Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Art

My art in the year 2016

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!

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!

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!

Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)
This bird with a beautiful warbling song was described as “a Sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” by Roger T. Peterson who published his first book, Guide to the Birds in 1934.  His book was the first modern field guide.  Purple Finches can also imitate songs by other birds.  The oldest recorded living Purple Finch reached an age of almost 12 years! (painted in watercolor with the gracious permission of Canadian photographer Deb Johnston!)

The Newly Weds!  I wish them a lifetime of happiness!

Señor Marcos

Merry Christmas!!!! 2016

The Never Understand Party!
The NUPs, as they are also known, held their first and probably only meeting to discuss why they couldn't understand anything.  They might have tried the name of the "Know Nothing Party," but that group didn't last very long.  Still, I wondered how they could even have a meeting as it did show a little bit of understanding to show up at the location.  "Nuk! Nuk! Nuk!" said Curly Howard when he heard the meeting came to nothing.

Embryo Contemplation!
"What?  After all of this - I have to be born?"

Post Election Jitters
I could take the attitude of Alfred E. Newman when he said, "What, me worry?"  But, there is that one time in 1979 when Alfred said, "Yes, me worry!"  I should also mention my friends that say, "Quid, Me Anxius Sum?" because right now, they aren't worried...  However the best attitude is to not be anxious about anything!!!  "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

What do you do when the crazies start coming out of the woodwork?  Run as fast as you can! 

The Wilder Things!
Where the wilder things went when they couldn't stay where they were.

When trees try to dance!
Trees upset a lot of folks when they try to dance.  Many feel that when this occurs the trees must be restrained as they may cause damage to their surroundings.   The Tree Lovers Association (TLA) is totally against this and feels that trees should be free to express themselves.  But let one tree fall on their house, and they may change their minds!

Meatballs Levitate!
It is bad enough when meatballs are sneezed off your spaghetti and roll out the door!  But when they learn to levitate, the populace had better watch out as the meatballs will certainly get in everyone's way!  And no one likes that!

Obscured landscape
Something is obscuring the beauty of the landscape!  What is causing this problem?  Perhaps it is the world and its problems that keep us from
seeing the real wonders of our planet.  We must look past our difficulties and find what is truly important while we are here!

Gliding through life!
Some find it very easy to glide or even soar through life.  The rest of us find existence to be like sliding and not gliding on very slippery ice.  We sometimes envy those that lack the problems that most of us face.  But being envious of others is never a good thing.   Maybe one fine day we will sprout wings and learn to fly!

The NUPs meet the DUGs
The N.U.P.s (the Never Understand Party) went to visit the D.U.G.s (the Don't Understand Group) to see if they knew what was going on in the world.
"Can you dig it!" is the D.U.G.'s motto, which motivated their interest in the N.U.P.s.  After standing around for four hours as nothing was said while everyone looked off in different directions, the N.U.P.s realized that no one at the meeting understood anything, and they left.  "Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!" said Curly Howard when he heard the meeting came to nothing.

When everything stands still!
Have you ever acted in a play and realized it was time for your next line, but your mind went blank, and you couldn't remember what you were supposed to say?  Suddenly, you felt everyone's eyes staring at you as everything became very quiet while crickets chirped in the background.  Have you ever had that experience?  I know I have.

The Band is on the road!
Usually, playing music on the road can be fun!  But sometimes things just don't work out.  It took quite awhile before we finally realized that we were totally lost.  Things became even worse when one of our group thought we had reached our destination and burst into song!

Singing my heart out!
There was a time when I sang my heart out, and no one complained!  Was I in the shower or dreaming?

Roadblock in the Caucus of life!
Where is the detour around this mess?  It makes me want to scream, "What's it all about Alfie?"

Dancing on the wrong planet!
Trying to walk like an Egyptian on the wrong planet will quickly draw attention, and just might cause you to end up as an appetizer on a menu in a restaurant in a foreign galaxy.  So before you get out of your spaceship, make sure you are on a planet where everyone walks like an Egyptian!  Or so Susanna Hoffs might say if she knew about this story.

Election Debate Madness
Argue, argue, argue!  Can any of this negativity be right?  They only say bad things about their opponents and apparently none of those being lambasted have a good side.  They say when I'm elected, "I will make things better and help everyone!"  But does that ever happen?  Too bad they can't sue each other for defamation of character.

