Sunday, November 30, 2008

Santa hats, bubbles, peanut butter and pine cones

Coastal Georgia Audubon Society was part in Jekyll Island' Tree Lighting last night. The evening was a blur to me but I do remember lots of people in Santa hats. There was one gentleman who was blowing huge bubbles some were as big as three feet across. Wow, they were beautiful floating up and into the oaks. All this and so much more was going on as we were setting up the Coastal Georgia Audubon Society's Kids activity.
Here is the way it was set up and ready for the evening.

We were going to help the children make pine cone bird feeders. There was lots of help on this project. Janie Smith of Wild Birds Unlimited Jekyll Island & I had done this last year so I had her outline of the activity. She also chipped in a lot of the supplies and a red wagon to cart them to the historic district. There were Audubon members Marge Inness, Trish McMillian, Debbie Mumford who helped with crowd control. Don Mumford tagged along and I glad he did. He was a great help. Beth Burnsed, the Jekyll Island event coordinator, recruited Mrs. Chunn and three of her students. We had an assemble line set up. My coloring book drawing of a Painted Bunting was the first stop. This gave the kids a little project to do while they waited to get a pine cone. Marge and Mrs. Chunn talked about the bunting and about feeding the birds.

Here we are at the start. See no peanut butter on our hands. In the picture....Lydia, Mika, Kathy and Raine

First step, choose a pine cone. This was where the students were a great help. First step slather on peanut butter. There was a lot of slathering going on and around and all over and some of it got on the pine cone. Second step roll the peanut buttered pine cone in seed. Third step was to put the pine cone in a bag. The last step was trying to get all the peanut butter and seeds off the young ones hands. We made around one hundred and seventy pine cone feeders. The evening event ended with the lights being turned on the big Jekyll Island Holiday Tree which was a native red cedar. What a great time we all had.

Here is a mother and her daughter sharing in the making of a bird feeder.

Here are Mika, Raine, Mrs. Chunn and Kathy after all the pine cone birdfeeders were made. Lots of peanut butter, lots of fun, lots of smiles.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fall colors for Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving Day. Here are some images of the season. There is a Hermit Thrush waiting and eyeing the suet. The Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmices are zooming around the feeder. Sorry the thrush & titmice are being shy so here are two chickadees.

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is preparing various vines and trees for its feast.

A skipper is feasting on the lantana.

The cypress is beautiful in muted greens and cinnamon. The Cabbage palm is decked out in vivid red Virginia Creeper for more color.

And just for fun here are some Wild Turkeys on Cumberland Island the picture was taken by Steve Frazier during this year's Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

gesture drawings & sunset

When in the field studying birds, I love to do gesture drawings to get the feel of the bird. These are quick and do not have to be perfect. They help me to understand what I am seeing.
Here is a gesture of a Piping Plover

I also do line contour drawings.

The idea is to draw fast without looking at the paper rather looking at the bird. This is what I like to call tactile learning. It reinforces what my eyes are seeing or sometime what they are not seeing.

This is the contour drawing for this drawing.

Another contour of sunflowers in Ware County

To finish: I've noticed I have taken a fancy to the word stunning. Here is last night's sunset. Would you agree it was stunning?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Glaucous Gull continues to stay at the docks

When you have a rare bird, it is fun to see how many people get to see it. It looks like the Glaucous gull is sticking around.

Here is John Galvani's post today Nov. 17 to our Georgia Birders on Line (gabo)

The photos are from Marge Inness. Thanks guys for sharing.......

The Glaucous Gull was viewed continuously between 11:20 and 11:55 AM today (11-17). The bird was seen at the far west end of the cement public pier at Mary Ross Park. This is the pier at the end of Gloucester Street (which enters at the east end of the park and pier). The gull was floating on the water surface or flying low with Laughing Gulls and Brown Pelicans behind the shrimp boat at the far west end of the pier. It once perched for several minutes high on that boat giving excellent views from all angles. Finally the bird flew west towards the marina. The gull was seen earlier around 10 AM at the CityMarket dock further east along the harbor by Buddy Campbell of Beaufort, SC. This dock is next to the Knight's Seafood dock where the bird was seen yesterday morning. It is not a sure thing to find this bird quickly, as I spent close to twelve hours since the day after Nathan first reported it before finally finding it this morning. Sightings have stretched from the CityMarket and Knight's docks (both private property, but so far workers there have been quite friendly and gracious) through the public dock and marina (private, and closed to the public) to the Andrew's Island causeway. Times of sightings have varied throughout the day.John Galvani Glynn Co.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jekyll Island's new viewing platform is offical

Side Bar... The Glaucous Gull was seen several times today November 16....
NOW..... Here is the group that came to the Ribbon Cutting. Yep, that's me right in the middle with the holding the scissors with Bob Krueger the JIA Board of Directors Chairman. Christa Frangiamore is to my right.

