Friday, April 11

The green is coming!

It is so nice to see the fish again. I noticed yesterday the pollen is starting to collect on the edges of the pond already. Pollen season is kicking in. It gets so thick. Last year the local news had people send in drawings they did on their cars in the pollen. A layer of light green builds up on everything. It is going to be a test for us to see if we can keep the pond clear through the dreaded Richmond Pollen assault of 2008.

Truman's big day

The sun came out yesterday. So did the Lizard. She kept trying to climb trees but, she is too clumsy to get very high. I gave her a boost up. She loves it! Look at that happy face!
Just hanging around..
She spent a long time admiring the new clean pond. The first day she saw it, when we first moved here, she dove right in. It was cold!...and there was no bottom under her feet. She swam fine but it freaked her out. She likes the nice warm bath tub. She was thinking hard with her little brain, about trying it out again yersterday...
Hearts over Truman.

Yesterdays drawing

They are back! The tent worms, yuck! I found some in our apple tree yesterday. There is a woods across the street from us and a few trees have been killed by the tent worms. They are completely infested. Now the suckers are migrating to our trees. Time to close the border! Last year I battled them with my trusty, Dr. Bronners Peppermint Oil soap. It worked very effectively. I have to be careful. Last year when the dead clump of oil soap soaked silk and worms fell to the ground, Frankenstein ate it! He was sick for a day. Wormy, peppermint Chug tummy ache.

Thursday, April 10

Bombus Fervidus?

Well I think that is what it is. The common name is Golden Northern Bumble Bee. They have Pollen baskets on their hind tibia, I read it in a book...hum, baskets built on their legs...I feel a drawing coming on. I found this guy by the pond the other night, he was slowly fading as the temp dropped. I put him in a safe place. Hoping he would come to to life with the sun rise. When I checked on him the next morning, there was a small hole in his head and he had been sucked dry!...breakfast for someone. Right now he is resting on the big globe..inspiration!

UPDATE: a tip from a new friend leads up to believe this may be a Bombus vegans worker, check it out here.

Yesterdays drawing

Just one today. He is a firefly. After getting the pond back together yesterday, we sat on the bench and enjoyed it. I saw what I thought was a firefly. I am not sure if it was, or if it is too early in the season for them. I love how odd and clumsy they are...also enchanting and magical.

Wednesday, April 9

Happy Fish

It is all better. We got a new fancy filter/fountain combo. I made fresh clean homes for all the water plants. The cinder block castle got scrubbed down too. It is all so clear and clean. The fish seem happy exploring there new clean space.
We had 9 fish. Skeletor and one of the gold fish must have been someones lunch, at some point this winter. Skeletor alone was about a $150. Koi, that is a pretty fancy meal! For now all is well in our little pond.


The Big Irish Head fills the pond with his thick, roapy stream...
perfection! We decided that in August we will kick the fish out. Let them take a vacation in the mini pond and have a people pool party! It looks so inviting.
Here are the fish and water plants in the mini pond.
It was a cool gray day, but we got the job done. The scary part is still to come. We have to re-release the fish and that is the tricky part. Hopefully, the water has distilled and is safe for them. We are giving it a full 24 hours before we try. As for now, we are off to the pond store to pick-up supplies.

pond cleaning....

we really didn't give up hope for finding skeletor till every bit of scum was out of the bottom of the pond. We found no skeletal remains, no fish scales, nothing but green. Here I am scoping out what were white rocks. They will need to be cleaned.
I used Dr, Bronner's Peppermint Oil Soap to clean the algae from the edges. It created a foamy green. I felt like I was painting. It was so pretty!
sponging out the green.


fish kidnapped!

We have been putting off cleaning the pond, waiting for a nice warm sunny day. But yesterday the pond had, had enough. It was so scummy the filter was barely running. So late in the afternoon we decided it had to be done now! In this photo we can see that the surface was more like a black mirror than a fresh pond.
First we pumped out some pond water into the mini pond. This is where the fish will stay while the pond gets drained and cleaned. They need to stay in water they are used to.
Here we see the great fisherman. With his trusty net he will scope out each fish and hand me the net, I in turn released each fish it in the mini pond. Since we both worked at this task, no photos.
Here we see the fish in their home away from home. But not all the fish were scoped. Our favorite fish, Skeletor, our one and only koi, who we thought was hiding in the fish castle (a group of cinder blocks in the bottom of the pond) was gone! We lost track of how many fish we moved. But it seemed like less than 8. So we may have lost more than one fish. Where did they go? Who kidnapped my fish!? It is a backyard mystery.

