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Sea turtle Ink Doodle

Hello Friends,

Last night I doodled this happy friend to help keep me company and keep my place in my reading.

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug.  🐢
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Turtles Again? Of course!

Hello Friends,

Yep.  That’s me…the turtle lady.  Today I just want to share with you about my latest book finds!

First, for several years now I have been checking out all the turtle and sea turtle books I can find at the library which are not very many I might add.  Well, a few days ago I was reading one of my favorites again (I’ve checked it out more times than I can count) called “Turtles, Tortoises & Terrapins:  Survivors in Armor” by Ronald Orenstein.  Every time I check it out I wish I could keep it.  So this past Tuesday I decided to look for it on Amazon.  I found a new updated version, but I couldn’t afford that one.  So I looked for a used one and found it for half the price of the newest one.  I realize there is some updated information in the new one, and it looked like it had new photos, but I still decided to get the used one.  It has a little crinkle on the book cover, but is a hardback and in good shape otherwise.  So for what I paid it is well worth it.  Here is a picture of it!  Sorry about the glare.

The other book I found is a gold mine for me!  I went to Barnes & Noble on Wednesday and was looking for a more updated book on sea turtles since I am writing the article for my class about them.  I just get tired of looking for everything online sometimes.  I still love to read books I can hold in my hands.  That is never going to change for me.

So I looked in their shrunken animal/nature book section (also, our store is smaller than most), and I couldn’t find anything!  They had a guide book for reptiles, but that was about it…NOTHING on sea turtles!  They have some small books in the kids sections that I already have, but didn’t have anything new.  So I decided to ask a clerk who has been there for at least the last 15 years or more.  She went into her computer looking for the most recently published books about sea turtles to see if there was anything I wanted to order.  I also told her I was interested in the latest conservation information.  Well, she found the most beautiful book for me!  It is a heavier covered paperback, perfect print size, and filled with the most amazing photography and information!

I have never found a book this wonderful on sea turtles before.  It is called “Our Sea Turtles:  A Practical Guide for the Atlantic and Gulf, from Canada to Mexico” by Blair and Dawn Witherington.  They are a couple who live in Floridana Beach, Florida.  Blair is a “Senior Sea Turtle Conservation Biologist at the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, University of Florida, with a joint appointment leading Disney’s sea turtle conservation program.”  He has degrees in biology and zoology and has written several other books.

His wife, “Dawn is a scientific illustrator and graphic design artist trained at the Art Institutes of Colorado and Ft. Lauderdale.  Her art and design are prominent in natural history books, posters, museum exhibits, and a line of sea-themed greeting cards.”  (Both quotes are from the back flap of the book.)

This book is 282 pages full of wonderful information, illustrations, and photographs.  What a talent they both have for writing and art/photography!  It is so amazing.  Here is a picture of it.  Sorry there is a bit of a glare on it.  Anyway, I began reading this one last night and almost couldn’t put it down to go to sleep!  It is a book I will always treasure.  I will definitely be looking for their other books in the future.

Well, this is what I will be doing this weekend.  Reading, reading, and reading…oh and writing as well.  I realized last night that I think the reason I am having difficulty writing this article is because it is about something so precious to me.  I have a great emotional investment in my love for sea turtles and protecting them, so whatever I write, I hope it doesn’t get too much “correction” but if so, it will be a learning experience!  I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: About the “Box”

I wanted to share this post from my turtle friend, Shannon along with a picture of the box turtle, Virginia, who lives at Turtle Bay.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Love & Feathers & Shells

Bruce, showing off his skills at “clamming up” by completely enclosing his body inside his shell.

Box turtles, regardless of how many toes they have, are called “box turtles” because of one unique trait they all share in common.

That trait is quite amazing. Every box turtle is able to pull all of its body parts – head, tail, legs and feet and claws, all of it – inside its shell and lock it all inside.

When a box turtle decides to “close down” – for example, to hide from a predator or a perceived threat – it pulls its top shell (carapace) and its bottom shell (plastron) together so they meet at all points around the box turtle’s body.

The reason the box turtle can get its carapace and plastron to touch completely while other turtles can’t is because of a unique hinge that occurs about halfway down on…

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Rainbow Giraffe

Hello Friends,

Today I decided to do another giraffe.  I used the same drawing obviously, but she is the darker end of the rainbow!  Her name is…Violet.  

