Friday, August 31, 2007

Ansuz

This weeks Illustration Friday topic is "Alphabet". I decided to illustrate the Runic symbol "Ansuz". I've been doing some graphic experiments lately, using photo's I've been shooting of some interesting textures. I took a picture of the rock used in this illustration, while hiking down in Patagonia Az.
I found a nice website that discusses the meaning behind this symbol (here). I chose "Ansuz", as it seems fitting with regards to some of my experiences these days. Thank you again for visiting, and thank you all for the nice comments you left on my last post!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ghost Rider

video

I just discovered today that you can now upload video's to blogger quick and easy. So this is just a test. What I would like to figure out is how to upload video's in the Quicktime format. When these get converted to flash all of the quality gets flushed down the tush. This is a short clip I've been working on. I must admit though it looks way better in Quicktime. If anyone knows how, or if anyone know anyone who knows how to upload Quicktimes, please help me figure it out.

Visitors


. . . . . . . . . . . . . Click image for better view . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Another good topic for Illustration Friday. I've been playing hostess to many reptile, amphibian, and insect "visitors" lately. Some far more welcome than others. I was out doing some yard work yesterday, and had my Parrot sitting on the patio table. Suddenly she started screaming like a Banshee. I looked over and saw one huge grand daddy Diamondback sauntering up towards my sweet bird. I didn't run in to grab my camera as usual, because this guy was right up by my sliding glass door. I decided to blast the varmint (with the power nozzle on the hose). I managed to shoo him off, but he took his sweet time wandering off. He's probably got the cleanest, shiniest rattle in the whole Southwest right now. I'm so very grateful to have Palapa's (my parrot) keen vision looking out for me while I'm out doing yard work. Had I not noticed him on the porch, things could have gotten ugly when I came back for a water break. So thats what inspired the Rattler in the motif. As for the Scorpions, well I've had more than my fair share of Scorpion party crashers as well. About a month ago, I found three in the house. They are Bark Scorpions which are notorious for having the most toxic sting of any species in North America. The discovery made me edgy and miserable for a couple of weeks. I had just moved in and still had cardboard boxes, and other items on the floor that must have appeared as a delightful condo's to those little nasties. I had laundry baskets and such on the floor of the closet where one was discovered napping under my camera bag. I ran to the store and got some long cooking tongs and goat leather gloves, because I was too chicken sh*t to reach my hands in the laundry after that. I was not as forgiving with a couple of the Scorpions as I was with the snake. One Scorpion got stomped, one got released back into the wild down by the wash, and one wound up in the vacuum bag. Unlike most other folks I managed to allow one Scorpion to live, and I've calmed down since then from the stinger jitters. So any further discoveries will spark a catch and release project. The Diamondback was lucky he showed up in my yard and not someone else's. In another's yard he would have left in a bag without his head. In my yard he just left without his dignity. I just discovered that blogger has now made it possible to upload video. As soon as I finish publishing this post, I'm going to try to post a video I took of a Rattler earlier this Summer. Well I hope you enjoyed your visit to this post. I have a few more shots of some of my other very interesting visitors under this post on my home page here. Thank you for stopping in! Come back soon to check if the video uploaded OK.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mr. Toads Mud Bath

Alas! Another post for "Reptile Amphibian Day". When I got home from the grocery store this afternoon, I noticed that the Toad was no longer shading himself beneath the ledge of the house. I assumed that he just wandered off. I pulled some medium sized shrubs out from in front of the house, yet neglected to cap off the water source from the drip system. This Toad does not seem to be complaining one bit about that oversight. Now he has a little puddle to rest in, and cool off a bit on this searing hot day. There is a some new construction going on nearby, so I imagine I will be encountering a whole host of new refugees looking for a new homes. Sad. I think I'll keep a few watering holes fresh for the critters.

R.J.

Well since today seems like reptile and amphibian day, I figured I'd post a newer shot of RJ the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. He got his name from Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Get well soon Randy!

Coachwhip

My sweet Parrot let out an ear piercing shriek. So I headed over to the sliding glass door to see what all of the clamor was about. It's nice having such a vigilant extra set of eyes. What a good watch dog (er I mean watch "bird"). I've been stumbling across these most unusual looking turds on my patio and front porch. My Parrot hollered just in time to reveal the culprit. I guess he's some sort of King Snake. As he slithered off at a real fast clip, it was easy to determine that he must have been approximately five feet long. I e-mailed a herpetologist out of curiosity, and he said the critter is a Coachwhip. I hope he decides to stick around and keep the mouse population down.

New Toad on the Block

I was walking towards my front door and saw something in under a corner ledge of my house. At first glance it looked like something a puppy may have left behind. I moved in for a closer look and discovered that it is a Sonoran Toad (also known as a Colorado River Toad). As harmless as this guy looks, he's got what it takes to kill your dog or cat. I guess he has some sort of toxin in his skin that is quite poisonous. I found a little article describing the toxic effects here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Captain Oblivious

Some folks said he had an oar out of water, others said he was just a bubble off of level. Nobody really understood how Captain Oblivious survived as long as he managed to (with what little wits he was endowed with). Rumors weaved their way throughout the seven seas that perhaps he'd guzzled a jug or two too many of that Jamaican rum. Or perhaps he had sniffed more snorts of snuff than his feeble mind could handle. Who knows, as a matter of fact, we don't really know for sure whats cooking in that pipe dangling from his chops. He still managed to somehow maintain command of the vessel. Despite all of his deficits, throughout the beginning of the twenty first century, most of the citizens of the new world were stunned by how much he reminded them of their very own commander in chief.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Missing

I lost them a long time ago. I suppose if I missed them, they would be missing. Lets just assume for now that they are just lost.