Monday, April 27, 2009

Eagles, hawks and humming birds

A pair of bald eagles are raising their on eaglet under the watchful eyes of viewers from around the world at Sooner Lake in Oklahoma. One of the dedicated viewers put together a slide show from web shots showing the progress of the baby eagle.

2009 Sutton Eagle’s Nest

The three eagles in Norfolk, Virginia are about the same age as the one above. They were banded recently. Here is the link to the live cam. This one will show the view from the nest on banding day. Finally this is a video from the local TV station.

In British Columbia an eagle has just hatched and there is one egg left in the nest. The site has sound.

In Portland Oregon a pair of red tailed hawks have new babies. This site has a good, close view of the nest, but you have to watch a short commercial before the live feed begins.

Finally I have found two hummingbird nests to watch. A black-chinned hummingbird and a Channel Island Allen hummingbird.

I know their are many more bird cams to find and watch, but if I do that I never get anything accomplished.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swimming lessons for Sky

As mentioned before, Sky doesn't swim. She never seems to mind getting into the water as long as her paws are firmly on the mud. We have been trying to think of ways to get her to swim. I know much of the dog paddle is instinct, but I think it good that she try that out before an accidental splash makes it a necessity.

So we came up with a plan. We needed something in the water enticing enough to get her in over her head. The answer was her rubber ball. Sky will retrieve a ball for hours.

The first toss of the ball was close enough that she could keep the paws on the mud.

Second toss was a bit further. She starts out after the ball.

Then we get the 'look'. "You do realize that is a bit far, don't you?"

Look who is swimming back with his stick.

No problem, Cody can handle the stick and the ball.

Another toss of the ball with a bit more success. I really think she is swimming.

She grabs the ball and puts her whole body into the effort.

The turn for the dry land. Look at the bite on that ball.

At this point I think she has her back legs sinking to the bottom.

She gives herself a big push off.

And splashes down.

Mud is under foot! Can dogs grin? I think she is grinning.

Success! Look at the water flying off the wagging tail.

Maybe some competition with big brother will provide a bit of motivation for Sky. We throw a ball way out into the pond for Cody, and one a bit closer for Sky. And it seems to have worked. Sky is swimming.

Going for the grab.

A little submarine action.

The turn for home with eyes shut tight and a death bite on the ball.

Here's Cody snagging the ball. He's a bit smoother, but then he has been doing it for years.

The turn.

Headed back to the bank. Cody is smooth.

Over all Sky's swimming lesson worked out pretty good. We will try again on the next warm day. I do think she likes splashing in the shallow water better.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Polymer Clay Retreat Fun

Before showing you some of the fun things we created at the Clay Retreat I wanted to show off the beautiful cabin we stayed in. The following two pictures were take looking down from the loft to the kitchen and great room area. It was a beautiful room full lined with windows that let in wonderful light. What you can't see is the beautiful view seen out the windows.

This is a Retro Cane that was fun to make.

Some of Aryd'ell's beautiful goddesses and stamped clay.

This is called Brain Cane.

A craft knife covered in the cane.

The next three pictures are of Annette's pieces. In the first they are out of the oven the first time. Then liquid clay is applied, baked and heated with a heat gun to the final result of a beautiful, shiny finish that I didn't do a very good job of capturing.

Many other techniques were tried resulting in lots of pretty pieces. It was a fun weekend.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Retreat at Hope Circle

The first weekend in April I was lucky enough to join 9 other women for a retreat at a wonderful cabin high in the Western North Carolina Mountains. It was to be a weekend to learn how to work with polymer clay. The setting was beautiful.

This the view from the deck of the cabin looking down to a fast moving creek. Fortunately there were stairs all the way down to the creek. The trip down was an easy walk.

Before I went too far I found a couple of violets. They were so pretty popping up among the brown leaves.

Finally, at the bottom of the valley where the creek was. It was beautiful flowing over rocks and under downed tree trunks. The sound of the the water running over the rocks is so magically.

Could these be Oconee Bells?

Another small, white wildflower. So pretty.

Now for the walk back up to the house.

That picture does not do the house justice. It was a bit plain on the outside, but inside was beautiful wood, vaulted ceiling, stone fireplace and windows.