Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Sun Catchers"

"Sun Catchers" 6x10 acrylic
I may tweak this one a bit later, but setting it aside for the moment. I really like this one :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Second Sign of Fall

For the last couple of years, I've been having some fun with trail cameras. Setting a few cameras in likely spots, then checking the memory cards keeps me busy while my mind races toward October and the beginning of archery season. The photo above is from 1:00 AM today. It's still pretty early in the year for the bucks to be dropping their velvet, but this guy already has his antlers shined up and ready to go.
A lot of things seem to be happening early this year. The white oaks are already dropping acorns, corn fields are starting to brown, and a few trout art moving upstream as though looking to spawn... perhaps all set in motion by the dry summer. It's been a strange year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

First Sign of Fall

Summer has been a bit of a grind this year, but I've managed to muddle through. As I took Otis the Wonder Dog outside this morning to do his obligatory sniffing and marking of everything in the yard, I noticed a welcomed sight on the other side of the street... one of the big old maples has started to turn.
The small patch of reddening leaves immediately made me smile at the thought of the upcoming season... my favorite by far. Last year, the fall weather was pretty miserable around here. When the leaves were turning, rain and wind ripped them from the trees as fast as the chlorophyll began for fade. My photo files typically bulge with with shots of fall color, but not last year. My photo outings were pretty fruitless, so my hopes are high that this fall season will be spectacular. 
Of course, the possibilities of fresh venison, wild mushrooms, spawning trout, and a myriad of other appealing goings-on has my blood moving and sends me into this fine day with optimism and vigor. Time to smear some paint and perhaps... a hike a bit later :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Work In Progress... Sunflower

I've been having some fun with this small painting. My production level has been pretty low for the past few weeks, so I'm trying very hard to work my way out of this slump. The yellow and orange hues in the sunflower blossom have been quite a challenge and they're still not quite right. As I move forward with the painting, I'll keep tweaking a little at a time until I'm satisfied. Lots of cool shapes and textures in this one.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pink Bottoms

After pouring a cup of coffee this morning, Otis the Wonder Dog and I took a short walk around the house. It was pleasantly cool and the dewy grass felt good on my bare feet. At the edge of the yard, we found a small group of meadow mushrooms (also known as "buttons" or "pink bottoms"). These are not the safest mushroom in the world to pick. I know people who have died mistaking a similar poisonous species for this common fungus. It only takes one screw up to ruin your day (or worse)!
Though not my favorite wild mushroom, they are excellent when cooked thoroughly so the edges are a little crispy. Add a touch of salt, pepper, and garlic and they round out a meal quite well. Just what I needed... an excuse to get a steak out of the freezer. HA!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Preseason Deer Scouting

I spent a fair amount of yesterday wandering through some of my deer hunting areas. It's always fun to get out there and see what the deer and other critters have been up to. I set a trail camera in a new area where 2 heavily used trails intersect near the corner of a corn field. For the past couple of years, I've spent more time scouting and goofing off in the deer woods than I had since I was in my twenties. Just the anticipation of getting trail cam photos of deer, turkeys, coyotes, foxes, etc. gives me the excuse I seem to need to lace up my hiking boots, sling my pack, and take off.
Big poop = Big buck!
Even during these hot summer months, well before bucks are making rubs and scrapes, they leave tell-tale sign for the observant outdoorsman. Of course tracks are always a good indicator to deer movement and I pay close attention to size, location, and direction. Droppings are another key piece to the puzzle that are often overlooked. When you find huge clumps like the one in this photo, you know there's a very large deer in the area. No 2 1/2 year old six point is going to drop a number two of this size!