Monday, April 21, 2014

fox hunt

Yesterday, we had a visitor in our lower field...quite far from the house. I watched this guy for a while. He was watching me back. He paced around, did a quick little run, and so did I....for my camera. I took this from the backyard and was too far away to get a good photo. But it was glorious to see him.
Today, he was right on the other side of the fenced part of our yard. Can you spot him?
 

He was on the hunt for a meal.
And he wasn't about to let me take it from him!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Turkeys

Our first BBQ of the year...Easter turkey on the big green egg. A little chill on the spring breeze, but a great afternoon outside on the deck. A bald eagle flew by, a small herd of deer ran through the field, a huge red tailed hawk soared above the house....and a bright red fox visited this morning!

Yum! Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

change can bring good things

Sometimes we need a reminder that change can bring good things....even a little tweaking can bring big results. I made a blue and yellow abstract window a couple of years ago. It was for sale at a gallery in Musquodoboit Harbour for quite some time, but it didn't move. The gallery went out of business, and I brought the window home. I decided to add some inspirational writing to the frame of the window before taking it to a new gallery location (Sea Mist Studio in Mahone Bay).

The phases are my own:
"May the blue waves of the ocean wash away your worries.
May the yellow rays of sunshine warm the corners of your heart."
The window sold almost immediately.
I did something similar with this window, which I called "Out of Line" when I created it. Unlike my other windows, I created a background of linear glass. The flower was a contrast. In my mind, the flower was unique in a rigid environment. The window didn't sell. So...I decided to engrave the window with another inspirational saying that I wrote.
"Hope gives you strength to GROW.
GROWTH gives you COURAGE to
step out of line
and
BE YOURSELF"


And...voila...the window sold! (at Sea Mist Studio in Mahone Bay)

So now I have another problem. All my windows have sold and I have no inventory left. Time to get creating!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lunching on the Aspotogan

A couple of weeks ago....at the end of a loooong winter and a couple of days after the major March 31st snowstorm....we decided it was time to take a drive...somewhere...anywhere! We decided to drive the Aspotogan Peninsula...we hadn't been around that loop since last summer. That gave us the chance to pop into The Deck in Blandford for a nice home cooked lunch.
I always prefer to eat at places with character...and home cooked meals. At The Deck, I get to satisfy both. It's a variety store/post office/restaurant that overlooks the ocean. The ceilings are filled with tea towels from around the world. The shelves are filled with cows of all shapes and sizes. The food is home cooked and delicious. And...the scenery coming and going from the restaurant can't be beat!
The view would be a little less snowy today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

red tail in flight

I mentioned our red tailed hawks yesterday. This photo is from December, but it's the best photo I have showing the red tail. 

If you told me 20 years ago that I would love to sit and watch birds, I would have laughed and said you were crazy. But we change as we age, and that's a good thing in my mind. Taking time to sit and watch....and learn....is one of the best gifts, and I'm thankful.

Monday, April 14, 2014

finally, spring

Spring is here, at long last. I was outside yesterday and heard a pileated woodpecker calling. He was close....and I finally spotted him high in a tree above our coop. I ran inside to get my camera and long lens. Of course, by the time I got back he was gone. A song sparrow was my substitute. 

Most of our birds are back now. Just the hummers left to come. Evening Grosbeaks, Purple Finches, Gold Finches, Red Winged Blackbirds, Doves, Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Sparrows....it's wonderful to welcome all of them back. We have a pair of Red Tailed Hawks, who soar high above our fields...such a feeling of peace to watch them.

Welcome, spring! It's good to have you back.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2014 Paws For Charity Project

Some of you have been wondering where I have been...I have been busy, and have neglected my blog terribly!  One of the things I have been working on the past couple of months is my annual Paws For Charity Art Book Project. This is the sixth year for my art book project (the 5th Paws For Charity book). I donate all my time, and use contributed art from artists and photographers around the world to create these books. All funds raised from the sale of the books will be donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), my local animal shelter. This project has raised over $10,000 to date!

The link for you to preview and/or order this year's book will be posted soon (along with a really nice discount code you can use!).
"Family Huddle" © Dawn Rotta - pawztography.com
The front cover image this year was provided by Dawn Rotta, of Pawztography.com. I just fell in love with the photo of this happy little guy, who is surrounded by his people.

Here are a few words from Dawn:

"When Lenny's mom, Amber, contacted me to set up a photo session to include her four Chihuahuas (all rescue!) pups, I was excited and nervous. One never knows what will happen with even just one pet but with many it can quickly turn into a funny home video starring yours truly…


With all the individual photos done, we were setting up to take some group shots (Willy, Pumpkin and Tanner were being held) when I glanced down to see sweet Lenny looking up at met with a big infectious smile - one of my favorite "feet" shots ever!" - Dawn (pawsztography.com)
This is the fifth year for the Paws For Charity Art Book Project, and do you know something? I have never featured a piece of art on the covers. I have always chosen photographs. Don't get me wrong, there is always lots of wonderful art to choose from. But somehow....before this year...the photographs seems more appropriate.

Our back cover image was provided by Susan Garriques (susangarriques.com), an artist in North Carolina. I think it's spectacular....it shows such love and devotion, I love it! I hope you agree with me.


Blitz (For The Love Of A Boy) © Susan Garriques - susangarriques.com
Here are a few words about the painting from the artist:


"This painting is one of those that seems to have a life of its own somehow. It was meant to be and determined to be created. To begin with, nearly all my dog paintings are more of a formal portrait style. Straight on head shots. During a photo shoot for one of that style of portraits, a young boy named Isaiah pulled on my sleeve and asked me to come take photos of the “one out back”. I followed him to the back of the house and he introduced me to Blitz.  I took a few photos and didn’t think too much more about it. But… when I downloaded the day’s photo shoot to my computer, the photos I took of Blitz grabbed my attention right away.  Even though it was December, and a crazy busy time for me, I just had to create a painting of Blitz.  The love and affection that Blitz has for Isaiah shines through in this painting.

After the painting was finished, I discovered that Blitz has a “story”. About 6 years ago he was living the life of a dog used in dog fights. He was just 9 months old, skin and bones, and chained to a fence. His ears were shredded from the fighting. Isaiah’s mom rescued Blitz from that situation and he has been a part of their family ever since." - Susan (susangarriques.com)