Staring at what?
The time when you come upon a large group of people with strange looks on their faces that are all staring off into the distance.  This causes you to also look in the direction indicated by their eyes.  But when you look you just can't see anything.  You start to ask, "What's over there?" when suddenly everyone says, "It's gone!"  Now you are just too afraid to ask.

Hair Styles Gone Wild!
Birds can be too flamboyant when they think they "know-it-all", and their way is the only way!  This thought process quite often shows up in a hair style that has gone too far off the deep end of design.  But when you are in your own little world, you will not take advice from anyone!

Hoping for better!
I'm standing in the middle of this large group and complaining about the things that bother me.  No one is even paying any attention to me.  It's like the old story, "No one cares until the problems are their own."  So many things on this planet drive me crazy.  I could list them, and I'm certain most would know what I'm talking about.  No matter how bad a person in an office that is supposed to help those less fortunate treats me, or even says there is something wrong with me, or uses "red tape" to slow the process down; I must hope for humans to become better in their treatment of others!  If you turn me upside down, you will see the look I want to have on my face for then you will see my frown upside down.  I will keep my heart turned that way no matter what the world throws at me.  That's because I hope for better from the human race...

The group that gets mad at everything (The G.G.M.E.)
(pronounced "Gag me!")
Some of us know that complaining just doesn't do any good.  However, other people will complain no matter what is happening.  We decided to ship the complainers off into a cordoned-off area so that their cynicism wouldn't influence anyone else.  There they will be free to get mad at each other.  It will be an interesting experiment to see what happens!

2016 Birdy Meeting!
The Bird leaders sent out a questionnaire asking members about suitable discussion topics for this year's meeting.   Bird leaders had been flummoxed by past meetings that ended up badly when none of the members could agree on anything.  The questionnaire mentioned the harmful things that had been done to bird populations in the past and what could be done to rectify such problems.  Would it be possible for bird scientists around the world to build a space ship with giant wings that could transfer the birds to another planet?  Should we start an anti-bullying program by deputizing birds to patrol and control bullying Cowbirds who were not invited again this year?  Should road maps be distributed to members to help with migrations and to avoid hunters? How would members feel about putting a tax on nesting?  Should the members of the Supreme Bird Court have term limits?  The meeting was called to order but quickly escalated into chaos as had past meetings.  Things got even crazier when Larry Bird showed up by mistake because some jokester had sent him an invitation stating that he would be well paid to give a basketball demonstration.  He quickly left due to all of the loud squawking going on.  A lot of feathers flew that day let me tell you!

Underground Views!
Our group was having a deep, philosophical discussion about existence and life experiences when a strange creature that had been listening to our thoughts popped up from his burrow.  He posed a totally different outlook on life, saying, "When one sees things in a much more confined space, it helps to understand why things work the way they do!"  We weren't certain if underground wisdom would apply to us, but we listened intently to his views.  The odd creature continued, "We must understand our inner being before we can relate to the outside, because the world throws so many ideas at us and that can be very confusing! And, if we learn to work on bettering ourselves, we can greatly affect the world around us!"  We discussed his beliefs later on, knowing that we don't have all of the answers above ground as evidenced by our political processes. 

I want to be one of the yackers that say a lot without saying anything.  I can yack with the best of them and not make a "lick" of sense just like they do!  It all sounds like, "Blah, blah, blah!" anyway.  And, I'm not even running for election!

Controversies are us everyday!  That's our theme!  We love to discuss controversial subjects, but have found it best to keep opinions to ourselves because others become upset with some of our ideas.  When other people looked angry after hearing our views, and asked, "Why do you think like this?"  we replied, "Because, that's why!"  When they raised their fists, we realized that we must meet secretly from now on, because not everyone sees the world as we do!  So, here we are having a private meeting!  Our only problem occurs when we all try to talk at once.  What might happen if we all got mad at each other? 

Downton Abbey is over...
What will we do now? I miss that show! We might go "Cracking through the bracken!"  I became used to saying, "M'lady!" to my female friends and am finding it difficult to stop.  I keep wanting to ring a bell and have someone come and ask me what I want.  I feel a desire for "Yorkshire Pudding!"  But other than that, "Cheerio!"  "TTFN!"  "God save the Queen!"  "Pip, pip and all that!"  "Hey Mum!  Don't forget the fruit gums!"