 

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

2-Headed Sea Turtle Hatchling!

Hello Friends,

Once again I have stumbled on to some “old news,” but this is just too fascinating not to share.  This is the kind of news clip that usually appears at the end of some news casts in our area.  We don’t watch the news regularly at our house anymore, though.  So here is the short video just a few seconds long, but worth the watch:

 

Also, here is a link to the article about this RARE sea turtle.  Let’s hope he or she makes it even though the odds for survival may not be good.  You just never know.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/two-headed-loggerhead-turtle-found-florida-video-spd/

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Giraffe Watercolor

Hello Friends,

I spent most of the last couple of days on this one.  A few days ago I traced it from a magazine.  Then I spent yesterday painting it.  Just something different this time!

This is Garrett.  He wants to know if you like his beard?   😉

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Piggies – Mama and Baby

 

 

Hello Friends,

Here is my finished drawing of the mama and baby piggies.  I use Faber-Castell and Prismacolor graphite pencils.  I kept thinking parts of it weren’t dark enough so I worked on it quite a bit over the last few days.  Again, I drew this from a photo in the book, “The Wisdom of Moms – Love and Lessons From the Animal Kingdom” by Bridget E. Hamilton.  I did not trace the picture, though.  I have been trying to draw more by sight than tracing the outlines of things exactly.  But sometimes, I have to.  Also, I didn’t spend a lot of time working on the straw they are laying in.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Yesterday I worked on tracing a giraffe in ink and getting it drawn onto watercolor paper with the aid of my light board.  It is about 8.5″ x 17″!  If I feel like starting the painting later today, I may do that after I work out…exercise has kind of been going by the wayside lately, and my back is yelling at me to get to it!  I have certain physical issues that require not neglecting exercising a few times a week if not every day.

Hopefully, sometime this week I will get the post done of the other animals we saw at Turtle Bay.  Also, my husband got a couple of good pictures of our 15 year old dog, Brownie, that I need to adjust, print out, and draw and paint for the pet portrait auction I mentioned a few posts ago.  And…of course I am still working on my research for the sea turtle article I have to write for my writing class!  It is good to be busy, though.  I am thankful I can do all of this.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Edible Six-Pack Rings?! Wow!

Hello Friends,

I just have to share this before I forget about it.  It will possibly be part of my next writing assignment for my class since I believe I am going to write about at least three ways sea turtles are injured or killed by trash in our oceans.  Anyway, I can’t believe I have never heard of this before!  I only have the basic bones of information right now.  I am planning on calling the company and asking more questions.

Did you know that a beer brewery located in Delray Beach, Florida, called Saltwater Brewery, created EDIBLE SIX-PACK RINGS for their canned beer?  I didn’t!  I happened to stumble onto this short video when I was looking into ways that the six-pack rings from canned products can injure and kill sea turtles.

These six-pack rings are made from barley and wheat ribbons from the beer brewing process.  They can be eaten safely and are 100% biodegradable.  Isn’t this wonderful?  I am going to be researching more information about this and will keep you posted.  In the meantime, check out this short video!

I can’t believe it is Friday already.  I think I may be spending mine writing!  Also, at some point I will still be sharing soon about the rest of the trip to Turtle Bay Exploration Park that my daughter I took last week.  AND…I am almost finished with the Mama and Baby pigs drawing.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Turtles, turtles, turtles…and…birds!

Hello Friends,

Well, my daughter and I visited “Turtle Bay Exploration Park” the other day.  It was a nice cool October day which I was very thankful for!  Yes, this is me, at our first stop in the park, The Parrot House.  They currently have about 30 Lorikeets, an Australian type of parrot, which are very colorful… and friendly!! As soon as we walked in, one lighted on my hat and another on my shoulder.  They stayed there the whole time until the one on my shoulder flew off and its feathered friend followed.  I used to own Cockatiels so this was a treat for me.  My daughter was glad none landed on her, however.

We did get to see many turtles on this trip which has never happened before.  And no, “Turtle Bay” isn’t named so because they have lots of turtles.  That section of the Sacramento river where they built their facility used to be called Turtle Bay, and it may still be, but I am not sure about that.  They are also under a lot of added construction right now, revamping the playground where I used to take my kids when they were little, and adding a hotel!  Supposedly, it is to be finished by December or January.  So we’ll see!

