Thoughtful Thursday The Joys of Spring

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Photo by Alesia Kozik on Pexels.com

The first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere is coming this Monday, March 20, 2023 and it will run until June 21, 2023. You may have already noticed the warmer temps moving in, birds nesting and beautiful flowers beginning to bloom. Also, on this first day of Spring the hours of daylight and night are almost equal. It always takes some adjusting to the new longer days ahead.

On my lovely morning walks I’ve seen many squirrels busy building their nests. You can tell the difference between a bird and squirrel nest from the ground because birds primarily build their nests with twigs. Whereas squirrels use fresh branches with the leaves attached. You may also notice a lot of small pieces of fresh branches with leaves on the ground.

This was a photo I took with my phone of a squirrel nest. They’re easily seen once the leaves dry and turn brown. Squirrels can have anywhere from 2-4 babies usually between the months of February to May. They have a hefty appetite and will eat their own body weight every week which is about 1.5 pounds. I love watching them in the mornings with their high energy, it motivates me on my walks 😊

Have you checked your yard for signs of any new babies that may be coming soon?

Hope you enjoyed today’s post. Thanks for stopping by!!

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Stand out in the Crowd Watercolor Painting

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I wanted to share with you a fun watercolor painting I created a while ago. This is one of my favorite happy color combinations. For this piece I actually made 2 paintings. One was used for the background and the other was used to create the birds which I traced from a stencil, cut out and adhered to the background painting.

One thing I love about watercolor is that you can lift the paint off using various techniques. For the birds I used a stencil and a Wet Ones hand wipe to lift the paint off the paper. When using this technique, you want to make sure you have a fairly dark background so you can see the color variations where the paint was lifted.

To make the blue bird at the top even more different from the others I painted it with clear glitter paint. I also used a stamp with white embossing powder to add more interest. The quote in the bottom right was getting lost so I added a border to give it more pop.

You only need a few basic inexpensive supplies to create art and have fun. So what are you waiting for? Start creating some happy now 😊

Hope this inspires you in some way, thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Bird Rescue

It’s funny but you would think all the birds in our neighborhood have our address memorized. Whether they’re hungry, thirsty or need help, they know exactly where to go.

Last Saturday, hubby came home and saw something odd in the street in front of our house. When he took a closer, he saw it was a young bird, a fledgling. You could tell he wasn’t doing well because he was slumped over. It was getting dark so we put him in a box in the garage till morning because the rescue center had already closed for the day and mama bird was nowhere to be found.

We tried giving him some water but he refused so we just kept him safe for the night. First thing Sunday morning, we took him to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they rescue over 10,000 animals every year.

I couldn’t figure out what kind of bird he was. I’ve seen these birds a lot on my walks and the adults are gray with a bit of brown and a black patch on the head. They have pointy beaks and are everywhere here.

After searching the internet I finally found a bird that looked like him. It was a gray catbird.

Apparently these guys make a call that sounds like a cat’s meow and thus their name. They are masters at mimicking the calls of other birds and are known for singing beautiful songs. Sometimes they sing for as long as 10 minutes at a time. Very impressive!

I found this short video on Youtube that gives some pretty interesting facts about these birds.

I called the Wildlife Center to check up on the little guy and they confirmed he was indeed a gray catbird. They did everything they could but sadly weren’t able to save him 😥

I was really saddened by the news because I had high hopes. We gave it our best effort and sometimes that’s just how it goes. That’s life I guess. I will say that I keep my eye out for these catbirds on my walks and really appreciate their beautiful songs even more.

I hope that you get to enjoy these beautiful birds in your neighborhood too. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Yellow Crested Night Heron

Yellow Crested Night Heron Fledging

I was very blessed this spring to watch these beautiful birds make their nests high up in the oak trees that line our streets. A few years ago we started with only 1 nest and now we’re up to 5 nests in all. As I went on my daily walks, I was eagerly watching each nest as babies began showing their heads one by one. These new birds have now taken up residence in our neighborhood and I see them often by the lakes.

When they were very young we would come home at night to see them walking in the middle of the street. I guess they were still trying to figure it all out. They would even visit me in our backyard every now and then.

These herons forage for food at dusk and into the night. However, you may also see them foraging during the day. They tend to walk slowly on land or in shallow water and will sometimes stand completely still waiting for dinner to come to them.