Birdy Artists!
What is on the minds of birdy artists?  Perhaps they mull over the philosophies of art, life, and perceptions of existence.  They may also consider how difficult it is to co-exist with other birds that can't understand the way the world tortures their souls.  Are they able to demonstrate the peace in their hearts or the inner tumult caused by the brutality of life?   How can birdy artists show the world that their work from the heart takes considerable time and effort when consumers only want to pay a pittance for many hours of effort?  How can they make others understand what it means to express their views of the world through the windows of the soul?  Don't they know that birdies make the best buddies?  Oh well, back to the nest to work and make a few pennies an hour!

"Union Jack!"
A baby is a very precious creation coming into existence into this old world.  A new being who will be brought up with all of the love a mother can give!  A wonderful joy to his grandparents and great grandparents!  I, myself, was at the wedding of his great grandparents many years ago and Jack was a sparkle in their eyes even then!  It can be said that, "What a newborn baby dreams is a mystery!"  And for a year or two, what he thinks will be a mystery too!  But in the meantime, he will communicate with coos and smiles! 

The SS Disaster!
We have been Shanghaied and are aboard the SS Disaster which seems to be a relocation program.  I keep looking for "singing waters" to help ease my pain, but so far, I haven't found any water that can even carry a tune.  We apparently must all get to work and meet some undetermined quota or our income will fail.  I keep going up to the window and asking the same question, but the next time I go to the window a different person says, "The last answer you were given was wrong! Here's the new answer."  It made things even worse when one person told me I must be an idiot to not understand.

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! 

No Politics in this drawing!
Politics will not be mentioned with this drawing.  I have heard that word, politics, too many times over the past two years and will not say, "Politics!" in this writing.  It has become so bad, that I can't even play tennis without my friends stopping the match to say something political about the political candidates.  Please Observe & Listen In This Intense Conversational Situation that all mentions of P.O.L.I.T.I.C.S. will not be tolerated!  I was just told by a bystander that one of the things you must never do in public is discuss politics!!!  I just can't take it anymore and will not say politics to you! 

Directions 2016
Up, down, backwards, forwards, sideways, in, out, inside out, upside down, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, east, west, north, south....  There are too many people telling me which direction is best.  And, really there is only one way that is correct!   And although less traveled, I know it will be worthwhile! 

I'm just resting before entering the next big stage of life.  The previous curtain has fallen, and I must prepare for the next event in life's play.  It will be a big one, full of experiences, and teach me much more than I have ever learned so far. 

I've tried to talk to Millennials that I meet, but they continually have puzzled looks on their faces when I try to discuss how I view the world from my life's experiences.  I tried to explain how much harder cars were to steer before power steering came along, but that perplexed look appeared on their faces again and they quickly started talking to Siri or one of her compatriots.  I would have brought up my grandmother and her horse and buggy, but that wouldn't have gotten very far with them. 

Having a talk with my friend!
My friend and I frequently discuss our beliefs about life and existence.  To me, to be aware that we exist is a strange phenomenon, but one that makes learning right from wrong very important! Sometimes others overhear us and want to join in the conversation.  Usually that leads to other viewpoints which cause bickering and heated arguments without closure.  I don't know the reason why others want to hear what we say or join in.  But because the world tries to listen to our beliefs, we have started whispering to each other to avoid further interruptions.  Now it seems that others are listening more intently than ever before to figure out what we are talking about.  Why do they do this?

Making a point!
How do you get your point across to someone else?  Sometimes it seems that the one with the largest finger and the loudest voice wins the contest!  Having lost the debate, I will go and meditate on what Confucius said, "He who argues over nothing, can argue for a very long time!"

Today, I thought I'd pull out my dictionary and choose a word at random and see if my friends know the definition.  The first word I saw was "Ibidem" more commonly used as "ibid" which can mean different things.  But, in this case I will use the definition "In the same place" and since we are all in the same place, I thought my companions might find it interesting.  But, they seemed to wonder why I would use that meaning when the term is more commonly used in footnotes and bibliographies to refer to a book, chapter, article, or page cited previously in a work.  Maybe I shouldn't have brought this up as most of my friends are librarians and they rushed off to catalog things.

Conducting the music I hear as the planet turns!
There is a beauty in that sound which most will never hear!  So close your eyes, be quiet, open your mind and ears, and listen!

My Happy Place!
I'm in my happy place!  It's not for everyone, but it certainly is a good place for me!

