Duck Stamp

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Recently one of my favorite birding websites (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) put up an article on the duck stamp. Also known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, this stamp is famous for its picturesque depictions of various North American waterfowl species and for its conservation efforts to aid in wetland protection. Duck hunters have been the main supporters of the program through mandatory purchase with a hunting license. However, this is a great opportunity for bird enthusiasts to support habitat preservation for species including shorebirds, herons, raptors, and songbirds, not to mention reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, native plants, and more. Proceeds from the purchase goes to land acquisition in expanding wildlife refuges and other conservation areas. So  consider investing in a duck stamp, whether you are a hunter, birder or stamp collector. Not only is it an investment in wildlife art but also an opportunity to create more habitat for our feathered friends.

The Alleged Perpetrators

Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

Yesterday out of the blue it seemed, I contracted a nasty eye infection. I will save you all the gory details but I did want to talk about this bacterium that sent me to the doctor. Staphylococcus is its name and in small quantities this bacterium is happily living as apart of your body’s micro-flora. However, like anything else these microbes can get out of hand and may cause trouble, like my eye infection.

 

This bacteria is characterized as a gram-positive bacteria (meaning it is able to retain the crystal violet stain used during gram staining because of the high amount of peptidoglycan in the cell wall) it is round and they often appear in clusters.

In my case the treatment for my infection meant eliminating all possible bacterial contaminants and taking the prescribed eye-drop medication. I was given  Tobramycin it is a water-soluble aminoglycoside antibiotic active against a wide variety of gram-negative and gram-positive ophthalmic pathogens. This would include  Staphylococcus. Overall, I am feeling better and  am well on the path to recovery! I’m sure it only a matter of days until things are back to normal.

Finished Mountains

Along with working on the alligator pastel I finished up a mountain painting I started a year ago. I thought I share the finished work. Enjoy!

mountainssmall

Pioneer mountains (finished work)

 

Mountain painting

Pioneer mountains (work-in-progress)

Oil Pastel Week

This week I plan on focusing on the medium of oil pastel for all my creative endeavors. So enjoy the next few days seeing various works done in oil. Below is one of my works-in-progress I started today.

oilgator

Stampin’ Up!

In the era of Pinterest, the sharing of creativity and craftiness seems limitless. This weekend I was shown how far the tools of the paper-craft trade have advanced when I went to a Stampin’ Up party at my local church. I found so many stamps, punchers,  papers, ribbons, decals,  and embossers!  During this cession I made three different cards all based upon a provided example. I was pleased to see how readily I could duplicate this sample with the provided tools.  I could definitely see where these tools would be helpful in making multiples of the same card/creation. The catalog this company releases is truly a feast for the crafter’s eye there are so many fun ideas just in this one book! Feel free to look up this company at http://stampinup.com/home/ enjoy seeing so many fun-filled paper creations!

(c) Stamp In' Up 2013 catalog

(c) Stamp In’ Up 2013 catalog

Black Rat Snake

We finally found the alleged owner of the previously posted skin. Last night my husband and neighbor were trying to get something out of our backyard shed. To their surprise when they opened the door all curled up on the gravel floor was a 5′ Rat  Snake. He was non aggressive and put up with our shenanigans/curiosity to get a closer look. I even had time to get out my camera and take a few pictures.  Look if you wish to see our new backyard reptile friend!

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Tanked

So I’m officially hooked on fish! Back in May I invested in a 5 gal tank with a light and hood hoping to build my aquarium repertoire and then this past week I decided to pick up some aquatic sword plants, a filter and heater. So this officially meant I could get a few more (tropical) fishes. I do love the easy care and convenience of my Bettas but I wanted a bit more diversity (than one fish)  in my tank. So I picked up some Neon Tetras, an Otocinclus Catfish (algae eater), and some Long-Finned tetras (I think they are also called black skirt tetra) along with my female Betta. So far they are getting along swimmingly. Here’s to a good start in a new hobby. 

Fishes

Happy Father’s Day!

Just wanted to wish all those Dad’s out there, including mine, a very Happy Father’s Day! This past Tuesday I helped out with the craft activity at vacation bible school. The children painted and decorated paperweights with, you guessed it, the phrase “My Dad Rocks.” Quite  appropriate for the upcoming holiday. I hope you are able to treat your Dad to something nice on Sunday. Enjoy your weekend!

my-dad-rocks-paperweight

Into the woods

On Friday one of my good friends and I ventured out with our cameras to the beautiful Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area. We had a great time photographing  birds, caterpillars, flowers and dragonflies. Here are a few favorite photos I took that day. Enjoy!

Mushrooms on decaying log

Mushrooms on decaying log

Possible White-eyed vireo in a Sweet gum

Possible White-eyed vireo in a Sweet gum

Waves of Grain

The wheat field adjacent to our street has already turned amber. Against the blue sky and surrounding green grass in the ditches it is simply beautiful. I thought I would share a pic of this spectacular site. (Sorry this picture is a bit silhouetted).

wheatfield