Yellow Crested Night Herons are primarily found in the Southeastern parts of the United States. Adult herons will lay anywhere from 2-8 blue-green eggs in a nest. Both parents will incubate the eggs for 21-25 days. Once the eggs hatch it’s up to both parents to feed the babies. They haven’t been studied enough so there is no data as to when they take flight and leave the nest. Fully grown they measure 1 ft 10 in to 2 ft 4 in. They are simply beautiful and amazing to watch.

I hope your enjoyed this little snippet about the Yellow Crested Night Herons and are able to see some. These are some of the photos I was lucky to get on my walks.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Beyond even the darkest clouds the wide, open blue sky goes on forever. Trust, let go, and allow yourself to take flight. So fly! Only then can you soar.” ~Martta Karol

Stay on the Sunny side of Life! Art Journaling

I’m almost done packing up the studio and I had a lot more supplies than I thought. So in the midst of the chaos I thought it would be fun to share one of my older journaling pages with you.

I created this fun whimsical design using Derwent Inktense pencils. I love how bright and bold they are. I like that I can create and finish a journal page in a short period of time. It’s satisfying to complete a piece of art that makes you smile 😊

I’ll do my best to get back on track with my blogging now that the packing is basically done 😅 I’m very excited to get the new floor in!

Hope this inspires you in some way today.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Baby Mocking Bird Rescue

You never know what the universe has planned for you. It always amazes me how the timing has to be so perfect in order for things to happen. Yesterday morning I went on a walk with my hubby. On our walk I was busy looking up in the trees for our new herons. Thankfully, hubby was looking on the ground and saw this tiny little chick just sitting in the middle of the road.

We quickly scooped him up and got him out of danger but weren’t having any luck finding the nest or mama bird anywhere. He was too small to be on the ground and on his own, especially on a busy street. We ended up taking the little guy to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they will care for him and release him when he’s ready. This also gave us the opportunity to donate to the center for all the great work they do. I love their slogan: “Saving Wildlife in our Urban Jungle.”

Sadly I’ve seen quite a few birds that have died this summer. The National Audubon Society sent out an email blaming the extreme heat for killing lots of babies. Although there’s no one better than a mama bird caring for her young, the odds were stacked against this little guy and the staff at the wildlife center agreed we made the right choice to bring him in. It was a small deed but nevertheless a good one and it felt great saving this little life!

I was surprised that we still have little babies like this in the middle of summer. Always thought this was more of a spring time event. Do you have the same where you live?

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Believe in you Journal Pages

Sometimes I like to create small pieces of art like these tags. I normally don’t have an immediate need for them, but I enjoy the creation process. I end up putting these small artsy pieces in a box for later use. The fun happens when I go my stash box and pick out pieces to create journal pages like these.

You end up working backwards starting with the colors in your ephemera and then picking a background color that complements it. This is a fun way to create journal pages even if you’re short on time.

Hope these pages inspire you in some way today. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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A New Day Abstract Painting

No matter how tough a day may be, tomorrow there’s always a new day filled with love and positive energy. But it’s up to you.

This is my newest abstract painting, A New Day. It’s painted on a 8×8 inch canvas panel in stunning hues of pink, orange, yellow and white. It’s accented with gold and a bit of glitter for a new day filled with magic. There’s lots of texture for interest.

If interested, A New Day is available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Find Your Passion Journal Page

This is a whimsical zentangle journal page I created in my Strathmore 6×12″ watercolor journal, Find your passion… With the odd size, it’s always a challenge creating in the journal but that’s what makes it so much fun!

I painted it with watercolor paints and outlined the design with a Sakura Micron 01 Pen. I added some highlights and shading and finished it off with a little glitter for bling.

The whimsical head and tail feathers on the birds make me laugh and hope they brighten your day as well.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Art Journaling

When I was a kid and the teacher would bring out the scissors, paper and glue I knew it was going to be an awesome day because we would create some type of art. Sometimes it’s fun to go back to the basics and cut out pictures and simply glue them in a journal.

I’m not a textile artist but I look in awe at the quilts others make. I came across these photos in Quilting Arts magazine and decided to make journal pages from them. These were images of quilts created and designed by Jean Impey. They were simply stunning!

I onced used a hand wipe to clean inks from my studio table and it looked pretty cool at the time so I kept the wipe and let dry so I could use it for my art. It ended up finding a home in my journal 😊 The leaves and the heart were made using the recycled wipe. I thought they went well with the images and background color.

Hope this quote and happy journal layout inspire you in way today.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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