Tuesday, April 8


Thinking of eggs, getting ready to paint the deviled egg globe. I have been thinking of it as a message from the past. A teaching tool in images. also all the egg stories in my memory are perkelating, here are a few:

When My Macedonian grandmother dyed all her Easter eggs with red clothing dye (we were not allowed to eat them).

The time our dog ate all of our colored Easter eggs, while we were away visiting grandma. One dog + about 12 eggs and shells = lots of dog farts!

Our pet ducks, Elton John Duck and Olivia Newton John Duck laid eggs in secret hiding places all around our yard. We found some of them months later.

The year I spent working at an egg farm. It was my job to put the eggs in the cartons. We worked in the chicken coup. there were about 2000 chickens around us all clucking and pooping, it was very stinky and dreary. The farmer lady put the eggs on a egg machine and they kind of marched towards me, then fell into slots according to weight. She used to speed up the machine in a very sadistic manor. The eggs would come at me at higher and higher speed. In order to keep up I learned to pick up 5 or 6 eggs at a time, in each hand and place them in, extra large, large, medium or small cartons. It was like Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory!

When I was in High school my best friends dad always had a big jar of eggs pickling in beet juice on the kitchen counter. The eggs become a beautiful purple, even the yoke becomes a green that if allowed enough pickling time became purple too. In order to truly become part of the family I had to eat an entire pickled egg. I can recall the texture, it was rubbery and kind of hard and, yes, it tasted like pickles.

When, for a special Springtime group of 5 birthdays, party we made special birthday eggs. We painstakingly blew out the insides through pin holes punched in each of 5 eggs and filled them with Jello. Green Jello eggs in the shell! We also colored the outside of the shells. It was the hit of the party!

Eggs being the source of life and a favored food for many species seems to be a ripe subject for Art. I found a few examples here here and here. We shall see what happens next...

Bacon-boys and Birdmen

more hearts...
Not long ago a friend forwarded me, that awful video of the cows that made the rounds. It stopped me from eating meat. My reason was I was too freaked out to even view the video, so I have no business eating meat. In any case, I have eaten meat a few times since, but for the most part I am staying clear of it. Except that Mr. Eleven loves to eat meat. He loves bacon the most. Yesterday, as I was making bacon to feed the big Irish head, I saw faces. Not the smell that makes your mouth water. Not the sound that signifies morning. Not the crisp salty breakfast staple..I saw the who. The who that was frying in my black skillet..this is what it looked like.

Monday, April 7

Back up to date!

Oy! is good to be back! It was really hard not having my computer for a week. I feel like I fell off the edge. Things are caught up and I am ready to roll!..Onward!


I got my seeds started! There are sprouts coming up already. I feel so organized!
In the farthest pot I planted basil seeds. In the second to last, is last years parsley plant, I harvested all the parsley and it is starting over. The next pot is oregano and it is growing like a weed, it just keeps on going. In the last pot I have no idea what is growing in there. It is ready to bloom so we shall see. It is the mystery plant.
The collard greens are going to seed. I have to harvest it before it is too late.

party night

One of the nights, we cooked up some Chile was so good! It takes a while to cook, so we went through a few bottles of wine, waiting...
Since the kitchen is basically also my studio these days, we hung out around the globes. They are so pretty. I think I can start painting them tomorrow.
..Jarvis is dwarfed by the spheres and sandwiched between all my work...
It isn't a real party till someone plays hostage with the Chug!...noooo!

Garden path

I actually made a lot of progress on the path. It is kind of hard to tell from this photo, but honestly it is coming along. We have had a lot of rain this week, so I lost a few days of outside time.
But it hasn't been all rain. It was nice enough for Truman to roam around a few of the days. Notice the helicopter's from the Maple tree, they are everywhere.


So pretty and delicate, these guys live by the pond.


The hearts are from flowers in my garden, I 'll post some photos of them also. That is where the drawings end. I will have to get busy doing some more!


I tried out this ink brush pen, it is kind of cool but I like the fine line pens better. I was thinking that pollen is transfered by bees and butterfly's feet so he is walking on his face to pick up pollen.



Our Maple tree in the yard is dropping helicopters...or helicopter-men...
...yikes!...all those grubs I keep feeding to the birds are getting to me! I feel bad for the slimy suckers...but I am still going to feed them to the birds!
strange complected relationships keep developing...
..oh my!

Bird +Bee-man land

Some fish-men showed up. I have to be more careful the page got all crinkled up...
a kiss...
butterfly man...
most of the flying guys are hanging from ropes...these guys are more like kites. I think they are tangling up on purpose. With the intent on spinning to untangle.