Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Since my last visit to the Falls of the Ohio State Park the willow fuzz has peaked.  Cottony drifts have gathered in places that offer some protection from even the slightest breeze.  The way the light shines on this gossamer surface is magical!  Before venturing into today’s avian adventure…a personal blogging milestone announcement as this is officially post number 300!  I hear the champagne corks popping already.  I had little in the way of expectations when I started this Riverblog, but I have been happy with this medium for describing my project.  In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if blogging would hold my interest, but it has.  I have also enjoyed the wide community that is out there and I thank everyone that has stopped by or left a comment.  As regular visitors know…I’m a big bird watching fan and I enjoy the many challenges that this hobby presents me.  A once in a lifetime experience can begin with a quick flash of the wings that may last just seconds.  It causes me to be acutely present in the moment.  Venturing down to the river I see the resident flock of Black Vultures has returned for another season.  I photographed this wary pair looking for dead fish or anything else edible.

The foreground in this image is willow fluff covering the sand.  I find the two vulture species that hang out at the Falls to be really interesting birds and I have posted on them many times before.  There are more furtive species out here as well and I had the good luck to stumble upon a small mixed flock of warbler species.  Among this group were several Magnolia Warblers and I have a few images of them.  I love their coloring with their black streaks on their bright yellow breasts.  Magnolia Warbler is a misnomer since they don’t seem to favor that tree in my experience.  I found these warblers to be very tolerant of my presence and I was able to follow them as they moved from one willow tree to another in their search for small insects.

Warblers are tiny always on the go creatures and their many species are a highlight of the spring migration.  Many of the warbler species I see are passing through our area to points mostly north of here.  I came across another seldom seen bird that I hope you will enjoy.  It’s called the Brown-winged Robin and it too is traveling through the heartland.  I have a series of this bird too beginning with a specimen I found wading through the willow fuzz.  Is this pre-nesting behavior?

Here are a few more shots of this rare bird in the environment at the Falls of the Ohio.  The brown wings are diagnostic as is the bright red beak.

There are many more bird species both real and imagined that I look forward to presenting in future posts!  I hope to continue to share with you the great variety of life that I find in this relatively small place as it reveals itself to me.  One other announcement for folks in my immediate area.  I will be presenting my project at the Pecha Kucha event at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky the evening of June 5.  This will be an outdoor event and coincides with the transit of Venus occurring on that night.  Essentially, this slide show presentation form I believe began in architectural circles and speakers have 20 slides at 20 seconds a piece to present a topic.  It goes by fast so you need to be pithy which can be a challenge! If you are interested in more information just click on my Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest link in my blogroll.  I hope to see some of you out there and thanks again to all who have checked out the Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog over the years!  Now for more willow fuzz!

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After the foothills of central Texas, it’s nice to be in the Derby City again.  All along the 2000 mile road trip it was amazing to watch Spring burst forth along the highway.  It occurred to me while I was away, that this is also my one year anniversary of the “Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog”.  I have noticed from other blogs, that their authors frequently feel compelled to say something about the experience and I will attempt to do the same in a few words because I think the  readers this blog has attracted would rather see me go bowling!

Initially, I thought it would be fun to blog through a year’s worth of seasons and move on to the next thing.  But what happened is that I found myself looking forward to posting!  For what I’m doing out at the river, this seems a good medium for sharing my experiences and discoveries and is an alternative to exhibiting my art in the usual ways.  I have had gut check moments when I questioned my motives for blogging, but since my expectations weren’t too high…I haven’t been too disappointed.  I have had a couple of opportunities come my way to present my work and that has been fun.  The coolest thing, however, is reflected in the comments that friends and visitors have left along the way and I have looked forward to reading and replying to them!  To everyone who took the time to bother…you have my heart-felt thanks!!

I have to laugh looking at the photo above because it represents my fifth or sixth attempt to hit the “pins” and record an image of the action.  Normally, I’m a decent shot, but I didn’t take into account the sloping nature of the riverbank.  As I rolled the ball and looked through the camera, the ball would swerve harmlessly away!  It wasn’t a strike, but I was able to pick the spare up on the next ball.  My pins are various fluid-filled plastic bottles I came across in the vicinity of the blue plastic toy bowling ball I found.  Over the years, I have found other genuine bowling balls and a couple of them are among my favorite finds. 

If you were wondering if bowling balls float…the answer is yes!  Their cores are composed of this dense foam that gives them some buoyancy in the water.  Sometimes when I find an object, their immediate identity might remain a mystery until I have fully checked the object out.  In the first photo, it might not be apparent that these are bowling balls.  But, if I flip them over….

…then you can see the characteristic three finger holes drilled into the ball.  What really blows me away with these balls is their condition.  I can’t imagine too many things tougher to destroy than one of these balls, but this is exactly what the river did!  I imagine that over the years, these bowling balls must have bounced off rocks, logs, and barges on their way to the sands of the Falls of the Ohio.  Here are a few more shots of these amazing balls.

The red exterior of this ball has always reminded me of some hard candy you might find in a dish at your grandma’s house.  I especially like how this ball has weathered.  It has a nice flat spot on one side that I guess was created by abrasion in the sand?  I also like the balance between outer covering and inner core.  Judging from the size of the finger holes, this was probably a child’s ball or someone with a small hand.  The last ball is amazing because the remains of the finger holes create this haunting face image complete with an ear off to the side.  I have seen figurative American Indian art with similar facial expression.  I also find the crack that runs through this ball to be an attractive element.  Again, it’s a testament to the power of river and the amount of energy it can exert on an object.  Through the years I have found several bowling balls, but I have only kept these two.

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