Saturday, July 31, 2010

Good Morning! Good Morning! Good Morning! What a beautiful day on the river it is this morning. Today we have mostly cloudy skies with a High of 86F. and a Low of 66F. The winds are East/Southeast at 10MPH with a 10% chance of rain. The Barometer is holding steady at 29.98. I can clearly see the Virginia Shoreline, so the humidity must be pretty low. We had a couple of kayaker's come by early this morning. We briefly chatted about the weather and the knuckleheads in Washington and they were on their way. Seems as if everyone now-a-days thinks everyone in Washington is a knucklehead! I am pleased that at least we the people can agree on something. They in Washington seem to be able to agree on nothing. They in Washington are little more than two bullies in the school yard constantly fighting with one another. I do not believe, nor do I trust any of them.
I shot another pic of the Blue Grossbeak, only because I do not know how much longer he will hang around.

Jess & John and The Kids are off to Myrtle Beach. They should arrive late this afternoon. We will miss them. It is awful quite around here with no kids.

This morning I will continue work on the Robyn Commission. I have to do so preliminary drawings and send off the jpeg for approval. I had better get on it.

Here are some of the boarder designs that I went through today in my quest to get just the right color combination for the Robyn Commission. We finally settled on one, a teal / amber combination. I will complete these tomorrow.

Here is the final design.

Sherry completed another "Elegant Egret". We had a nice afternoon walk, and return home where Sherry cooked up some T-Bones on the grill to go along with the home made potato salad she made this morning. A great meal enjoyed on the deck while we looked out across the river at the Virginia Shoreline. There are many many boats on the river this afternoon. Much more than we have seen lately. 5 years ago the river was full of boat. Now-a-days you hardly see any. Must be a sign of the times. However, today the river is full of all manner of watercraft.

This evening is absolutely beautiful. The wind is blowing out of the east/southeast at about 15mph. The Osprey and Eagles love it. The just hang on wing soaring together at 50ft. or so above the water. A wonderful site.

That is it for me today. Some sad news before I close, Cousin Charlie past over to the other side today. Our hearts go out poor little Katie-bug. She is too young to suffer the lose of one so dear. The thing about dogs is, they are too short lived. We hope Katie-bug recovers, and understands that Cousin Charlie is in a better place. The Blue Dog took it pretty hard.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A pretty good storm blew through last night, which cleared the air and lowered the humidity. I can clearly see the Virginia Shoreline. Today, our High will only reach 86F. while our Low last night was a pleasant 63F. We have a 0% chance of rain, and our Relative Humidity is 57%. The Barometric Pressure is 29.96 and raising. It looks as if it is going to turn off to be a beautiful day.
I finished up the second Zellmer commission this morning. These six panels are going into an entry door. It was a little difficult getting them sized properly, as the tolerances were very close, but they turned out perfect. I am happy with the results!

Sherry headed into town to Dr. Brown, and to do some shopping. But not before visiting with Jess, who came by on her way to a house she was showing in Coltons Point. Jess & John and the Kids are on their way to Myrtle Beach tomorrow morning, so she wanted to stop in to see her Momma before she left. She brought in a load of food and a very nice card to "Mom & Dad". She is a great kid that is easy to love.

I had to shoot another photo of the Blue Grossbeak, as I do not know how much longer he will hang around. I have not seen the female since May, when they first showed up. This is a little disconcerting, as he is not going to hang around, if she is no longer here. What a beautiful bird!

I started work on the Robyn Transoms. I did this preliminary design lay-out, and will send it tomorrow for approval. I unloaded the Leatherback Turtle from the kiln, and loaded the rondells necessary to complete this panel.

This is a nice panel with Wissmack English Muffle in Cranberry boarder, and a "Starry Nights" pattern interior with SI100V and pink ice dichroic.

I silver stained the turtle that I cut out last week and got it in the kiln. I used two different stains, and outlined the texture in the glass. I am very happy with the results. I did ramp up a little too hot, and will turn down the temperature the next time I fire. I got some metalized texture on the hot side of the glass.

I am anxious to get this thing in a panel now, I just have to decide what type of panel, what design, how big, and at what price point. I could go to a smaller panel, and a lower price, but would it be cost effective? I will have to study this. In either case, I have a good turtle to start with.

Tomorrow, approval on Robyn, and take it to construction. Life is wonderful! I love my art.....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A very nice, cool morning, with a Low of 67F. The High today under mostly cloudy skies is92F. The winds are out of the West at 5 to 10MPH. Humidity is 85%. Barometric Pressure is 29.94 and steady. The chance of rain is 40%.

