Baby, it’s cold outside..

Things to do when it’s cold.

You can watch the sunrise.

sunrise©Virginia Spencer, 2014.

Then run amok and do handstands.

ZeusSammy©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

You could play Charades!!

(Here Sampson is acting out a scene from the movie “Tremors”.
He’s a huge Kevin Bacon fan.
Mostly because his name is Bacon.)
Sammy4©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

Or dance the Tarantella.

turkey4©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

Do a little miming.

(See he’s walking in the wind…)

nuthatch©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Or challenge a friend to a staring contest.

(But trust me, you’re going to lose this one.)

eagleclose©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.


Singing©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

Or meditate

meditate©Virginia Spencer, 2014.

Or catch that red dot!

Zeus1©Virginia Spencer, 2014


Invite some friends over for dinner.

Share a drink.

wchumm©Virginia Spencer, 2014.

And watch the moon rise.

MoonJan©Virginia Spencer, 2014




©Virginia Spencer,, 2014

All Rights Reserved



The Eagles are back!

There was a mother eagle

Who was trying to get some rest.

eagle1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

But oh no! Look behind her!

It’s a teenage raptor pest!

eagle2 ©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

So she cuffed the juvenile in the head!

eagle3©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

And left for parts unknown.

eagle5©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

The kid, he was proud to have his own roost.

eagle6 ©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.

Until he realized that he was all alone..



eagle7©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014.



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2014

All Rights Reserved.

Having a Hitchcock moment…

Good Evening, ladies and gentlemen…

The scene is set. An isolated farmhouse before the storm.

A ladder leaning against a lone tree.

Here a heedless harpy harangues her hapless husband.

The husband, his soul pierced by a thousand verbal barbs, slouches over his basement work table and slowly twists a rope over and over.

And as the skies darken, faint thunder is heard rolling across the barren landscape. The basement stairs creak as the man heavily climbs them with the rope in his hands.

Twisting, twisting….

house2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Meanwhile a lone eagle flies over a railroad span.

The river rages below.

The wind whips through the trees. A light mist settles.

A ravenous troll lurks below the bridge as a footsteps of a young goat rings out.

Clip. Clop. Clip. Clop. Clip…

railroadbridge©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Oh sorry Sampson, didn’t mean to scare you. Thank you Zeus for covering his eyes. Sammy is a bit nervy at times. He also needs a bath..

Sammy2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Why don’t you guys go and chase some birds?

Oh I see. Yes, that is an awful lot of birds.

A Hitchcockian amount of birds, one might say.

birds2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Where’s an eagle when you need one?

There he is!

eagle9©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Now, where was I? I was going somewhere with this Hitchcock stuff.

Never mind, I’ve lost it. Here, look at a photo of Zeus chasing his nose.

Yup, that’s what he’s doing. Don’t worry though, he didn’t catch it.

Zeus2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Well. I guess I should quit messing around with the camera and go paint something.

Till we meet again..



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013

Eagles, Seagulls and Sychronized Sporting Events

Well New Year’s Day came and went. I only made one resolution.

I decided I would not rest until I had a decent non goofy looking photo of Zeus. So I prepared myself for an arduous year long journey of begging, treat offerings, bone buying blackmail and general doggyness. I took him out on the first day of the year to start our journey together and..

Zeus1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Sooo…apparently I will have a lot of free time on my hands this year.

Which is great! Because it’s that time of year!

“What time of year?” you ask..

Well it’s the time of year for my favorite sporting event.

Yes it’s time for the Synchronized Aerobatic Flying Event.. SAFE for short.

Oh, you missed it? What a shame, let me give you the rundown.

As I arrived at the Rock River, the spectators, mostly from the Bald Eagle Fan Club, were beginning to arrive and jostling for seats.

eaglespecs2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

As they settled in, eagles to the left and center, herring gulls to the right and petrified ducks huddled in the middle, the juvenile eagles (juveniles have brown heads, they don’t get their white feathers for several years. This greatly helps reduce the sale of liquor to young eagles although occasionally one tries the old dump a box of cornstarch on the head trick to fool unwitting vendors) put on a rousing demonstration show featuring a half pike, reverse vertical aileron position. Well done, young ones!

eagles©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

With the demonstration over and anticipation for the main event growing, a roar came from the crowds. Shrieks, piping whistles and loud kuk kuk kuk calls came from the eagles and gulls and even the petrified ducks occasionally omitted a small quavery quack.

Then the first team for the pairs entered the arena. A shocked silence filled the air as the referee called out their names.

” Ladies and Gentlebirds! Please welcome for their first time at the Annual SAFE Competition….

Seigel the Eagle and Egal the Seagull!!”

That’s right for the first time in history, an eagle and a gull had paired up. Shocking, right.

But soon their beautiful highly technical set, performed to an exceptionally moving version of  U2’s “Window in the Skies” sung by the charming Crimson Cardinal Chorus, delighted the crowd.

