Friday, April 12, 2013

Birds and Animals

Journey.....listening to the wind!
Intently listening to the story that the wind is telling as he travels on his Journey.... 
(Painted with permission by nature photographer Richard Cronberg!)

Kobe the Rat Terrier (2013)

Mandy the  Basenji The Basenji is a breed of hunting dog that was bred from stock originating in central Africa. The Basenji produces an unusual yodel-like sound commonly called a "barroo", due to its unusually shaped larynx which also causes them to be known as "the Barkless Dog!"  Mandy belongs to my cousin!

Bo the Puppy He's thinking, "What can I chew up next?"

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill.  Northern Shovelers feed by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging there bills from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water. They use their highly specialized bill to forage for aquatic invertebrates – a carnivorous diet.  (source wikipedia)  Painted with permission by nature photographer Richard Cronberg!

Male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) watercolor painted with permission by photographer Richard Cronberg

Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)
Painted with permission by California Nature Photographer Richard Cronberg

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
painted in watercolor by permission from photographer Emily Teel

The Cuban Tody bird! The first time I saw a photo of this type of bird I thought that I was looking at a piece of candy!  They reminded me of cotton candy that I liked to eat when I was young!!  And I just knew that I had to try and paint this little beauty!!!  This jewel is small but has a large head relative to their body size.  Their nests are tunnels dug into clay-type banks along water.

The Female Mallard 
 (Anas platyrhynchos)
The nesting period can be very stressful for the female since she lays more than half her body weight in eggs.  Here she is looking back as her babies follow her for the very first time into the water!  The babies are precocial which means that they can swim as soon as they are born!  The opposite of precocial is altricial: meaning babies that are helpless when born.  Since 1933, the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee has kept Mallards as a popular hotel attraction!  The hotel is known for the "Peabody Ducks" that live on the hotel rooftop and make daily treks to the lobby.  The duck families are rotated out every three months just in case you wondered how the babies stay the same size.....  Just to let you know!  And!! The one little duck with the feather on his back - he led the others with a "Quack! Quack! Quack!" (painted in watercolor with permission by photographer Emily Teal)

A California Hummer humming merrily along! 
Painted with permission by Vanessa Armes!  (watercolor)

Blue Jay

Feed me daddy!


Eastern Bluebird


 Mocking Bird
This bird can imitate almost any sound including cell phone rings!

A Blue Jay for Christmas! (Cyanocitta cristata)
(painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!)

I live in the "Mule Capitol of the World". So, I figured it was about time to show you all a mule. I don't know this one personally, but he seems nice. I was watching "A & E" (Arts & Entertainment) one night, and saw that they had a program on "Mule Day" and on the mule pull here. Every April we have "Mule Day", which I think is a lot of fun. I started watching the tv show and saw one of my friends in the contest. This contest involved using a team of two mules to pull a large sled carrying a heavy weight. My friend won the contest. I had to call him up and tell him that I saw him on TV. He said women called him from all over the United States after that program came on. I just hope I'm not too mule-headed. I know I can be very stubborn. We do owe a lot to mules, as they helped tame this land.

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

Stoney the horse
Stoney's full name is "Ima Little Stoned". He's the son of "Classical Stone" who has 490 AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) Performance Points. Stoney was born on April 22, 1993. A nice, quiet, gentle horse.

Rockin' Robin!

The Grizz! (Ursus arctos horribilis   (The term Grizzly means "grizzled" which indicates golden and gray tips of the hair.  George Ord first classified the Grizzly in 1815 but not for its hair but for its temperament! Ursus horribilis as truly they can be horrible to encounter!) painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!
"I'm just cooling my heels, relaxing and waiting for the first fat Salmon to swim by!  What could be better!" said Mr. Grizz!

American Goldfinch

Daddy watching his baby!

Black and White Warbler


Dove love

King of the North


Pygmy Owl
Glaucidium californicum - painted with permission by Photographer Richard Cronberg. His photo appeared in Birds and Blooms magazine Oct/NOv 2009 (painted in watercolor)

Jessica's puppy


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Hummer humming

 Calliope Hummingbird - (Stellula calliope) watercolor
The Latin word "Stellula" means "Little Star".  Photo is by David Carter.  David and wife, Sarah Carter had called James Bell, who is a Master Licensed Bander with the Audubon Society, to come over and see this tiny flying artist.  Mr. Bell netted and then banded the little guy.  The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest breeding bird in North America and the smallest long-distance avian migrant in the world! This 3.25" long pollinator travels some 9,000 km round-trip on migration from northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada to south-central Mexico.


Pine Grosbeak

Female Rufous Hummingbird - (Selasphorus rufus)

From a photo by David Carter which was sent to me by my cousin, Sarah Carter. Banded by Master Bander James Bell and David Carter.

This miniature dive bomber out flies all other species. The Rufous has the longest migration route of all United States hummingbirds and is seen in every state except Hawaii. The Rufous is the most widely-distributed hummingbird in North America. What a pretty young lady!

