Yes, I have my new video; actually 2 videos, of this collection of North American Animal Paintings which I have recenty completed.
These are some of the largest watercolor nature art paintings you will ever see.
I hope you enjoy them. Here is part 1; the first Video.
I’m so excited about my latest painting, I couldn’t wait to share it with you.But there’s more coming; be sure to watch the other parts Coming Soon…..
Mother Robin faithfully sat on her nest with little three eggs for several days. We noticed nothing new until we found a pretty blue eggshell on the far side of the yard, a long way from the nest. We later discovered robins often remove the shells and take them far away from the nest, in order to avoid giving away the nest location to possible predators.
For the past few weeks we’ve been watching mom and dad Robin vigorously and faithfully hunting and digging worms and cramming them into the three greedy little mouths. As a result these little guys are growing like crazy and are now even developing new feathers. I wondered about the new feathers poking through their delicate little skins. Is it like a baby teething, and is it painful? — only a Robin would know.
So life is good for our three little baby robins, nestled comfortably and quietly in their nest. They seem quite contented, and rarely even chirp. In order to get their needs met, all they need do is open their little mouths.
Stay tuned for further adventures…
We enjoy hiking for most of the year. This week, we were fortunate to get to hike at Apex park in Golden, CO. We have hiked this trail many times and always enjoy it as it has so much variety. There was a little snow on the trail but the temp was 50 degrees.
We had hiked about two miles on the trail when I looked to the side of the trail and saw a whole herd of elk complete with young elk, cows and two giant bull elk. They were just hanging out and enjoying the fall sunshine. They were about 50 feet away and just ignored us as we enjoyed watching them quietly for a few minutes.
We continued on the trail and saw a few deer on the hillside. A few eagles were catching the updrafts and we could see them almost at eye level as we hiked up the trail. We have seen the endangered Aberts squirrel here on this trail amid the Ponderosa Pines. It is a wonderful habitat for these interesting squirrels.
It was a great hike and we really enjoyed the experience , but it is probably one of our final hikes of the season.
After hiking down the long seven mile trail to the river, our group of adventurers were each assigned to one of the ten rafts. Each raft had a leader who was the expert rower as well.
Our leader was an experienced athletic young woman who rowed us down the river with great skill.
During the first hour of the trip down river, while seated in the raft, I became aware of a small furry stripped animal looking up at me from under the raft seat. I thought to myself, how cute, the raft leader has an adorable pet who likes to ride the raft. I asked the raft leader if this was her pet.
She took one look at the animal, which turned out to be a wild ring-tailed cat and exclaimed” NO! That is not my pet!” Then all of the five people on board started to scoot around trying to catch the animal. It raced back and forth leaping from seat to seat. Meanwhile our raft leader was rowing us to the side of the river towards the shore.
I grabbed the animal by the tail and we let it loose to jump off the raft unto shore. I expressed some dismay that the cat would not be able to find its family as we were a few miles from where it jumped into the raft. The leader ignored me and kept on rowing down the river.
After riding down the river for a few hours, we came upon a shore on a beach where we camped for the night. The crew prepared a great meal then we all did clean up. We were given the rules and regulations of camping on the river. Everything had to be packed in and everything had to be packed out. We were each in tents and a latrine was set up.
The toilet area had minimal privacy and a view of the river. While I was sitting on the open air privy behind the rocks, I was looking out at the river. Soon I saw a rafting group come down the river. The whole group smiled and waved at me sitting there on the toilet. I was mortified. I guess I needed to lighten up, but this was way beyond my comfort level. I think the raft leaders had a sense of humor when they set up the latrine in the semi private area every day. They were all comfortable peeing in the river when ever the urge struck them. It must have been hilarious to them when they saw how squeamish some of us were about using the privy out in the open.
Later in the trip, we were on the raft and got caught in the current which took us past our camp. Our raft leader who was the main leader for the whole group told us that we all had to paddle really hard to get us up the river, against the current. We all got into the raft and began to paddle as hard as we could while the raft continued to go backwards.
