“Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary”

This week’s weekly photo challenge is “solitary” as in one person in the photo solitary not the card game, which I play wayyyyy too much.

Anyway, this is an old shot of my son as a teenager. We lived in Colorado at the time and were fishing at a stocked goose pond on Fort Carson. The pond was the home of various geese that were in rehab. I didn’t even know geese drank.

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So I snapped this shot and he went off to the other side of the pond to fish.

I innocently opened a bag of pretzels and the geese came closer. I looked up and they stopped.

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Then I ate a pretzel and they came closer, pausing and acting quite nonchalant when I looked up at them again.

And every time I looked away and looked back they were closer and closer…

Staring at me with their little alcohol crazed eyes…
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Eventually I was surrounded, my pretzels were absconded and my lawn chair was tortured and bitten in a way that no lawn chair should ever be tortured and bitten.

 I was jumping up and down and snapping a towel at them and all the people who were fishing completely ignored me.

I left thoroughly defeated, deluded, depretzeled …

But eventually I did go back, and there were no geese.

A mountain lion had come down to the pond with a bag of pretzels…

And that’s the end of their story.

So the moral of the story is, first off never put a geese rehab pond in the middle of a mountain lion’s range and secondly, if you think you’re alone, trust me you’re not. There are over six billion people on the planet and even better there’s more billions of birds and animals. You just need to go outside.

And take some pretzels.

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If you would like to participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge, follow this link!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

 

 

My Summer or How I Was Kneecapped By A Groundhog..

So how’s your summer going? I know, I know it’s nearly over and I haven’t posted much but I swear I have a great excuse, ahem I mean reason..

So there’s this groundhog and like all groundhogs, he is so cute, a big darling fat ball of fur.  Adorable.

Actually there are a lot of groundhogs,woodchucks, whistlepigs, whatever floats your boat, there are tonnes of them all over North America.

As everyone knows, groundhogs often study meteorology. They quite enjoy it even though they get dragged out of their den every February to tell us when winter will end. And since all groundhogs have a strange sense of humor, they will often lie and give us the wrong info. They’re funny like that.

Some groundhogs, especially those located in Ohio are infamous for their archeological interests. In fact, The Ufferman Site in Ohio, which is on the National Register of Historic Sites has been solely excavated by groundhogs. They have brought up human bones, pottery and rock tool bits used by the Cole culture (circa 800-1300AD).  No human has ever had to excavate as the groundhogs have done such a great job of it.

Groundhogs, can climb trees, they can swim and they can run. To their dismay, they cannot cycle and since all groundhogs dream of competing in Ironman competitions, their sorrow is great.

But there is one thing that Groundhogs are renowned worldwide for, there is one thing they love to do more then anything, there is one thing that amuses them to no end and that is to dig holes, big deep holes…

And while many people think they dig them to live in for safety and food storage, that’s ridiculous, everyone knows they prefer bungalows with full size pantries. They actually dig holes to trap humans especially humans walking around with cameras, so that that  human walking around with a camera will twist and turn as they fall to save their camera and tear all the muscles holding their knee cap in place. And then that human will spend the next six weeks wearing a hot awkward metal and foam cast that makes me, ahem that human, walk like Frankenstein and since that human will be in pain occasionally they will groan and small children and animals will run from this Frankensteinian beast, except of course for the fat black cat that lives with that human and likes to scratch her face on the metal contraption and enjoy her pain cause she’s an awful sadistic animal and meanwhile the groundhog is rolling around slapping it’s knee, bubbling over with mirth and glee, because even though he’s adorable, he’s a mother of a mean little so and so…

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you write a run on sentence…

Anyway, it’s not that bad. (rolleyes) I’m fine (whine whine moan). Seriously it’s all good. (sigh)

Actually did some drawings for a trade.  Lots of fun.

The only rule was that they had to be small 3.5 by 2.5 inches (ATC’s, ACEO”s whatever) about the size of a playing card and they had to be in black and white.

As always they might appear larger on your screen then they actually are

This is a little windmill, in black and white that’s down the road a ways, I think someone lives in it.

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This is from a photo in the RIL on Wetcanvas, many thanks to the person who put it in there for all to use.  It’s acrylic.

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This is a barn in pen and ink that we have driven by a few times.

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This is an 1800’s bread oven off in the woods (to keep the heat away) at Balls Falls in Ontario, Canada. This is an acrylic.

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This is an old wagon that for some reason, someone stuck in their yard. Acrylic.

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This is a penguin, cause I sure as heck wasn’t going to draw a groundhog. Pen and Ink.

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And this is a Victorian house we drove by on the way to Saint Louis in acrylic.

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Other then that, I took a photo of the blue moon. It wasn’t blue but it’s negative is.

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I also found a potato with dancing angels in it, I was going to sell it on EBay but I gave it to the raccoon instead..

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I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and has a fun holiday weekend.

Happy Labor Day!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Close

The theme for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “close” as in being near emotionally pr physically not as in “Close that door! You’re letting the heat out!” . If you grew up in Canada, or any other cold climate then you’ve probably heard that a few times.


Anyway. These are from the Saint Louis Zoo. Which since I named will cause every spammer out there to send me spam comments calling me “Louis”. The filters catch them but they’re always entertaining reading nevertheless.

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Friendly flamingos.

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Proximious penguins.

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Happily hemmed in hippos.

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Close Cuties.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

A toad beat up my dog…

So Sampson the Wonder Dog got himself into a little altercation.

He went under the deck and decided to catch himself a toad. Then he took it for a walk.