Sapsucker Woodpecker

Pacific Coast Tree Frog - Pseudacris regilla - from the Latin pseud meaning false or deceptive and acris derived from the Latin Acre, for sharp, referring to the sharp shape of the head or from the Greek akris, meaning a locust. This genus is a "false Acris" since it might be confused with the genus Acris because they both have pointed heads. The species name regilla is from the Latin regillus, meaning regal or splendid. So, definitely not Pseudacris ludicris! Painted with permission and suggestion by photographer Richard Cronberg

Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

Mr. Deer looks for safety

Yellow Warbler

Turkey strutting

Abby's dog

He was greatly loved by a wonderful lady!


Green Heron (Butorides virescen) Butorides is from Middle English butor "bittern" and Ancient Greek -oides, "resembling", and virescens is Latin for "greenish. (wikipedia)
Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!

Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)

Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Rocky Ledward!  The Smooth-billed Ani is rare to the USA but are sometimes found in Florida.  A communal nest is shared by the females which may lay up to nine eggs each.  Nests have been found containing 29 eggs but rarely will more than 10 hatch.  Three broods may occur in one season and the previous young may help in raising the new hatchlings!

The love of a dog!  What a thing!  I thought about the dogs I have loved in my life.  The first puppy I got when I was very young, Bullet, was a scamp!  My second canine companion, Sandy Buck Rogers, accompanied me on various escapades from the 7th grade and later into college life.  My latest friend, Skippy, makes me feel so special when I come home!  Bain lived next door and was Skippy's friend until Bain recently passed away.  So, this is to honor Bain and for my friends that have lost their fur babies over the years that know the love they give!

Eastern Meadowlark - Sturnella magna
Meadowlarks love to walk on the ground as they look for food!  They must love the ground as they also nest on the ground.  There is a decline in the species probably due to a loss of habitat.  Perhaps the "V" on their chests symbolizes Victory for them in a comeback!  "Sweet Georgia Brown!" Meadowlark Lemon would whistle for their victory!

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
This song bird spends the summers in much of Canada and the northern United States but migrates into the rest of the US during the winters.  Their maximum lifespan is just a little over 11 years.  On a few rare occasions, this bird has made it to western Europe.  Its name comes from the beautiful songs they have in their repertoire.  Some have even said that they can sing the first four notes in Beethoven's Symphony No. 5!  Painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!


Pepper the Rooster
Hatched from an egg that no one thought would hatch!

Pelican Smellican
"Hey Mom!  You caught a Pelican on your fishing pole!"

American Bald Eagle
I drew this one the week of 9/11

Steller's Jay

 Mr. Quail

Pine Warbler Setophaga pinus
The Pine Warbler is a small song bird commonly seen in eastern pine forests, and rarely seen away from the pines where they like to nest.  They are very vocal while singing hence the name!  Painted with permission by Richard Goohs!

Looking forward to the first meal of the day!  
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in watercolor
This painting of a Great Blue Heron is from a photo taken by my cousin Sarah's husband,

Taking a Step!
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in watercolor
Watercolor painting of a Great Blue Heron from a photo taken by my cousin Sarah's husband!

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
One fine morning I woke up just before sunrise, and tried to live my life-long ambition of being a Rooster!  I crowed my heart out as the glorious sun arose over the hills!!!!  But then, I realized that I wasn't really awake, and had been dreaming!  So, let me start over!  "The sea was angry that day my friends!  Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli!"  No wait!  That's still not it!  Oh my goodness!  I'm a pelican!!!  Well, just let me complain about the cost of fish then!!! And here is an old saying that my cousin told me, "A wonderful bird is the pelican! 
His beak can hold more than his bellican!"
(watercolor painted from a photo by David Carter)

Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana  
(watercolor) painted with permission by Wildlife Photographer Richard Cronberg!

                                                                    Hey Fish!
"Hey Fish!" said the gull.
"What is it?" replied the fish.
"Come up here so I can tell you a story!"
"You aren't fooling me," retorted the indignant fish, "because I know you want to eat me."
"Nonsense!" said the gull, "I just want to tell you a story about my trips around the bay,
and anyway, I've become a vegetarian."
"I'm too smart to believe that!" the fish replied.
"No!  Really! I have converted to vegetarianism and I love seaweed now!  I recently heard the most wonderful story about a large fish over on the other side of the bay.  He has been crowned king and is trying to change the way we all think and live!  I went over to listen to him talk and I became converted!"
"I've heard about that guy, and he is trying to persuade all of the local predators to become vegetarians so we can all live in peace!  Did you really listen to his speech?  I'm coming up so that you can tell me more!"
"Thanks!" said the gull.  "Oh!  And by the way thanks for breakfast!"  Chomp!
"There's a sucker born every minute!" is the morale of this story, so please be careful about what you believe!