Finally, our leader rowed ashore and had us all get out of the raft. She said that one of the leaders in the group would come back for the raft. We had to hike overland back up the canyon to our camp. I was already exhausted from rowing. I was still crippled from the down hill hike. I started to climb over the 8 foot high rocks. Then I started to hear the rattlesnakes. Then I saw the rattlesnakes, here and there among the rocks which I was struggling over. I told the leader that I was not going any further. She said that, yes I was. I said, no I am not going to risk getting bitten by a rattlesnake or falling on the rocks. She said yes I was going to finish the hike. I said no, I would just say there on the ground and wait till morning.
Without pointing a gun to my head, the leader made it very clear that, I did not have any option and I would be finishing the hike. So, I struggled up the rocks and down the rocks with tears streaming down my face. I fell several times cutting my hands and skinning my knees, cursing and vowing to never go on any rafting, hiking trips ever again if I got of this alive.
I hoped that I would see wildlife in the Grand Canyon. The ring-tailed cat which I met on the first day on the trip was the only wildlife I saw on this whole trip. I never had an opportunity to take a photo for any North American animal painting. The group leaders were pretty wild though. Their idea of fun was telling stories of drowned rafters from previous trips who they zipped up in black bags for the rest of the trip. This image stayed with me for the remainder of the trip. I was very relieved when this trip from hell was over and we returned home alive.
After moving to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, we built a log home on a wooded acreage. We were hoping to see wildlife such as cougar, bobcat, bear and subjects for a deer painting. With excited anticipation we moved in to our new log home. We had decks surrounding the front of the house with French doors leading out to the deck..
Early one morning in the late summer, we awoke to a tapping on the French door. I sat up in bed and looked out on the deck. There, on the deck looking in at us was a young wild turkey. We were delighted at this charming wake up. This was just what I was hoping to experience when we chose to live in the wilderness.
Soon this young turkey was visiting us every morning, sometimes, a bit earlier than we would have wanted. We began to think of him as “our” turkey. He got used to us very quickly and we began to look forward to seeing him every morning.
I figured this turkey would like some cracked corn. I raced off to the feed store and came home with a 25 lb bag of cracked corn. I put it out in the drive way on the gravel for “our” turkey. He loved it and was soon smacking his turkey lips in anticipation of our morning treat.
We thought we were so lucky that this lonely turkey had found us in the wilderness. We thought it would be really fun to raise wild turkeys and release them on our property.
We called the Department Of Fish and Game and asked what species of wild turkey would be best for our area of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He asked, “You want to do what”? We were puzzled that he did not share our turkey enthusiasm.
Soon, our turkey invited his wild turkey friends to the ongoing party that was our driveway. We began to awake to the sounds of raucous turkeys demanding their cracked corn. They actually banged on the window. No more gentle tapping. These turkeys did not want to wait at all for their breakfast.
Each day we began to see more and more turkeys. Apparently “our turkey” was the “decoy” turkey, meant to soften us up. It was a brilliant plan and soon I was under the control of twenty five turkeys.
The turkeys were not content to wake us up at 5:00 AM. They were soon banging on my art studio door and then, balancing on my deck railing, six abreast. We were the most popular turkey buffet in the neighborhood. The turkeys especially loved dessert, all the sunflower seeds in my bird feeders.
We soon altered our turkey raising dream and began to think of ways to rid ourselves of these blasted turkeys.
One day after a snowfall, I glanced out my art studio window at the large flock of turkeys in my driveway. Even though, I had stopped feeding them months earlier, they were still scratching at the remaining crumbs from the summer.
I saw some movement above the turkeys in the woods. Two coyotes were stalking the turkeys! Oh Joy! I cheered for the coyotes! They dashed down the hill into the flock of turkeys, scattering them. The turkeys flew up to the trees and looked down at the hungry coyotes on the ground. The coyotes slunk back to the trees and waited. Then after a couple minuets, the coyotes charged down the hill into the flock of turkeys. Again the turkeys flew up to the trees while the frustrated coyotes trotted back to the woods, resigned to defeat.
I was most disappointed that the turkey’s natural predator, the coyote could not eliminate my turkey invasion. I was too squeamish to shoot the turkeys so I needed another plan to rid us of the turkeys.
I called the Department of Fish and game and asked for advice. They said that they would be happy to trap the turkeys and relocate them to the Sandpoint area where there was a rancher who loved turkeys and was eagerly waiting for these turkeys to come and live on his property. All I could say was thank you, thank you, thank you!
Soon the turkeys were herded into a pen and boxed and sent to the happy turkey loving rancher.