Here is a female American Goldfinch. They are very green, or maybe it is just the lighting. Either way, they are a beautiful bird!

And speaking of beautiful birds. I can not help myself but to continue to photograph this Blue Grossbeak. It is on of the most stunning birds we have here at the Abell Feeders.

This little fellow, and many, many of his kin, come in to the feeders to eat some corn and get a drink. It is very hot today, so I really can not blame him!

The Bald Eagles were all over the property today. It is really hard to get a good shot of them, as they do not stay long, and their eyes are so good that they easily spot you sneaking in to shoot, and off they go. However, if you are very lucky, and very stealthy, sometimes you get lucky. I would have better shots, but I do not have the time to wait them out.

Killian left us yesterday afternoon. His Momma came by on her way to a showing, and gathered him up. It was a lot of fun having him to ourselves for the day.

I continue work on the Zellmer commission. The goal is to complete this and start on the Robyn commission. I need to have these done before next week, so that I might deliver them to the Tidewater Virginia area. Four stops, eleven panels. Lots of work! I better get back at it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Partly cloudy today with winds South/Southwest at 10 to 15mph. We have a 20% chance for some rain. The High is predicted to go into the low 90'sF. and the Low last night reached down into the low 70'sF.

Yesterday, Sherry went over to help Jess with the Kitchen Painting Project, and I went over in the afternoon and helped John with his Garage Door Project (at the old home place on Rt.5). Jess came by with Sherry in the afternoon with drinks and pizza which was much appreciated. John's Dad, Bud was on hand to help as was Killian. The job went relatively smooth, other than John mashing his finger and getting a bit of a cut, and Killian mashing his thumb. I, on the other hand came away unscathed, as did Bud. We got the door up and running. John will have to return to get the debris and haul it to the fill. Additionally, he will have to return two panels that they over shipped to the job. It was nice to be able to help him with the project. He has so much to do, and his list gets longer everyday. I remember when I was in that place, years ago. It felt as if I would never get it all done! So, it feels good to help him, if only a little, to get his list knocked down a bit. He is a great guy, and we are all happy to have him in our lives. He does so much for so many.

We returned to Jess and Johns at around 9PM to collect our vehicles. Killian decided he wanted to come back with us, so we have him all to ourselves! He is a wonderful child, very bright, with a great sense of humor. We really enjoy having him alone, without any sisters to cause friction.

And now, back to our commissions. Maybe I will get some good photos today. I am still looking for the Indigo Bunting to show himself, but I see the Brown headed Nuthatch at the feeder.

I finished the Zellmer "Wright Transom" in ambers, and got the go ahead on the 6-pane door inserts. The Robyn commission was approved today, so that is two more "Starry Nights" transoms 12 X30. A nice project indeed. It looks now like I will complete them this week, and run them all down to the Tidewater next week. We should come away with enough money to carry through the month, I hope.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beautiful morning. We had a full moon last night, and the air was very cool with a Low 69F. The High today is predicted to reach only 90F. with low humidity. We have partly cloudy skies with light winds out of the South at 5mph. We have a 10% chance of rain.

Sherry is off this morning to help Jess with her kitchen remodel. I am doing glass until about 2PM, at which time I take the RV over to LaGrange RV for some fridge work, and than off to Jess & John's to help with the garage door install.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kids got up. Kids cleaned house. Kids ate, and ate, and ate. Kids went home. Oh well. Now we will not get them again for two weeks, as they go off on Holiday next week, and we go off to the Florida Studio. I will miss them. It is fun to have them around.

Here is a panel that Sherry just finished. She got an order for two more this morning. I contacted a perspective client, send along a jpeg., and got the go ahead on two. Good for Sherry. She is a worker!

And here is my lay-out work on the
Zellmer commission. I will send these photos off to the client for final approval, and put these panels to production.

The American Goldfinch, and the House Finch share some lunch.

And here is the Female Indigo Bunting. She was here with her mate last summer. She showed up on July 5, 2009, and stayed through August. I have not seen her mate, so he either did not make the trip, or is out searching a nesting site. I hope the former, and not the latter, as I very much enjoy this colorful bird at the feeder. This was one of my Mother's favorite birds, and she would really get excited when they showed up at the feeders and the bird bath. They Love a bird bath, and require a lot of fresh, clean, water.