The American Bison! (in watercolor)
We have two sub-species, the Plains Bison (Bison bison bison) and the Woods Bison (Bison bison athabascae), in the United States.  On rare occasions, a White Bison will be born which is sacred to Native Americans.  The name Buffalo is consider to be a misnomer as it is only distantly related to the true Buffaloes, and I keep getting corrected every time I say "Buffalo!" though I am glad to learn when I have made a mistake so I can get it right the next time! (Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of Dr. Andrews)

"Blue Jay"(Cyanocitta cristata)
"Hey everybody!  The party's at my nest!  I've got snacks!  Peanuts for everyone!" 
 Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of Richard K. Ledward, Jr.
Colorado Elk! 
(Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of William Andrews who took the photo in the Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado.)
"Why yes, I did rub the velvet off of my antlers with this tree!  And no, you may not use my tree!  Go and find your own!  I have created a work of art on this particular canvas!  I call it Expectations of Grandeur!

Northern Cardinal  (Cardinalis cardinalis
Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!

American Black Vulture  (Coragyps atratus)
Some say that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" but artists can see beauty even in areas where most would not find it!  To me there is beauty even in the face of this vulture! (painted with the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!)

Dee Cee the squirrel! 
Dee Cee is a Washington, DC squirrel that lives just outside the National Gallery of Art!  He is probably influenced a lot by the Calder sculpture that is nearby his tree!  He is seen here carving a nut to look like the Calder sculpture! (Painted in watercolor from a photo taken by me!)

Greta and Buster!  They are  Brussels Griffons! (watercolor)

Female Allen's Hummingbird! (Selasphorus sasin)
Painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!

Chloe the Corgi!

Red-breasted Merganser - (Mergus serrator)

(Painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!)

Cooper's Hawk! (Accipiter cooperii) 
 Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of photographer Deb Johnson!

Luna Moth (Actias luna)
These beautiful moths have one of the largest wing spans (4 1/2 and rarely up to 7 inches) of all moths in North America! They have very short lives of usually only a week.  Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of photographer Richard Goohs.

Red-bellied Woodpecker! (Melanerpes carolinus)  

This bird's name is somewhat misleading because the most prominent red part of its plumage is on the head.  Its close cousin the red-headed woodpecker looks a lot different.  Painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of Canadian photographer Deb Johnston!

Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of photographer Dr. Bill Andrews!

Cali the cat!  (acrylics)
Cali is a female.  Male Calico cats are very rare with only about one in a thousand births and are usually sterile.  Only one in ten thousand males is fertile.

Belted Kingfisher  - Megaceryle alcyon
(painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of Canadian photographer Deb Johnston!)
The Belted Kingfisher is one of very few varieties of birds in which the female is much more colorful than the male!  Go ladies!  Their nest is dug into the side of a creek bank and slopes up, sometimes to eight feet!  The young have acidic stomachs which help digest various bones etc. of fish.  The young lose this ability and the chemistry of their stomachs change as they grew older!


Red-Crested Cardinal  (Paroaria coronate)  This bird is also called "The Red Kramer" because of Cosmo Kramer's hair style on the TV show "Seinfeld."  Painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward.  Though native to South America, this beautiful songbird has been introduced into Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Bell, the Red-tailed hawk! (Buteo jamaicensis) (watercolor)
Bell is a very pretty lady!  The Red-tailed hawk is one of three species that are sometimes referred to as "chicken hawks" though the Red-tailed hawk rarely preys on chickens which should be of some comfort to Foghorn Leghorn!  "That's a joke, ah say, that's a joke, son!" said Foghorn Leghorn to Henery Hawk after the youngster went after the barnyard dog by mistake because he did not know what a chicken looked like!

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of Canadian photographer Deb Johnston!

"Hollywood" the horse!
He was greatly loved by a young lady for many years...

American Rubyspot Damselfly (Hetaerina americana)
this beauty can be found in many of the lower 48 states except for Washington State and Idaho, and is the most widespread of the North American Rubyspots.  It is also found from Mexico to Eastern Canada.  Many thanks to Canadian photographer, Deb Johnston, for her gracious permission to paint this beauty in watercolor!

The Very Blue Jay! (Cyanocitta cristata)

"Are you talking about me behind my back?  I don't like that!  It also hurts my neck
to turn my head around like this!  So, stop that!!!"

(painted in watercolor from a photograph by Rocky Ledward!)

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)
painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!  The bird is the smallest dabbling duck in America!  Dabbling means they upend to get at food below them.  Therefore, you will usually just see their rear-end tail feathers above the water as they feed!

Male Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
in breeding colors!  
This bird lives along inland waterways, coastal areas, across North America from Alaska to Florida and on to Mexico.  It is an all-black bird but gets a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. The use of DDT hurt their population but they are making a come-back!  With grateful appreciation to photographer Rocky Ledward for allowing me to paint this beautiful bird in watercolors!

Female Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
This young female is wondering, "Why do all of the guys now have tufts of white feathers on their heads?  Painted in watercolors with the gracious permission of photographer Rocky Ledward!

The Happy Couple

Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)
painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg!

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula  - (painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of
Canadian photographer Deb Johnston!

Show Off the strutting turkey!
painted in watercolor by the gracious permission of James Barnett!


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