Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Alternatives

It is the day after Thanksgiving here in the USA, a day known as Black Friday. Because today is the day that retailers hope to start making their profits for the year off of all the Christmas shoppers who flock to the stores for the Black Friday deals. I am not one of the shoppers. I in fact am going to head out to one of the State Parks a bit later hoping to spend some time with my camera and Journal.

I drew the above glass yesterday while I was celebrating Thanksgiving with friends. A glass of wine (or two) with good food and friends is an enjoyable way to spend a day, esp. a holliday. Course I did overeat a bit (and now probably shouldn't eat for a week) but otherwise had a great day.

Above are some sketches I also made yesterday, not really portraits of my friends (not accurate enough) but as quick gesture type drawings they aren't bad.

Below is my Nature Journal Pages from last Monday's visit to Daniel Webster.

Monday was more seasonable weather wise then it has been (cooler), and it was the first time that I didn't see any turtles out sunning themselves on either rocks or the logs in the pond. I have a feeling they are gone now until next spring, having buried themselves into the pond mud to spend the winter sleeping.

Sketches are a bit strange today, I didn't draw the tree stump as I didn't think there was any change in water level between my visits.  Instead the top drawing is of some dried leaves and fruit/berries I found attached to a broken off branch. Not sure of the species I think a form of Cherry.

The bottom drawing is of a sight I saw on one of the wooden walkways. A dead mouse next to some droppings that some largish animal left. Probably not a dog, visitors are not allowed to bring dogs into the sanctuary. Besides it didn't look like dog droppings, and I have seen lots of those over the years. Maybe a deer or a fox left it, though I didn't see either on Monday.

I have never actually seen a dead animal before on my visits to any of sanctuaries (well dead seagulls down on the Cape, and the remains of a squirrel hanging in a tree) so find it very strange that I saw this one. How did this dead mouse get there? I would think that any predator who had killed it wouldn't have just left it for me to find. I didn't pick it up to examine it, but I didn't see any blood. So did it just die on the walkway or did it get dropped and left by an owl, hawk or fox? Obviously I will never know, and while I know it is a bit strange for me to have used it as a drawing subject, it was so out of the ordinary that I just couldn't ignore it. My journal is to document nature, and sometimes nature isn't very nice.

Below a couple of photos from my visit.

Above is a view through the leafless trees of one of the raised walkways at Daniel Webster. In one area there is an extensive stand of European White Birch and this is a photo of part of that area. Since the ground underneath the walkway can get very damp and sometimes be covered with pools of water they wisely decided to install the raised walkways. It keeps the ground from being turned to mud, and also keeps the visitors on the paths, safer for the animals/birds, esp. in the spring.

This photo was made from the parking area at Daniel Webster. You can see a largish flock of Canada Geese feeding on the grass, and part of the fence that circles the area. That large shadow toward the center of the photo is from a vehicle barn/shed they have on the property. There is a small group of structures in that area, probably left from when this land was a working farm.

Enough for today, per usual comments are always appreciated.