Here they execute a lovely Lunkenheimer air taxi move with their legs in perfect tuck position.

eaglegull2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


And here’s the infamous tetrahedron wings up yaw maneuver. Bravo, I say! Bravo!

eaglegull4©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Followed by the cross volitant split flap maneuver.

eaglegull3©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Please note, I did apologize to Egal the Seagull for the fuzziness of  his photos. My camera was acting up in the cold. It was downright icy out there. He was a bit miffed at first. Then we got to talking and I told him how, on my great grandmother’s birth certificate from 1886 London, England, my great great grandfather’s job is listed as “Scavenger”. Once we realized we both came from a long line of honorable, hard working Scavengers ( with a capitol S, please) we got along like a house afire. Strange term “a house afire”, connotates affability between parties but I’ve had a house afire and let me tell you it’s anything but affable. Now don’t try that yourself, just trust me on that one.

Of course as per usual over in the judging feeders, the officials were fighting tooth and nail. To no one’s surprise the French judge, flew off in a huff.

starlings©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

After much discussion and some squawking, squabbles were settled and Seigel the Eagle and Egal the Seagull were befeathered SAFE champions of the year. In honor of the historical SAFE interavian champion performers and much to the relief of the petrified ducks (that huddled mass at the bottom center) the crowds dispersed peacefully.

Rumor has it that the pair are now being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.

eagles2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Sure a few straggling hecklers had to fly by the stands and mock the crowd.

But all in all it was a good day.

eaglesgull7©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

Mark your calenders and don’t forget to come out for this inspiring sporting event next year!



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013

It’s not the end of the world…

But it is National Flashlight Day!!!!

That’s right. A holiday everyone can celebrate because who doesn’t appreciate a good flashlight, besides the candle lobbyists that is. But ignore them, they’re full of hot wax.

And now for a little Christmas music. ..

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me … An anticlimactic Mayan prophecy…

Now I’m sure everyone is just sick to death of the Mayans and the end of the world hype. But you have to admit it made for some interesting TV viewing. People were stockpiling and hoarding and doing all sorts of thing. I’m not sure why you would stockpile for the end of the world, if it’s the end of the world all stockpiling does is give you more stuff that’ll blow up. We even saw a show on people who were preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse. At one point during that show one of the “experts” said that we all need to be prepared for the next time a Zombie Apocalypse happens. Which begs the question..

When did the last one happen?

But sad to say even in our household we had certain people who just went too far with the whole Mayan thing..

Oh seriously, Dummy!! Put those candles away and get a flashlight!

dumymayan©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012


Meanwhile we had a pretty good snow storm. They said it was a blizzard and named it Draco. Yes, they did. I’m not sure what meteorology has come to but they all seem to be enjoying themselves a bit too much.

It made for some pretty pictures though. There was snow on my windowpane..

frost©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012


And this lone tree had to get all overly dramatic. All the other trees only had snow on their windward sides but this guy went all crazy and has snow on his windward and leeward sides. Quite odd really.

tree©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

And as I was out in the backyard, this guy came flying over. He took one look at Sampson in his lime green glow in the dark jacket and laughed himself silly. But in my defense, Sammy is short and white. No one can see him in the snow. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That he looks adorable in his lime green glow in the dark jacket is moot.

eagle©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

And to my husband a very Happy Anniversary!! xoxo




©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


Sure I occasionally take photos of birds..

Like this pelican I saw today over the Mississippi.


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.


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

Yes, yes there is.


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.


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

But it’s so pretty…


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


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


Oh sure I know what you’re thinking..

Excuses, excuses…

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

(baby wren)


Or watching them bathe..

(Mourning dove)


Or eat…



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.


I mean I can stop anytime..



Seriously it’s not a problem..

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

They’re very cynical birds..


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


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…



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..


Alright then, that’s it.

Unless I see another cool bird.

I mean I can’t quit cold turkey.


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


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

The Eagle has landed…

The Eagles have landed! The Eagles have landed!


I live in an eagle nesting area. This year has been so warm that not too many have been around. Then we had a week of snow and cold and the eagles are here. If it snows they will come..

Four eagles (two adults, two juveniles) sitting in a tree by the Mississippi River.

Duck!! I mean Eagle!!

Eagle! I mean Ducks!

Run Away!

Claude the goose, slowly sidled towards the portal to Narnia, hoping that no one would notice his absence.. sadly a large hungry lion was waiting on the other side..

His goose was cooked.

Where’s Claude? Oh no!!

“I didn’t do it!!”

Eagle!! I mean Ducks..oh come on now. Stop that.

Ducks are so dramatic.

Meanwhile back at the slough..

Stan the Gull practiced his new routine..

“Just me and my shadow..walking down the icy way..”

Only the gullible would pay to see dum chh..

Gull darn it. Don’t roll your eyes at me.

Fine, leave then..

I’ll just show everyone this acrylic mini, ATC size (2.5 by 3.5 inches)

It’s a cow on a roof. I think that’s pretty much self explanatory.


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012