So here are more pictures AND a couple of short videos from our little adventure.  Enjoy!  By the way, they had a tarantula, but I didn’t take any pictures of it…not my favorite animal.  Also, I am not including everything we saw either.

Here’s a red-eared slider turtle who tried, tried, and kept trying to get up onto this rock…alas, it never made it.  I guess it was just too slippery for it.  😦

 

Here are three Western Pond Turtles which are native here in Northern California.  They were in an aquarium inside the museum.

“Hey, do ya mind? I’m tryin’ to sleep here.”

 

“Yeah, I ain’t even comin’ outta my shell today folks.”

 

 

“HEY, I’m awake!  Watch me swim!”

 

 

This is “Virginia” the Box Turtle… She says, “Hey!  Watch this, but be patient!”  

 

These are the Red-eared Sliders that were in another aquarium.  My daughter took this picture.  Awesome, huh?

“Awww…look at our beautiful reflections, Melva!”  

 

This is perhaps the most amazing thing I saw.  Unfortunately, it is only the shell, but this is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle Shell!!!  Isn’t it amazing?  I thought so.  I didn’t even know they had one there years ago when we were members.  I forgot to ask how long they have had it.  And yes, even though I paint my sea turtles the colors I do, it is because when they are in the water, reflections of the sun down in the water depending on where they are, make their shells look like those brilliant colors!

 

Later this week I will have another post about our trip to Turtle Bay and show you the other wonderful animals we saw.  I didn’t want to make this post way too long.  Plus, I wanted to share the turtles mostly.  Until then…

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pig Mama and Baby…almost finished.

 

Hello Friends,

I started sketching this mama pig and her baby the other day.  The mama pig’s eyes are completely closed, so it may look funny when I finish.  The photo is from a very nice gift my daughter bought for me a couple of months ago.  The gift is a book called “The Wisdom of Moms…Love and Lessons From the Animal Kingdom” by Bridget E. Hamilton.  She thought I would like to draw the animals; they are all beautiful.  My daughter was sad that there were not any turtles in the book, but when I received it from her in the mail while she was gone this summer, I probably don’t have to tell you how much I cried.  Just knowing she thought of me when she found it was a gift in itself.

The quote on the next page for this photo says “Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.”  Sister Corita Kent.  This is so true!  Learning to live in the present has always been a challenge for me.  I used to preoccupy my thoughts with things I was dealing with from the past or worrying about the future, but I do very little of that anymore.  The present is beautiful in itself!

At the bottom of the page where this quote is, it says, “Free-range farm pigs will make a nest for their families, gathering straw for warmth when the piglets are young.”  The photo shows them laying in some straw.  This is going to be very challenging to do in pencil!

I love all animals in the book, and I still can’t tell you why when I was a teenager I began to love turtles so much, but as I have said before I love sea turtles now, because they are so beautiful, graceful, and endangered.  For my fourth assignment for my writing class I am working on gathering current information about sea turtles, picking the most endangered type, and writing about conservation.  I think this assignment is going to take a while…just doing the research will take quite a bit of time.

In the meantime, another project I am going to have to start soon is working on a painting of our dog for an auction on eBay to benefit “Forever Foster Homes” and the “Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary.”  Their notice said they are “currently providing lifetime care for over 300 senior dogs.”  My daughter told me about it a while back.  It is not a contest; they are just taking donations of people’s artwork.  The deadline for donations is November 1st!  The auction starts the second week of November.

So as usual I have my work cut out for me.  I also want to write a piece to send into “Chicken Soup for the Soul” which would be my first real writing submission anywhere.  It has to be a true story.  I may have told you all about it already.  There is no deadline for this, though.

However, the institute where I am taking my class is having a poetry contest.  The poem has to be about an animal, but I really don’t write a lot of poetry, so I’m not sure I’m going to have time to submit anything.  Also, the deadline for that is November 5th!  Whew!  Lots of opportunities but I need to choose wisely.

I hope everyone will enjoy your October, the beginning of fall, and Halloween if you celebrate it.  I hope to make a few more posts this month, but my creative life has gotten pretty busy these days!  I am hoping to get the first couple of 5×7 paintings of my sea turtles I did to a printer this month also!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

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