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Some people look for crocuses or the return of the robin. I know it’s spring when my big, ugly friends come back.
We have a very interesting bird community here in my neighborhood. What you need to first understand is that I live in a nice, regular, old suburb of Chicago. We used to be a farming community, but most of the farms have gone the way of housing developments in the past 10 years. Despite all of this, we have 2 blue heron rookeries and a fair amount of sandhill cranes that migrate through. We also have a very healthy population of coyote. I will try to post pictures of those critters in another post. Today I want to introduce you to a much uglier, fairly disgusting friend.
These guys come to my neighborhood to raise their young every spring
Besides all the usual spring migratory birds, we have a breeding group of turkey vultures that nest 1 block behind my house. They nest in a small wooded lot owned by the park district, but spend the morning perched on my neighbor’s very expensive house. I have talked with my neighbor and he claims they started with one pair of them about 20 years ago. Last year I counted 25 birds. He thinks they are pretty cool, but says that they will all peck at the skylights when someone uses the bathroom. That’s a fine way to start the day!
I couldn’t get the whole group in a shot, but here are about a dozen of them
My neighbor is more tolerant of nature than I am. The first time I saw these guys, of course I had to find out more about their behavior. Here are a few reasons why you do NOT want them roosting on your house:
- Vultures are ginourmous-these guys are as big as an eagle
- Vultures are carrion eaters
- Vultures pee on their legs to disinfect them
- Vultures projectile vomit when threatened
- Vultures are butt ugly
- Vultures poop a lot
It is like something out of a Hitchcock movie. I am still waiting on my new memory card for my camera. These are pictures of them from last year. They roost in the morning and unfortunately I had to shoot into the sun. These are the best pics I could get.
Well, all of this has nothing to do with art. They don’t exactly inspire aesthetic grandeur either, but are definitely one of the weird things that shape my world. Anyone else have weird animals in their neighborhood?
Here is one of many very entertaining knitting creations from people who obviously have too much time on their hands that I found on Dark Roasted Blend
Matie’s website she knits a whole lot of weirdness. This is what happens when a biology major takes up knitting.
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
My daughter came home from college for spring break on Saturday. She has been telling me that she is paring down her possessions:
and, in her own goofy way, takes over everything. All the clean clothes she had left were party dresses:
I know that very little will be accomplished the week she is here. She doesn’t exactly inspire purposeful movement.
We catch up and laugh tons. She is very funny and having her home is a lovely vacation while still at home.
I did manage to get a little screening done:
and some discharged organza:
Kind of uninspiring alone but pretty good when layered:
Sorry the pictures are crap today, but my memory card died today and I had to use Ashley’s point and shoot for these photos. The resolution is pretty low. The Amazon fairy will bring me a new one on Wednesday.
There is a really good Shiva paintstick tutorial on Rebecca Reasons Edward’s blog: This is My Brain on Quilts. She discusses using stencils, stamps and below that making your own rubbing plates with puff paint. It sounds intriguing. I will be experimenting soon. The piece of mine below has some of my own Shiva paintstick experiments on it.
I opened a very happy email this morning! My piece, Evening Meditation, the piece that I featured on my blog in the last post is one of 35 pieces accepted into a wonderful exhibit called SAQA@20; featuring the work of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) members. SAQA is an outstanding organization promoting the work of extremely talented fiber artists from around the globe.
I just read a really interesting article Time magazine did on creative people and the way they work called
The study found a lot of things that most artists already know: good ideas are a numbers game: you need to process lots of bad ones to get to them, ideas evolve in the process of working on them: you get lots of tiny “aha” moments while executing an idea, and those “bolts out of the blue” actually come after lots of indirect processing or what Christine Kane (and many others)call moodling. it’s a good read!