Here is the finished Kovak commission. I am extremely happy to have it done and off the table. So far I have completed this Kovak commission, 20- 9X9 starry nights panels, the Shultz commission, and four Wright Transon's. I can not begin to list what Sherry has gotten done.

Tomorrow, the RV goes to LaGrange RV for a Refrigerator job. Sherry goes to Jess & John's for some kitchen painting, and I go with John to his sisters for a garage door install. Gonna be a full day!

The High today will reach near 90F. The Low will get down to 66F. Winds are light from the south at 5mph. The chance of rain under sunny skies is 10%. Yesterday's Low of 79F was a record warm low. It was hot. This front that blew through has cooled off the air. I can clearly see the Virginia Shoreline this morning, which is something that I has not been easily done over the past week of so, since this heat wave set in.

So here is number 205 on my life list, a Brown Headed Nut Hatch. I like this photo as they almost never go to ground, but this one did for a drink of cool water. If you look closely you can see the sparkling drop of moisture at the end of his beak. There are three species of nuthatches in this area; The Red Breasted, the White Breasted, and this the Brown Headed. The first two are winter visitors along with the Brown Creeper. The Brown Headed is a year round bird, but mostly frequents isolated pine forests and is not often seen in the open like this one. I have been seeing him for the past week, but could not get a shot to be able to definitively species him. Well, now I have him! What possibly could 206 be? Only time will tell.

I will polish, tag-n-bag today, and pack the truck. Than it is on to the Florida Commissions, as Sherry wants one completed for our trip to Florida (it will cover expenses). So I am off. It is truly a beautiful day!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our trip to the Westmoreland Cliffs at Mount Holly Point, Nomini Creek, Virginia.

Jess & John launched at Love Point in Breton Bay and hurried around Newtowne Neck to picks us all up at Art's pier...

..and we say good-by to our little cottage on the river, to spend an afternoon of fossil hunting on the Virginia Shore.

On our way across the river, we got this nice shot of the Blackistone Island (St.Clements Island) Light. This was a public/private project that reconstructed the original lighthouse. The original light was built in 1851 and was decommissioned in 1931. A stray bomb from the Naval Proving Grounds at Dalgreen, Va. exploded near the original house and lit it afire, destroying it completely. This Lighthouse is an exact replica of the original, including the 30- 80 foot Loblolly
Pines rough cut milled at a local Amish Mill to form the flooring structure. It is a very handsome Lighthouse.

We arrived safely at the cliffs, and immediately began scouring the shore line for sharks teeth and fossils.

While Jess concentrated on a single area (and did quite well) we all spread out and walked the beach for many hundreds of yards to the west.

Here is a collection of some of what was combed from the beach. Many, many fossilized bone fragments. These most probably the remains of the "feast" the sharks had in this area. Also we had sharks teeth and ray teeth. No Crocodile teeth though, which is a bit of a disappointed. We saw many tracks of other beach combers on the beach, so it was well combed by the time we arrived.

With our heads buried in the sand, we failed to notice some serious thunderstorms moving down the river from the west. Once he noticed them, John pointed these out to me and after a brief discussions we decided that it was prudent to gather up the crew and beat it across the river. It was more than a little difficult getting the crew moving, as they did not realize the potential danger we were in. We all put our sholders to the bow, and pushed the boat deep. The crew loaded from the stern of necessity, and John got us off of the bar.

The cumulonimbus clouds were holding a lot of water, as evident by the dark bottoms. We could feel the temperature drop, as we headed back across the river. The wind came up and was blowing (by my estimate) at 20+MPH. With the wind came the white caps and very rough seas of 3+ feet. A dicey and tight place to be in with 4 children on board.

Capt.John ordered all the children to the cuddy cabin, to safety. This helped to hold the bow down in the high seas. Sherry was left in the back, with waves breaking over the side of the boat. We were all being drenched by the wind driven rain and salt spray. This was as bad as I have ever been in on the water. The winds were hard on the port, and Capt.John had no option but to run in the trough. If he turned south and headed down rive to the back side of the island, we would have been in a following sea, a dangerous proposition in an open boat. To go north would have require we run to St. Catherin's Sound, a good bit up river. Capt. John held his course, and soon we were free of the lea shore, and back to safe harbor.

The sun broke through, and the winds laid down.

We arrived safely back at Arts' dock, where we was waiting in his lawn chair. He said he was ready to call the Coast Guard, as he could see the storm across the river, and knew it was a severe gail blowing.

