rik-rat corn pile

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

my trip to chicago summed up in four photos.

1. The city put up a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe by the river. Its simply atrocious but the people love it. I had to see it for myself. First impression...uhhh, if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. At least there's some VPL for everyone to enjoy.

To read more visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/15/marilyn-monroe-sculpture-_n_899978.html#undefined
2. We visited Chicago's famous Billy Goat Tavern located in scenic Lower Wacker Drive. I had a Billy Goat lager but enjoyed the Schlitz draft better then the signature brew. Great ambiance. http://www.billygoattavern.com/
3. "Cloud Gate" lovingly renamed "the bean" by Chicago locals and tourists alike. Pretty cool sculpture.
4. HA! Never in all my years have I bumped into the CTA's Santa Express. Every year around the holidays the Chicago Transit Authority decorates an L trains and throws Santa aboard. I was thrilled. Santa doesn't look very thrilled, though.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

only to find gideon's bible.

Well, I feel rejuvenated. Nothing like a good trip to get the creative juices flowing.

Spent the other night in Coralville, Iowa. Of course I had to leave my' mark somewhere in the room. Petty vandalism is always good for a cheap thrill.

I also got a lucky wheat penny in my change from CVS. This is always a good omen. Next blog...my brief trip to Chicago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

dirty toes

It rained yesterday. Cold, wet drops landed everywhere all day long. Slowly but surely, it saturated the ground.

I've become accustomed to walking the dog in the back field. The dog also enjoys this ritual and I knew we were in for a muddy ordeal when we walked to our regular stomping grounds. Even with all the rain, the ground was a solid wet...not a sloppy wet. I didn't think we'd get too dirty.

Mudd and I ventured into the back field and he blasted off into the distance like a dog-rocket. He loved the dirt and had a good time running. By 5:30 we both looked like we had hoofs. There was no definition of "foot" on either of us. Just mud caked clodhoppers.

So, here's a picture of Mudd (post mud walk) I took with my new camera in low light. Mudd is showing off his dirty feet for you. He got a good bath shortly after this photo was taken.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some random finds from Sunday and Monday.

Found: In the back field and on a river sandbar.

Top: Rabbit shoulder blades.

bottom: Holes in hard rock.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I found a deer mouse nest...by accident.

Oh no! I was on a hike and my curiosity got the best of me....again.

Don't put your hands into mysterious holes, friends. I've been surprised far too many times. The other day, I spied a a wooden drop box at the Lake Miami nature trail. I had to see what was inside, what if it was money?

I opened the lid...

Nope, it wasn't money. It was a mouse house and there were five nuzzled together in a filthy nest. Of course I had to photograph them and I managed to disturb their tranquility while doing so. The mice quickly decided that they had had enough of me (who can blame them?). One by one, the furry animals exploded out of their box and onto the ground. They jumped like gold medal Olympians and I was truly impressed by their leaping abilities. In order to prevent head to head collisions I had to duck.

Touché, mice. Touché.

No mice were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the iowa whitetail.

The young bucks of Lake Miami.
Don't you just love fall? I certainly do. The best part for me?... rutting season. Rutting season is that magical time of the year when the whitetail deer decide its time to get it on. When the deer decide to make some babies they make their presence known to the general population of Iowa. The deer are, literally, everywhere. They're on the side of the road, in front of my car, littering empty corn fields, in my backyard, they're even by the damn bowling alley...throw a stone, you could hit an Iowa Whitetail. Just try not to hit them with your car.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

painting time.

Here's a snippet of the new painting I've been working on. The full image is approximately 15 X 22 inches...painted with Windsor an' Newton gouache.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a snake tail.

UPDATE! : I've been told that this is not a young bull snake but is an adult brown snake. I've got some smart friends. nov.2

The dog and I have been taking a lot of walks. Every time there's a walk there's an adventure. Saturday, Mudd's ears perked up and he began to paw at dry grass. Of course, this perked my human interest and I bent over to separate the grass blades and maybe figure out what the dog was looking at.
This is what I found. But it's kind of an odd story. The snake was small, about seven inches long, maybe 9. I reached down to pull the snake off the grass and had a hell of a time trying to get it to release it's grip. A small snake couldn't hold on that strong, right?

I was partially correct. I finally got the snake off the grass and it was super heavy. I looked at the bottom of the snake and a small grey mammal was voraciously gnawing, biting, shaking, and HANGING from the snakes tail. It was a shrew and it was trying to eat the snake! Wow. Eventually the shrew released it's death grip and disappeared into the tall grass. I stood there, befuddled.

I shook off the shock, photographed the snake and returned it to the wild.