Wednesday 30 May 2007

The cruelty of nature

Janie Goes Wild

The baby Green Finches I've been watching have all died of exposure over night. There was evidence of foul play (no pun intended).I don't mean to sound flippant, I was actually very upset when I discovered them and the nest covered in Momma birds feathers. Obviously somebody else discovered her too and I suspect the worst.
In fact I suspect it was Miss Tippytoes (see below) in the garden with a set of sharp claws.

Here she is playing with her latest victim, a shrew. I know they're protected species but what can I do, there's no talking to her.
She is a lean, mean killing machine.....with a fluffy tummy!

There is a lovely birdy story with a happy ending and gorgeous photos at Bookbabies site
Well worth checking out, lots of other very interesting posts as well.

Tuesday 29 May 2007

Sunday drivers

Illustration Friday
Topic "Cars"
Larry always enjoyed taking Betty out for a Sunday jaunt in his lovely jalopy.

Thursday 24 May 2007

Baby birdies.

Janie Goes Wild reporting from the nest.

All the eggs seem to have hatched in the Green Finch household.
I still cant tell if all five survived the hatching stage, in fact I still don't know what part of their anatomy I'm even looking at.
Momma bird is doing a great job and I'm leaving her at peace for the moment, well till they open their eyes anyway, which could be tomorrow at the rate they develop!
Apparently it takes only two to three weeks from hatching to fledge.

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Sign of the times, Illustration Friday

The time being Summer Music Festival time.
This is a design for T-shirts for a music festival called Electric Picnic.
I'd love any feed back, good or bad,
....would you wear it...never in a million years....whatever, critics are welcome.
Do you think it should be on the front of the T-shirt or the back?

Tuesday 22 May 2007


News Flash from Janie Goes Wild
Some of the chicks have hatched, no idea how many but as you can see from the photo there's still at least one egg yet to go.
From what I can see, they're not exactly beautiful babies! Bald ,pinky orange with grey wispy bits and big black eyes that aren't open yet. Definitely ugly duckling syndrome!

Communication, Guardian photo competition

I think these two look like they're having a chat. The little fledgling is telling Momma Green Finch all about the wonderful things he's seen on his first day out!
Although it's more likely he's demanding to be fed!

This is my enrty for In Pictures, the Guardian weekend photo competition.Communication is the topic this week.

Monday 21 May 2007

Mother hen

These are the latest photos from Janie goes wild
Mrs. Green Finch is doing a great job minding her eggs, she's so diligent even with a great big lens in her face!
She is so used to me popping in for an update, I suppose.

Don't forget to check out Mooney goes wild
The Blue Tit's eggs have hatched and they now have 8 chicks in the nest.
Bravo and congratulations.

Thursday 17 May 2007

Sibling rivalry .....When push comes to shove....

They're so funny and nearly twice the size of poor old mommy bird, with their baby fluff.
They're the first baby birds I've seen this spring, they must be one of the first broods.According to Rob Hume's book, Birds of Britain and Europe the Green finch have 1 or 2 broods of 4 to 6 eggs from April to July.
And I'm still watching the nest with 5 eggs yet to hatch.

Monday 14 May 2007

Citrus, grapefruit and lime.

Illustration Friday
The topic is Citrus
So I halved my grapefruit and got out my watercolours, blew off the cobwebs, and had a go.
This one above is the original and the rest I had fun with in photoshop, messing around with colour adjustment.

I think I prefer the blue background, the grapefruit stands out more, what do you think?
And I love the lurid lime, it's so...well lurid!

This one below is because of a new tool I've discovered, well was shown actually.
I had a brilliant lesson in photoshop during the week. Learned a few basics and about the perspective tool!

Saturday 12 May 2007

Mystery Rhododendron

This is my mystery rhododendron in full flower.
It's absolutely beautiful, and adds a tropical element to the garden.
It's a mystery because I cant seem to find out what kind of rhododendron it is.
I even blogged about it when it was about to flower
Anyway I'm going to write into The Irish Garden magazine and ask their Garden know how section to identify it for me, now that its in blossom.

Spot the Spider
My rhododendron is hosting a Misumena vatia

Bird watching a Green Finch

I noticed this Green Finch, well to be honest it could have been one of his pals,my twitching hasn't progressed to individual identification ...yet.
Anyway , he kept disappearing into a certain point in the hedge.
I decided to investigate and low and behold, he was building a nest.

Fortunately it is perched where I can easily view and photograph it, without disturbing it.
That was about a week ago.
Today I had a look and was thrilled to see five eggs had been laid.
So I'm going to do my own version of Mooney goes wild
But instead of watching a Blue Tit's nest live, 24/7 by web cam, it'll be Janie goes wild with a digital camera every couple of days!

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Californian Poppy

This is one of my personal favourites of the poppies that I grew and photographed in my garden last year.
I'm a little disappointed that they don't seem to have seeded all that many for this years crop. I thought poppies were avaricious self seeders.
Well anyway I wasn't leaving anything to chance and I did scatter seeds of the wild red poppy around. So I'm looking forward to them popping up!!
You can see more of my Garden photos in flickr (if you're interested)

In Pictures, Guardian photo competition.

This is my entry for this week, with a rather nifty little caption, even if I do say so myself!
" The art of Web Design "
The topic is ARTS, I'm not sure if they made it plural to be difficult or just to be inclusive!
You can look up the terms and conditions of the competition
and see what the topic is, if like me, you forget to get the paper on Saturday morning.

Friday 4 May 2007

Stanger at the window

This dude came knocking on the window last night.
Having never seen a June Bug before, for a nano second I thought it was a baby bat, he was so big!
As I didn't know him from Adam I wouldn't let him in.

Then he tried turning on the charm, batting his eyelashes and gently tap,tap, tapping on the glass with his funny little feet.
He could have been somebodies pet, he was so cute!

Luckily I resisted the urge to invite him in, as he turned very nasty and started
bashing and crashing against the window pane, glowing in anger!!
Oh, I cried, where's Spiderman when you need him?

OK, not really, I just had some fun in photoshop with that last picture!

Tuesday 1 May 2007

The Guardian photo competition

This is my entry for the Guardian news paper's weekly photo competition. The topic this week is "markets".
Now before you start judging my effort too harshly, I'd like to explain that you only have from sat. till tues.noon to get in your entry .
So being a bit of a procrastinator, it was a case of running down to my local supermarket this morning and snapping a few shots in the veggie section where a concerned assistant asked if I needed help!!
I think he meant professional!
Then in the rush to get it emailed on time , my caption is crap and grammatically bad.
I love the colours and textures to be seen in the fresh fruit and veg markets Begorrah!
Anyway you can find out all about the competition here