But we were all safe and sound, and this beautiful rainbow appeared just down river from Newtowne Neck. All in all, a wonderful (and exciting) excursion. John is to be commended for his seamanship. He handled his vessel and crew admirably. Jess, likewise is to be commended for her handling of the children (a big job) and maintaining a good sense of calm during the ordeal. Sherry & I have had our "near death" experiences on that river, and know full well just how bad it can get, and how quickly it can get bad. We have a deep respect for that body of water and we were greatly relieved to be back on terra firma!

Today we get plenty of Sunshine this morning. This afternoon we get a pretty good chance of scattered thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. Our High today will reach 97F., while our Low this morning was 72F. Our Chance of Rain is 40%.

The Kids are up early this morning, as we are preparing for a potential boat trip to Shark Island, on the Nomini Bay side of the River. This is all predicated on the weather, and of course, the boat. We have a fair chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. We will see about the boat. I would hate to be on the river, with all of the kids, the boat die and a Thunder-boomer come up. That would be tragic.

The tides at Mount Holly Point, on Nomini Creek are:
Low 9:42AM
High 3:36PM
Low 9:41PM

The Moon rises at 8:08PM and the Sunset is at 8:23PM.

If the weather holds, and the boat behaves, it will be a great trip, as Shark Island is a very interesting trip. This Island has lots of fossils laid down in the Paleocene. You will find shark, ray, and crocodile teeth, so it is a pretty exciting place to visit. It gives the kids some perspective of life 55 million years distant, when the ocean shoreline was located about where the I-95 corridor is located today. At this time in geologic history, all of Florida and most of Texas and the Gulf Coast were underwater. The Great Lakes had not yet formed, and the ice caps were non-existent in the Northern Hemisphere. A pretty nice time to be walking around the planet (although H. Sapien was not yet around to enjoy the balmy weather). Based on the number of sharks teeth found in the geological layer, the waters were no place to be, and sharks seem to have been everywhere. There appear to have been barrier islands in this area off shore, as fossilized pine cones are evident in the sediments, as are a number of fossilized gastropods, a shallow water mollusk. It is interesting to visualize how the landscape appeared during this period in the planets history. Frankly it is easy to imagine on this day, when the weather is so hot and humid, what it would be like to be on one of these barrier islands on the outer-banks of the continental shelf with the water filled with sharks, rays, and sawfish among others, and the wetland shoreline inhabited by three species of saltwater crocodiles, and unimaginable dangerous reptiles. On land, you would be relatively safe, as mammals had not yet evolved to anything larger than a opossum (the marsupial a recent immigrant from South America), and possibly a medium sized cat, but not much more, as everything was pretty much wiped out by the KT Impact (Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event) and modern day mammals had not yet evolved.
Well, I am rambling now, and I had better come back to this world, and get at it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today we will have mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies. It is going to be very hot with a heat index near 105F. High around 100F. and Lows in the mid to upper 70'sF. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. The chance of rain is 10%.

I started the day really early this morning arising at 5:30AM. This done so Vanna could get some photos of the Osprey nest at sun rise. We got up, had coffee, got dressed, gathered our equipment, and off the the nest we went. We set up in the river, with a nice angle. Vanna got some really nice shots. I will not post them until she gives me the "OK".

Sherry collected the Kids yesterday. She gathered up a couple of Pizza's from Papa John's, hurried them home for dinner. Luckily, she arrived at the same time Art came in, so he was able to join us for dinner. After which, the kids beat it into the river to soft crab on the waxing moon. It is near full, and should be by this evening.

After my trip out this morning with Vanna, We returned home and I removed the Elderberries from the freezer and began bagging them. I ended up with (I think) between 15 and 20 bags, or about 10lbs.. These will last me quite some time, as I only put a half cup per serving in my morning drink. Interesting thing about The Elderberry; while the fruit is delicious and perfectly safe, the root, stem, bark and wood contain cyanide and are quite poisonous. The safest way to consume them is not raw, as I do, but to cook them and use them in Jams, Jelly's, Pies, and (of course) Elderberry wine. I will continue to eat them raw, in my morning breakfast drink, and see what results. I figure it like this, prior to 2002 I consumed one to two packs of Marlboro Cigarettes per day, and at least a pint of Vodka. Now that is poison. How bad can a few green Elderberries or a bit of Elderberry stem be compared to that level of poisonous consumption?