Tag Archives: ink and watercolor sketch

On the road in Maine – Part 3

Machias Seal Island –  as I mentioned, we were lucky just to get on the island, but I felt even luckier that we saw SO many puffins! They are one of the cutest birds. The Atlantic puffins are mainly found on islands along the coast of Maine. They have been described as a clown with wings!  And being so much fun to sketch, they are getting their very own post!

Puffins

Sketched in my new larger (8×10) Stillman & Bern alpha series sketchbook

Puffin flying

Their wings beat up to 400 times a minute, making them look like clumsy fliers!

Puffin closeup

Close up

Two puffins

Two together on a neighboring blind

Puffin feet detail

They were simply adorable!

On the road in Maine – Part 2

Machias Seal Island is a one hour boat ride from Cutler, Maine.  About 20 of us took the Barbara Frost with Captain Andrew Patterson, most with cameras with huge lens in anticipation of close-up shots of puffins and other birds.  It was not a sure thing that we would be able to land on the island – the rain and sea for the past three days did not allow it.

When we arrived, the sea was still too rough to chance it. Captain Andy was very clear that our safety came first. So, he took us around for another hour, near another island where we spotted seals and several different bird types. And at that point, he decided we would be able to land. Yay!

The Barbara Frost & eider ducks

The Barbara Frost and a pair of eider ducks

It took several trips back and forth to get all of us transferred, but there we were, at last, on the island! First, though, we were given firm instructions on how to walk up to the center.  The terns lay their eggs on the grass.  The terns are protecting their eggs. We need to walk on the grass.  (Do you see where this is going?)  We were given short sticks to hold above our heads and told “Do not stop. Do not swat at the birds. Do not go off the path. Just keep walking.” If you’ve seen Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, you’ll have an idea of what we went through!  We all looked the same going to use the outhouse:  Tern terror!

After all that, we took turns using the blinds and were able to get lots of photos, mainly puffins, but also so many others. It was great!  Here are some of my sketches from my photos.  Stay tuned for the puffin ones!

Common murres

Common murres  

Razorbills

Razorbills

Tern & Northern Gannet

Tern (top) & Northern Gannet

 

On the road in Maine – Part 1

My trip to Maine did not disappoint!

The first stopover was in Wiscasset, a lovely airbnb rental named The Sea Salt, song of the sea. It was so perfect, I wish I had more than one night there! Not only did they supply fresh flowers, pristine bedding, organic coffee, they also had wine for sale (only $10!) and it was one of my favorite cabernets! Oh, and to top it off, a freshly made blueberry muffin in the morning!  Blueberry muffin

The next day I went to a B&B, Riverside Inn. There was an error with my booking, so I was upgraded to an efficiency with a deck overlooking the East Machias River, where I spotted ospreys, a kingfisher and had an eagle pose upriver for me!

East Machias River

Looking up East Machias River

Day 3 allowed me extra time in the morning to visit Lubec, the easternmost town in the U.S.  There’s a small park, and a nice lighthouse.  Lubec lighthouse

But the main attraction was a cruise to Machias Seal Island to be able to see puffins up close!  My first experience in a blind, and they were right there, posing for us!  Puffin

Stay tuned for more trip results!

Great horned owlet

I follow our local Chenango Valley State Park on FB, and they recently posted a photo of a great horned owl and baby owlet. I’ve already gone there several times to check out the eagles, which are supposed to have an egg hatched recently.  So it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ I was going to see the owls, but when!

Last Saturday, I got ther early, by 10am.  I went first to see the eagles nest, and met a runner who also stopped to look at the nest. I asked her if she knew where the owls were, and she did not.

So I took a walk, and on my return, I ran into a birder.  How could I tell? It would be the big binoculars and the cap that had a black bird and the words “RAVEN LUNATIC”. Easy to spot!  She gave me a detailed description of how to find the owls, and off I went.  Funny thing, on my way, the runner came back to find me, because she had also found the owls!  Raven lunatic cap

They were just sitting on a branch, the owlet covered in down, almost leaning on the mom. I got several photos and returned later with Jamey, who got me started on the whole eagle spotting.  It was only fair to share the owls with him!

Great horned owl and owlet

Great horned owl and owlet

Going places

Following my wonderful travels last year, I got a little blue, thinking about an entire winter in the cold and snow. So I started making travel plans for this year!  Definitely lifted my spirits!

First I found a hiking club, with local “lite” hikes of 2-4 miles, that help keep me active.

Next, I planned a visit to Acadia Park in Maine.  It is a perfect place to enjoy the wilderness, without going too wild, or too far from civilization.  My rental is called The Bird Nest, and it’s away from the more popular areas, close to trails and close to local stores.

Another event I found is called Trek and Sketch, which includes my favorite pastimes, hiking and sketching, and, even better, it will be in the hills/ mountains in the south of France. Ahh, the perfect place to be, and a great way to enjoy it!

These will require an updating of my equipment, okay, maybe just an excuse to get some new stuff.  A new Osprey daypack comes with so many attachments that I may require assistance to make the best use of them!  Osprey backpack

And, for the very short hikes, an Eddie Bauer cross shoulder pack. Eddie Bauer shoulder bag

As I’m writing this, we are getting yet more snow, which I don’t mind, but…it will be much nicer when spring arrives.  I was excited about seeing a cardinal today, until I realized they don’t migrate, so he’s been here all winter. I need to see a robin!  Cardinal sketch

Catching up

Not sure how all of you (in the U.S.) are dealing with this cold snap. It’s sounds like we’ll be seeing warmer temperatures very soon, thankfully!
Meanwhile, I’ve been inside as much as possible, trying to stay busy. Lots of organizing, minimizing and cleaning out the old. Some art, and here are a  couple of recent ones…
Locally, a visit to the farmers market got me a couple of delicata squash. Cut and roasted, these make a delicious snack.  Delicata squash

An impulse purchase of a dozen quail eggs led to this sketch.  I was given instructions on how to break the eggs (tough shells!) or how to hard boil, which is what I did. After boiling, the inside of the shell is a very pale blue. They didn’t seem to taste much different than chicken eggs, but it was fun to try something different, and of course, get a quick sketch out of it too!  Quail eggs

One of my recent gifts was this adorable set of 3 photo holders, inspired by my travels.  They have the curly wires on top (not shown) to hold a pic.Jungle photo holders

Finally, I am very happy with the results of these two wrapped canvas with my art printed on them. They come ready to hang, no framing needed. They will be going to their new homes tomorrow.  2 elephant paintings

If you like these, or want a paper or canvas print of any of my art, let me know!  Even though I haven’t quite finished with sketching African creatures, I’m working on matting and framing my originals, and will have some prints available for sale.

Warm hugs to all of you and thank you for stopping by! 💕