And the toad was not happy.

And then Sammy was foaming and rolling around being sick from both ends at the same time..and well that’s more then enough about that.

So he ended up in the shower with me washing his mouth out over and over and over and over…

And then he had to take a bath.

That was one sick little dog. And mad to boot, he hates baths.

The toad was fine. I did have to read him the “Wind in the Willows” to apologize though.

When Sammy was feeling better, I asked him what possessed him to carry around a toad. He looked me dead in the eyes and said “I am a Carnivore.” as if that explained anything.

But it reminded me of the many carnivorous animals I was lucky enough to see at the zoo.

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Zebra, what are you laughing at?

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Carnivorous animals are meat eaters not carnival animals..

Pardon?

No, I can’t see you behind that tree..very clever.

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Yes Hyena, I know you can see him but don’t tell him that.

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And don’t bother telling the tiger either.

He’s a bit miffed.

He was just in his own private pool and when he wasn’t looking someone stole his towel.

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And the Leopard is ignoring everyone. He was quite hurt that the “Wind in the Willows’ didn’t have any leopards in it.

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I don’t know how you snuck in here, little Speke’s Gazelle, but you are too darn cute to be a carnivorious post.

Go on with you now.

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Oh, look what you’ve started. The Nyala is in here now, batting her lashes at everyone.

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And no, the baby bongo has come in too!

He definitely has to go back until those horns grow in..

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I need someone with some common sense to speak to the herbivores..

Hmm, the gorilla is deep in thought..

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Yes, sir..You want me to put a scary carnivore in here..

What kind of scary carnivore?

A Stork?

Oh I see, you mean a Marabou stork..

They eat carrion, frogs, fishes, other birds, small animals, garage and well pretty much anything that they can fit in their mouth.

That’s one strange bird.

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Well that’s done the trick.

Everyone ran back to where they’re supposed to be.

Alright then, have a good one folks!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

Meet me in Saint Louis, Louis..

That’s a great song. Written by Sterling and Mills for Judy Garland of course.

Everyone sing!

“Meet me in Saint Louis, Louis..

Meet me at the fair

Don’t tell me the lights are shining any place but there!”

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“We will dance the Hoochee Koochee”

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“I will be your tootsie wootsie!”


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“If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the fair!”

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Alright so I was actually at the Saint Louis Zoo but it was started when the city bought the walk-through birdcage from the 1904 World’s Fair. It’s now a world class zoo and it’s gorgeous. Just the landscaping alone is worth seeing.

And this camel with the bad toupee is worth seeing as well.

“Toupee!” he says in a bad British accent “You cad!”

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Then there was this monkey, a lion maned something or other who apparently thought I was a photographer for a clothing catalog.

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And he told the lemur to pose too. Work it baby, work it!

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This lemur went for the deep look

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This guy just yammered on in a bad New York Yiddish accent

“Oh vey! What do you expect me to pose for, I don’t wear the clothes!”

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And the hippo was as adorable as a 6000 lb animal can be.

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And don’t get me started on how much I love rhinos.

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Being at the zoo reminded me of a painting I had wanted to do for a long time.

I was the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado a few years back. I was watching this goose who was sitting on the ledge of their little river. And this goose refused to move, all the geese kept having to walk around him. Then along came this white goose and a brown goose. Instead of walking around the sitting goose, they stood and watched it, honking softly.

They seemed very perplexed by the sitting goose’s lack of manners. The sitting goose did everything it could not to look at them. It was a very haughty goose and it made me laugh.

This is acrylic, 5×7.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

Avian Obsessions

I, yes I! I have been accused of nefarious misdeeds.

Contemptible, despicable, nefarious misdeeds.

I have been accused of …(oh the horror)…of

BIRD STALKING!

Sure I occasionally take photos of birds..

Like this pelican I saw today over the Mississippi.

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And  this one is actually a photo of a turtle. The black swan just jumped right in and hogged the shot.

Black Swans are like that.

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Speaking of black swans, did you know there are also black ducks?

Yes, yes there is.

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And in this shot, the sparrow  landed right on the lion’s fence. I was taking a photo of the fence to make sure it was secure and all.

What a showoff.

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As for this odd little goose, I don’t’ even know what it is.

But it’s so pretty…

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This Canadian goose appears to be up to something. I had to take his photo, lord knows what he’s planning.

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And you know peacocks are soooo vain, he insisted I take his photo.

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Oh sure I know what you’re thinking..

Excuses, excuses…

I mean it’s not like I’m following them home..

(baby wren)

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Or watching them bathe..

(Mourning dove)

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Or eat…

(flicker)

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Some of them like this bird  (I don’t what it is) come right into my house, well my garage anyway.

This one looked so haughty, he obviously wanted his photo taken.

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I mean I can stop anytime..

(cardinal)

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Seriously it’s not a problem..

Ignore the skeptical look on his face, eagles always look like that.

They’re very cynical birds..

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People can say what they like, to me, it’s water off a duck..

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I can, yes I can do other things

Like right now for instance, I’m feeling creative.

I’ll take a 3 x 5 piece of card and some construction paper and some glue and I have my scissors and and…

Oh….

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Okay, maybe I do have a small bird stalking problem.

A very small problem, I’m sure no one else has noticed yet.

Raise your hand if you’ve noticed..

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Alright then, that’s it.

Unless I see another cool bird.

I mean I can’t quit cold turkey.

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{Note to self…remember to check spelling of “obsessions” before naming post “obessesions”….Oops.}

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012