I always thought that if I went on a rafting trip it would be down some small river with tiny rapids. Then, my husband Jim started reading about the Grand Canyon rafting trips. He said that we would see lots of wildlife, and I could get lots of photos for my North American animal paintings .
So began my Grand Canyon Rafting adventure. We arrived in the park in the early morning and everyone assembled at the top of the path leading down to the river. We had been told what to bring along for the trip. Every one had to carry their own 25 lb pack down to the bottom of the canyon to the staging point where we all would take off down the Colorado River for the beginning of our ten day rafting adventure.
I failed to ask how far it was down to the river. It turns out that it was seven miles, all down hill in 80 degree heat. I thought, how hard it could be if it was all down hill. We started off very early in the morning. I did pretty well the first mile or so. I drank plenty of water and enjoyed the scenery as I trudged down the path.
After the second mile though, I noticed that my calf muscles were beginning to feel pretty sore. By the third mile, I was having problems with the heat, and leg cramps. I began to see donkeys trotting along down the path. I started to wish I was on one of those donkeys. By the fourth mile, I was limping along and whining. My pack had become very heavy and I was beginning to lose my enthusiasm. Finally, I stated that I could go no further and would rather die right there rather than continue on to the river.
We had to be at the staging area by a certain time or the group would leave without us. So my husband Jim decided to go on ahead and leave me to drag my self down to the camp. After an hour or so, I looked up and saw an athletic young man racing towards me. He grabbed my pack, told me to hurry up as the group was leaving very soon down the river. I said thanks and with my water bottle in hand, trudged a little faster down the path.
I finally arrived at the staging area, sunburned, in pain, suffering heat exhaustion and disoriented. The group leader threw me a waterproof bag and told me to pack all my gear into it pronto as they were waiting for me and I had held them up long enough. I began to take my carefully packed possessions and attempt to shove them into what appeared to be a rubber inner tube with a zipper. I was hurrying as fast as I could. Then, one of the leaders tossed me a sandwich and I gulped it down. Two minutes later, we were loaded into a raft, one of ten or so and we were on the river.
The first thing that happened was that I immediately threw up over the side of the raft. That was the beginning of my rafting adventure. More to follow…….
We enjoyed the nightly visits of the raccoons on our deck for most of the summer. I put water out on the deck in the dish pan. We thought that feeding them would allow us to take some photos for a raccoon painting. Each evening, the raccoons would come up on the deck, splash around in the water and get wet.
One evening, we had the door open a little later than usual. Our little dog, Cassie the Papillion was out on the deck enjoying the evening. Suddenly, she started barking and then yelping.
I raced outside to the deck and saw a swarm of fur. Cassie was mixed up in the middle of six baby raccoons, trying to escape back to the safety of the house. The mother raccoon was a bit confused as to which one was the small dog and which were her babies. That was lucky for Cassie, as she did not get injured; only scared. And so ended Cassie’s brief experience as a baby raccoon.
After returning from a trip, we were surprised to find a mother raccoon on our deck. We knew she was a mom because she had six adorable baby raccoons with her. They were tiny bundles of fur and very cute.
I proceeded to take many photos and enjoyed the frolicking raccoons for many weeks thereafter, all the while thinking they might become the subject of a raccoon painting.
We got to know the different raccoons after a while and saw that each one was unique and had different personalities.
The babies were very trusting and would come up to the French door and press their nose to the glass. I had a plastic dish pan that had water in it. It was hilarious to watch the babies all try to fit in at once.
After living in Idaho for a couple of years, we became used to seeing bear, from a distance on our property. This land overlooked Lake Coeur d’Alene and was very wild and remote.
One morning as we were leaving on our morning run, we turned to see two young bears, right next to our home, twenty feet from us. The got up on their hind legs in order to see us better. We said “Hi bears” and began to walk backwards slowly. They continued to stare at us and slowly moved towards the woods. We continued on our run, after enjoying our encounter with the bear which ended peaceably.
We saw the bear many times after that but never had any negative experiences with the bear. A few days later I saw a mother bear with two very young cubs as they were drinking from my small pond. I went on my deck, fifty yards away from the bear and tried to take photos. As soon as the mother bear heard the click of the camera shutter, she woofed and the cubs went up the closest tree, but I did end up with a few a few good photos that may become the subject of a future bear painting.