The Mockingbird

Photography, Nature, Birds

I’ve been observing mockingbirds for a long time. They like to nest lower to the ground and aren’t afraid to dive bomb any living creature. Cats and crows especially. Look into those eyes. They see YOU. They perch high on a branch, the top of a tree or pole and sing everyone else’s songs. All the while eyeing YOU. When mockingbirds show up at the feeder, all the other birds scatter quickly. I want to be that fierce.

Mockingbird ©Lillian Brue
Mockingbird ©Lillian Brue
Mockingbird ©Lillian Brue

The American Goldfinch

Photography, Nature, Birds

Yellow is an impulse color or as it was told to me when I worked in broadcasting. We would ‘push’ the yellows above the chroma/brightness level to just stay legal on the scope when putting fonts on the screen. When it aired, while watching your television the yellow would create a ‘buzz’ in the signal causing the viewer to pay attention…wondering what is that buzz? Buzz. Buzz.

The goldfinch has that buzz about them so that every time I see one I stop in my tracks and pay attention. So beautiful.

Male American Goldfinch ©Lillian Brue
Female American Goldfinch ©Lillian Brue

The Downy Woodpecker

Birds, Nature, Photography

These little downy woodpeckers are constantly at the feeder. We watched one just sit there on the suet and not move for the longest time. Perhaps she was food drunk and was just steadying herself. That was the story we told ourselves with grins on our faces. All this bird feeding…does it do the birds a disservice? Shouldn’t they be gathering their own food? I do know it brings nature a bit closer and the birds give interesting lessons about living.

Male Downy Woodpecker
Female Downy Woodpecker
Such a beautiful back.
Who is feeding whom?
Male downy woodpecker

The brown-headed cowbird

Photography, Nature, Birds

This couple of brown-headed cowbirds were such a treat. So much personality. Pretty coloring. I haven’t seen them since this picture was taken. I guess they were stopping by for the day.

Male and female brown-headed cowbird
Male and female brown-headed cowbird

Immature Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Photography, Nature, Birds

Watching this baby red-bellied woodpecker was fascinating. His head hasn’t gotten red yet like his parents. AND, I did not know that woodpeckers had tongues! It makes sense. Pecking into the wood probably doesn’t accomplish getting at all the bugs they find. Makes me think of them as “flying ant eaters.” Ha!

Immature red-bellied woodpecker
Immature red-bellied woodpecker
Immature red-bellied woodpecker

Pileated Woodpeckers

Birds, Nature, Photography

There is something primal and prehistoric about the pileated woodpecker. In watching them, they cock their heads to tune their ears into the minute critters living inside of wood…especially the porch. Ha! Seeing this bird seems like a rarity and it gives me the good feeling that I am going to have a great day. We live in their territory which bodes well in my heart. The male has the most intense yellow eyes; his pupils always dilated. Unfortunately, none of the photos I took were focused enough to show the details. The female however has dark eyes with no pupil that I can see. She’s as big as he is. Both so beautiful.

Female Pileated Woodpecker ©LaBrue Creative
Male Pileated Woodpecker ©LaBrue Creative

The Eastern Bluebird Family

Birds, Photography

Eastern bluebirds are stunning to see. The male bluebird is around the feeder a lot but the female must be busy somewhere else, because we rarely see her. I keep my camera on the kitchen table. These are taken without a tripod and I haven’t enhanced the color. Just lucky shots and a great camera. Canon EOS Rebel 18mg.

Male Eastern Bluebird ©LaBrue Creative
Female Eastern Bluebird ©LaBrue Creative
Male Eastern Bluebird ©LaBrue Creative
Female Eastern Bluebird ©LaBrue Creative
Male Eastern Bluebird ©LaBrue Creative

It seems the male bluebird is left to give lessons to these youngsters. They beg to be taken care of and fed. The male ignores them and then will give them a tidbit every now and then. If he gave them food all the time, how would they fend for themselves? They now get their own food from the feeders. There is a lesson here for us humans in raising our young.

Momma Bluebird with one of the five babies
Poppa Bluebird with three of the five babies

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Photography, Birds
Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker ©LaBrue Creative
Male Red-Bellied Woodpecker ©LaBrue Creative

The birds that have been coming to our feeder are so beautiful and fun to watch. The female red-bellied came by this afternoon. The male was soaked from all the rain we’ve been having. Shot this with a Canon Rebel through the kitchen window.

The view from the back porch

Art Journal, Pop Up

How you do one thing is how you do everything. Prepping the pieces/parts and putting a few details in even if it’s a small art journal can push something over the edge into ‘more’ interesting. This was a fun project. A pop-up page about the mountains in our back view.

Painting the background and the separate pieces.
What heavy fat dictionaries are good for. In painting on the paper it buckled. Wet the back of the paper and then flatten with the dictionary that is full of leaf collections.
Assembled the pieces in layers.

Side View.

Which wolf will you feed today?

Art Journal

My word for this year is positivity. The moment I declared it, I was challenged by the concept. Then I heard this story on Michael Neill’s podcast ‘Caffeine for the Soul

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Reminder to self: sticky notes that ask “which wolf will you feed today?” Michael Neill Thanks for the pep talk.
#journalentry #alteredartjournal #selfportrait #michaelneill #caffeineforthesoul