Here is Christa Frangiamore and Bob Krueger

It is official. November 10, at 11 am The Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Wildlife Viewing Platform at the Jekyll Island Welcome Center. This platform is the first of several platforms proposed in the JIA conservation plan. Christa Frangiamore the JIA Conservation Manager took this plan and started putting parts of the plan into action. She applied & received a Watchable Wildlife grant from Department of Nature Resource Wildlife Resources Nongame Division. Christa, being the resourceful manager that she is, then called Holly Young president of Shearouse Lumber Company. Holly Young was very excited to see the plans for the platform. Shearouse Lumber Company deeply discounted the lumber. She reached out to the birding community to help her complete this project. Georgia Ornithological Society, Atlanta Audubon Society and Coastal Georgia Audubon Society all contributed. This was a group effort and we can all be proud of it.

Jekyll Island's Executive Director Jones Hooks, Acknowledging the groups that help make this group possible including our own Coastal Georgia Audubon

This very well made platform is wheel chair accessible. It could use some benches and we are looking for contribution. If you would like to contribute to these benches please contact Christa at 912-635-4112

On November 4th Coastal Georgia Audubon Society held a Lawn Chair Birding event on the platform. It was great to be above the marsh grass and look down on the birds.

Here is the list of birds we saw that day:

Green-winged Teal
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Tricolored Heron
Roseate Spoonbill
Wood Stork
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Clapper Rail
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Greater Yellowlegs
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Forester's Tern
Tree Swallow
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Glaucous Gull in Brunswick

It started with Bill Flatau‘s photograph.
Humm? I just had to jump in my old van and go. All the way over there I warned myself not to be disappointed. Sure enough there were no birds around the road out to Andrews Island. Don’t give up look around I told myself. So, I looked across at Brunswick’s Landings Marina on the other side of the waterway and there on the dock were gulls. With those gulls sitting on a large piling was a large white gull. Well if I drive around the waterway is the bird still going to be there? The birds looked settled on that dock. I gave it a try. The gull stayed! On top of that it was easy to see that it was a Glaucous Gull. It it is very early for this Glaucous Gull but this bird is here. It has been very warm here the last few days. Temperature has been hovering around 80 and very humid during the day. I called a couple of people and I hope they can get more photos. If I get more I will post them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Botany for Artists Workshop

Can you tell me what this plant is please? I walk by it twice a day for the last few weeks. I will admit I am still learning coastal plants, native or nonnative. So if you can help me here are a couple of images.

On November the 8th Trish Rugaber offer a workshop, Botany for Artists.

Here we are watching as Trish gives us some great instruction and information.

This workshop is part of Glynn Art’s awareness & fund raising “gARTen ART pARTy” November. For me art and nature go hand and hand so I am so excited for my own art association, Glynn Art Association, to be dedicating a awareness & fundraise for our own children art programs. There is nothing like a garden to inspire all ages.. Check out The website

In keeping with the theme of helping Children Art Programs, The Botany for Artist workshop was open to all artists of all ages. We had some very talented young people from high school and collage taking part.

Here is Glynn Art's Executive Director Ann Marie. She is looking through the microscope when I ask her to look up.

Here is Trish explaining some of the steps to creating a watercolor.

Getting set up to create

Trish teaches botany at the college in Brunswick. She opened her classroom to us for this workshop. There were microscopes set up. All kinds of plants were spread around the room to look at and draw. I brought in my mystery plant & put it under the digital microscope here are an image .

What a great morning. Thanks to Glynn Art Association and Trish for this wonderful experience.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Altamaha Sparrows

swamp sparrow in pokeberry
Eek! I way behind on this blog. I've got an excuse I've been busy....birding. Anyway on Thursday Priscilla and I went to Atlamaha Waterfowl Management Area-Butler Island. It was hard to make much progress because there were some many birds. Here are just a few images.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November Art show at Glynn Art Associations

I belong to Georgia Coastal Artists. This is the juried art guild of the Glynn Art Association on St. Simons Island. Every November we have an art show in the Gallery on Mallery. The one requirement is that it is new art.

Lydia with the French Tool Etching Press
I walk everywhere. When I am on one of my walks I look at plants, birds, & bugs. For the last few months I have been walking past a wonderful tangle of grape vines, morning glories, and grasses. Art is a creative process for me. It means I mull and plan and study before I ever get into the studio and my amazing press.

This is what I've been doing to prepare for my new art pieces. I am a printmaker so went by this vine tangle and cut samples of the vines and grasses.

detail of monotype

In my studio I prepare a plexiglass plate by applying inks then I lay some of the vines and grasses on this surface. The 100% rag paper is soaked and ready. It is laid over this the plexiglass. Then form blankets are in place to help cushion the pressure as the plexiglass and paper are pulled under the two roller of the press. An image is created. Well that it is the start of the long process...... Anyway the time in the studio was successful. I now have two new pieces for the art show.

If you are in the area, the opening for the show is this Thursday November 6, at Glynn Art from 5 pm to 7 pm. Come by and see Garden's Bounty & Garden's Delight as well as Cardinal in Blue.