Not throwing in the towel!
I know I am throwing my hands up in desperation, but I will keep trying until I overcome the problems of life.  Today's desk calendar thought really kept me going on when it said, "...to get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it!"  

One wrong turn
Just when I thought everything was returning to normal, I took a wrong turn...

Tee and his cap 2016
I can't find Tee or his cap, so I am organizing a search party.  He is usually here at this time of the year.  But, no one has seen him!  Where is he?

My mind unwinds...
Just when my mind started to unwind, I found myself within the bowels of the earth.

Where exactly are the Bowels of the Earth?
My friends and I came together to discuss the location of "The Bowels of the Earth." We each had our own opinions and couldn't agree where the bowels are, but did finally decide that they are somewhere underground.  We unanimously voted to not go there and see them!

Farther along in the bowels of the earth!
We didn't mean to find it, but after being lost for some time, we did locate the bowels of the earth.  There, we saw things which couldn't be explained.

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

Art Exhibit!
We went to see the new art exhibit in town.  Or, at least we thought we went to see the new art exhibit.  It seemed like a good example of Modern Art until it started moving.  So, we started moving.   We then realized that what we thought was the art exhibit was other people that came to see it, and who thought we were the exhibit.  Well, perhaps we are all art anyway!  Or, does art just imitate life?

The Mediocrity Principle!
This principle states that, "If an item is drawn at random from one of several sets or categories, it's likelier to come from the most numerous category than from any one of the less numerous categories."  That makes sense, but this principle is sometimes used as a philosophical argument that human beings are not special but normal and unexceptional. I really wanted to feel special...

Happy Dance!
I'm doing my happy dance just because that's the way I feel!!!


Modern Art!
The exhibit of the modernization of Modern Art just kept on going!  I did wonder if every generation in the past thought their art was modern?  I guess it always depends upon when you are alive!

Time No matter what is in the future, there won't be any way to stop time.  Different translations of a verse in Revelations states, "There will be time no longer" and with a different translations says,  "There will be no more delay."  Whether time stops or starts, all I really know is that we are in one tiny part of existence and must understand what is very necessary for us to do!

 Can happiness spread?
One drop of water can cause a seed to sprout and start to grow.  If I smile and say hello to others, will it help pass on the happiness?  I think I will try no matter what the outcome!  We need for love to grow and bloom!

This is how I feel about the way my new computer works!!!!

Change is inevitable.  But not all change is good.  As we all stood looking at the world and seeing the differences that have happened since we came upon this planet, we tried to think back into the past of our ancestors and wondered if they also thought that the changes that came during their lives were as extraordinary as do we!

Here we are!  All on the same planet but with so many varied beliefs.  We may not all think alike, but shouldn't we find a way to get along with and care about each other?

Keep striving on!
Just when you think things are too bad to continue, try just a little while longer and you'll see that you will get past your problems!  So keep on going because it will be worth it!

The Middle of the Road!

Sometimes the world just won't act right.   And when it says something you don't want to hear, you go to the middle of the road and try to continue on as far as you can.  But, what do you do if the road suddenly ends?  Do you flip flop to one side or the other?  Do you take a leap of faith and jump off at the end of the road? Maybe if I was playing cards and held a trump card in my hand, or found some hilarity in the mess that is us, then I could laugh at this situation we are in!

The journey through a strange land

Well, if it was normal then it wouldn't be strange would it!

 Looking into the future!

If we could time travel, then we would know what is going to happen! So, why do we keep looking where we can not see?

The world is hurting my brain....

The Quartet!
I was listening to a quartet sing.  But then some in the audience tried to join in.  That didn't go well as they were way off key.

Riding the subway!
One important rule when riding the subway in DC is to grab onto something as fast as you can when you enter a car.  This is what it looked like when me and my friends didn't grab a pole or strap fast enough...  While flying through the air I would have hit a lady if a pole hadn't been in the way!  (a true story)

Feeling Small
I felt very small as the world tried to tell me that they were right, and I was wrong about everything.  But when I saw the first flaw in their beliefs, I knew I was right after all!

The election is coming no matter what we do!
So many varied arguments are going on these days.  I've never seen this type of election madness before.  I've seen a lot and questioned many things that have happened in the past.  But, what do we do now?

