placement.

* * * * * *

One of my brothers sent me an Email the other day in which he mentioned the oil spill in the gulf.  “Who needs terrorists,” he said, “when we have BP”

There has been a lot of finger pointing.  In fact, I think we’ve run out of fingers.
Truly, it has been a disaster beyond imagination.  I encourage people who pray – to do so -  for the people of the Gulf region (especially those whose livelihoods have been destroyed)  and for the birds, and the sea life.   The rest of you, do whatever you do!

* * * * * *
After leaving my water colors locked up for a year, I hauled them out and headed for a class on Friday afternoons.  We did three paintings:  Aspen trees , a Yellow-headed black bird on cattails, and a cat.  The trees and the bird will end up in the trash.  I was really excited while working on my cat  -- as it was coming along quite nicely.  Then the quarter ended before it was completed.  I painted the background at home and it is awful. And I know what I did wrong.  I don’t want you to try and console me in the comments, as this is not why I’m mentioning it.  There is just some kind of catharsis in admitting failure, and knowing why.  I won’t make the same mistake again.  I’ll throw away a lot of paintings in the future, but not for the same reason.
Here they are sitting on a chair on the patio.

* * * * * *

I’m still in my pajamas this morning, as it is the first day in weeks that I haven’t had a prior commitment.  And I’m posting something!!
Feels good.


Lene Andersen said…
Yup, wash out my recyclables, as well. Not to would just be gross.

I love the aspen trees! Want to take a walk there. And look forward to seeing the cat again, once done to your satisfaction.
nikki said…
I will take them if you are just going to throw them away!! I think the bird one is quite lovely.
Intense Guy said…
That Tanager is a brilliant and beautiful bird! Marvelous picture!

Your paintings are quite good - don't throw them away! :) If nothing else, perhaps a garage sale if you can't bear to look at them. :)

You are an excellent grandma - to keep track of all those birthdays!

And yes, the scene in the Gulf is heart-breaking... Man... and his technology has an endless ability to "fail" ... the lesson of the Titantic is unheeded... we need to stop doing things that threaten our planet -

I'd almost (almost!) be walking up the creek path in the hopes of seeing that cougar... I wouldn't want to end up feeding it though..
Jan n Jer said…
wow what an update...Yep...I also wash out my recyclables. I think you paintings are good...you are too hard on yourself! And last but not least...This scene with the oil spill on the gulf is heart breaking. A bunch of idiots left to do whatever without being regulated! Now we are faced with the unknown as to what the long term impact is going to be!
Kim said…
I'd kill for your talent with paint. I am...hopeless.

Sounds like you have a full and busy life going on. Yay for a morning in pajamas!!
grammy said…
I love the pictures...especially the aspen trees (o:
Good for you for making the blog books.
I would like to maybe someday
I do rinse things for recycle
I am worried about cherries I love them and don't want the birds to eat all of them.
Sometimes I would like to stay in my Jammies ( different ones of course) for a whole week!
Ok so I won't tell you how good your watercolors are..me who cannot draw a circle..
A cougar, now that would would scare the crap out of me.
So can you tell us more about your 2006 book..how did you make it? Or is it a CD? It looks interesting!
I am with Fern, although if she could stand on the edge for a long time she is a better woman that me! :)
lisaschaos said…
So much here! I love your birds! You got some very lovely photos and I'm glad you're painting again. :0)

As for recycling, I don't rinse my soda and water bottles as they allow us to leave the lids on, but I do rinse the milk and other things. :)
The Church Lady said…
Great update Pamela! My, you have been busy. I must say, I love the paintings. Water color is my favorite.

If you don't mind me asking, where did you compile your "The Dust Will Wait" blog book? I would like to make one for myself.
12ontheinside said…
I love your paintings, especially the trees. Isn't it funny how we all like different ones. Just like most things in life!
bermudabluez said…
My goodness! Have to read this a couple of times to catch up on everything!! I absolutely LOVE your paintings!!! Especially the kitty one!!! Yes, I rinse out all of my recycles.

Funny you should have that Blog Book there....I was just researching tonight on where I should get mine printed. May I ask where you had it done?

Glad all is well in your world and you are in your art world again!!
C said…
1. OMG-CHERRIES!! I don't blame those birds one bit! If I were there, I'd be up in the trees with them!!

2. I'm with Aunt Fern. I saw a program that showed a ride at Seattle's space needle-and it goes right out into the open.NO Thank you!

3. EW, Gross! About getting the nasty recycle bin. Yes...rinsing is a must!

4. What a great idea to leave a memory for the little ones!!!

5. BP-GRRRR... ARGH. It's really heartbreaking. I'm so scared of it landing here...in my little slice of paradise. I can't even imagine.
C said…
Your art looks awesome but I am my worst critic too when I sketch or draw, so I can't very well console you there.

The birds are gorgeous too!

As for BP ... I say greed had lots do with it. They were giving gifts to drilling regulators to be allowed to do deep sea oil drilling.
Steve Skinner said…
I always thought that the best thing about doing a painting is that if you are unhappy with the work, you can always redo it.
Karmyn R said…
You are your own worse critic. The paintings deserve more than the trash.

And as for recycling - I always wash mine. It doesn't take but a few seconds to give it a quick rinse (or throw it in the dishwasher with the other stuff). I think about the people at the recycling center who have to sort through the stuff. I wouldn't want to have to smell nasty food.
DesLily said…
yup i rinse (not "wash") the recycle stuff...

ohhh nice paintings! this could be a new reality show!
"Grandma's Got Talent"!! :o)
Anonymous said…
It was suggested to us to tie helium balloons to our cherry trees to scare away the birds...so far, they think we've thrown a party for them while they continue to nibble.
Swampy said…
It was suggested to us to tie helium balloons to our cherry trees...so far, the birds must think we've thrown them a party while they nibble.
Jettie said…
well first off I think those are beautiful!! dont throw them!!1 2nd lotsa rain here!! Head over off of thispost to see our news and add yourself to my followers list so I can stay in touch!! Ill be closing my other blogs!1
Kila said…
Yes, I rinse out containers to be recycled.

As for the Gulf mess, I feel like we're all at fault, because we all use oil/products. We demanded cheap, good quality gas and BP provided that.
Kila said…
P.S. I LOVE your paintings!
Peter said…
Hi Pamela, a good catch up post with lots of your exciting/talented life on show.
Helene said…
Ohhh love you art!

I only wash out messy cans or jars not soda, milk etc (just put the lid back on those)

Happy Summer! xoxoH
Sally said…
I can't believe that Caboose is two. I remember the arrival! Where does time go. i ahve posted again btw. Bit slow between posts i know, but getting there again!
Hayden said…
We don't have recycling, alas! I do rinse the few cans I have - cat food and an occasional can of kippers for me - other wise the stench of my own garbage would knock me over. Oh... yeah, I even rinse the plastic that meat comes sealed in, for the same reason.

As for the art - my own goal for most things is simple. Improved failures. Each one better than before, LOL! So yeah, I totally get the relief of admitting it and of learning what didn't work. I use the same attitude for my farming, home improvements and my writing. Drives a couple of my friends crazy, they seem to think that failing is a bad thing. I think it's a good thing - it means I tried to do something that was beyond my grasp, and that I have high standards.

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