I came to the opinion that I knew everything!  I then proceeded to tell the world how smart I was!  I was almost immediately "Shushed!"  I was asked if I had heard the story "The Emperor's New Clothes!"  I replied that I hadn't, and then realized that I didn't know as much as I thought I did.  I also didn't understand the next comment, "You'd better go home and look in the mirror!"  I will need to re-evaluate my intelligence before speaking again.  I'll do that after I look in the mirror.

There is a new TV show "Blindspot" that I like to watch.  But, we humans seem to have a blind spot anyway.  We look to the left and to the right and still miss the main point of why we exist and are here on this planet.  And although we look around, we still can't see where we are going!  That's why we fall into a ditch!

Too Gullible!

How many of you believe everything you see or hear about on the internet or in phone calls from people you don't know?  I can tell you right now that too many of you do that!  When a person tells me, "I have to send my bank's routing number because someone is going to put money in my account!" Or, "I've won the European lottery!" without actually being in Europe, I just want to scream at them, "Quit being so gullible!!!!"  Some then reply, "Gull-e-bull?  I've never seen one.  Can they really fly?"

When Ballet becomes tragic and just doesn't work...

Speaking without thinking...There is a time when you hear something so absurd that you quickly jerk your head around as you wish you hadn't heard what you just did!  And if you already have a sore neck, it now hurts even worse!

Our Mess
It was a mess, but it was our mess, and we did the best we could with it.

Hurricane Mix-up!
After the hurricane, we were so mixed-up that we didn't know where one of us stopped and the other began!  Or is this really about politics?  Either way, let the untangling begin!

Arguing with the world....
The arguing has gone on for such a long, long time.  As we haven't gotten anywhere, isn't it time to try some other way?

The Lull...
They say there is a calm just before a storm.  It definitely looks like a horrible storm is brewing, but things just aren't calm here.  We are already feeling very apprehensive about what might hit us in November.  So, just wanted you to know that there isn't a lull before this storm!

"Are we there yet?"
That one thing that you hate to hear over and over on a long trip!

Speaking at the wrong time and the wrong place!
Sometime I open my mouth and speak my thoughts just a little too quickly without realizing where I am...

Where do I belong?
It is very crowded here.   But I don't think this is where I'm supposed to be!

The little virus
The little virus was very happy and leaped and danced for joy!  That is - until the disinfectant was applied...

Seeking Truth
Intelligent people will thank you when you correct them, but others will hate you.  We are so tangled up in our thoughts and beliefs on this planet.  So many arguments over things in which we should get along.  But truth is never found in lies...

Bird brain!
When a bird stays just a little too long and refuses to leave the nest...

Crawling along...
The Crawl Race!  is it really a race?  Perhaps it's a race that no one wins.  Though, some do look happy while others look sad.  But what am I really talking about here?

Just hanging out
I'm just hanging out with my friends.  I don't know why we all have such different views on life, but I am glad we can get along despite our many differences!

Bubbles often come together to discuss their fears which mainly consist of bursting.  But as everyone knows there isn't anything they can do about it, as bursting is an inevitability.

Left or Right?
I just can't understand!  Many of my friends look to the left while others look to the right.  Some even look in a direction that I can't explain.  They all think that their way is correct.  Which way do you choose? 

This is what we look like when we found out something that we thought was true is completely false!
The aftermath of the storm!
When the storm of life finally ended, we found ourselves tangled up in such a mess!  But perhaps we got to see each other more closely as we really are.  And that could be best in many ways...

The Destination!
We stood in a very long line for an extended period and had almost reached the end, when some dude appeared and told us we were going the wrong way.  I really don't want to turn around as I'll be at the end of the line!

The land of the Pointy-heads!
They all believe alike and try to cause others to see their side.  However, the only point that they get across to the rest of the world is
that their heads are pointy.  They just can't understand the beliefs of other people.  But the rest of us can easily see that the shapes of
their skulls and their tiny, grasping hands have influenced the development of their ideology.

Lessons in Life
Life certainly contains many lessons to be learned!  Some of them are very difficult.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could avoid some of the problems that come along!  There is a maze of difficulties we must travel through while we exist.  As we learn, we do find ways to make our journey easier.   One very important lesson is to learn to transverse from the start until the end without either getting knocked down or stepping in something!

The Parade...
The age old discussion of "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!" led me to think of a celebration tour that not
everyone attended as a majority of folks are too scared to celebrate.  So, are we not thirsty or just scared out of our wits?


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