Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hoppy Easter

This is the second time I have done this post, the first time about 90% in it disappeared!

I thought I would share some rabbit pictures with you since this is Easter week I thought bunnies might be popular. There is quite a thriving population of rabbits in a nearby park. The original  rabbits either escaped captivity or were "dropped off'" at the park by their former owners.

 
I also thought it might be interesting to explore the origins of the "Easter Bunny".

"The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a fantasy character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the Easter Hare originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide." (Wikipedia)



 "The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday." (Wikipedia)
 


"The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs for the children." (Wikipedia)
 


"The precise origin of the ancient custom of decorating eggs is not known, although evidently the blooming of many flowers in spring coincides with the use of the fertility symbol of eggs—and eggs boiled with some flowers change their color, bringing the spring into the homes." (Wikipedia)




 "Many Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church to this day typically dye their Easter eggs red, the color of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed Christ (and, of the renewal of life in springtime). Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long dead time of winter." (Wikipedia)



"The Ukrainian art of decorating eggs for Easter, known as pysanky, dates to ancient, pre-Christian times. Similar variants of this form of artwork is seen amongst other eastern European cultures." (Wikipedia)



"German Protestants wanted to retain the Catholic custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, but did not want to introduce their children to the Catholic rite of fasting. Eggs were forbidden to Catholics during the fast of Lent, which was the reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time."   (Wikipedia)
 

 
 This rabbit seems to be molting its winter coat. 

 


 
 
The rabbit below seems to have lost its tail (next two pictures). I noticed it for the first time last year and here it is recently so despite the lack to a tail it seems to be doing well. 
 

 


 
Here they are getting along with a little help from friends during a snowy spell this winter:





I liked this action shot of a rabbit hopping off with a piece of celery.


 
Some of the rabbits are quite well camouflaged, but not all.
 
 

Some have to stay close to cover.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This is a mama rabbit watching over...
 
 
....her brood..... 
 
 
 
I apologize if this is a bit of an overdose of rabbits.
 
 
My favorite, the milk chocolate bunny!

 
 
This week I attended a painting workshop titled "Negative Painting, a Positive Approach" and this is what I did:
 

 
 
 
Thank you for stopping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday and Hoppy Easter, until next time...
 
 
Gillian
 
 
 


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Attention seeking behavoir!


When I was out for a walk last week I heard a loud tapping noise. It took me some time but I finally spotted the source, a Flicker:

 
Why didn't I see it at first? Well here's what my eyes saw:
 
 
 
Then again through the camera:



Why is the woodpecker hammering on a vent? Well to attract attention of course, although it was not for my benefit, he was actually after a female flicker.
 

 
...and after tapping and watching....

...and tapping and watching...

 
..and, well you get the picture...

 
...who could resist? Well I think he must have spotted a female because...

 
...he started displaying his finery.

 
..what do you think?

 


 
..aren't I gorgeous...

 
...well this has got to impress the little woman...

 
...what are you waiting for?...

 
...here it is, my best pose...
 
If this series was accompanied by music, what would it be; maybe O Sole Mio, or I'm looking for a hard headed woman or maybe a bit of bump and grind???  Maybe you have some ideas.
 
 It was the middle of the afternoon, but I have heard many stories of people being wakened very early in the morning to a loud tapping, coming from, you guessed it, a woodpecker, hammering on a light standard or on a piece of metal flashing.
 
One can be excused for thinking that they have mistaken it for food; no it is absolutely intentional and meant to attract as much attention as possible.
 
The Flicker version of friending on Facebook? If it were a personal ad it might go something like this:
 
Handsome SFM (Single Flicker Male), NS (non-smoker), ND (non-drinker) seeks female:
 
I am a tall (14"), good looking Red Shafted Flicker but I've been banging my head in frustration looking for my own true love. I love the outdoors and want someone to join me at my favorite restaurant in the forest (Rotten Log), to share a romantic meal, to sing a few duets and to watch the sun go down. My object is matrimony, I am seeking someone that is not afraid of commitment, to settle down with me, share my life and love nest and raise a family. No triflers please, tweet your particulars at #hollowlog.
 
 
Speaking of woodpeckers, do you remember the "Woody Woodpecker" laugh: 

 
 
 
"I'm looking for a hard headed woman" by Cat Stevens
 
 
 
OK enough of that foolishness! I did actually do some painting this week. It is a painting of daffodils, which my husband gets for me at the farmers market this time of year; so beautiful and so fragrant.
 
A watercolour that I call "Spring Blooms":
 
Details on this painting at GillianOlsonArt.BlogSpot.com
 
 
I got good news yesterday from my surgeon; the tumour (adrenal) he removed from me was benign and except for following up with a specialist to make sure my remaining adrenal function is sufficient I am finished with this health bump.
 
 
Thank you for stopping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time...
 
 
Gillian
 
 
 


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Blossoms, beginnings and endings

The early blossoms are starting to appear on the trees; they are pretty and delicate and add and subtle perfume to the air.




Delicate pinks, white and deeper blossoms herald the beginning of spring to me.



 

"The Blossom" is a poem by William Blake, published in Songs of Innocence in 1789:

File:Blake The Blossom.jpg




 
“The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”
August Rodin
 



These blossoms remind me of fluffy little tutus:



 



Blossoms in the Springtime (song byVaughn Horton)

When I see blossoms in the springtime
I know that sweetheart time is here
My love that blossoms in the springtime
Blooms in my heart through all the year.
I love the blossoms in the springtime
Kissed by the sunshine and the rain
I love to hold you oh my darling
When kisses bloom in sweetheart's lane.
 
Never to flame all winter long
Then like the blossoms in the springtime
Burst with the first red robin's song.
I love the blossoms in the springtime
Kissed by the sunshine and the rain
I love to hold you oh my darling
When kisses bloom in sweetheart's lane.
 


Here is a video "Simon's Cat: Springtime"




I mentioned endings in my title. Earlier this week I was wandering in my garden when I found the tiny body of a hummingbird. It is one of the Anna's Hummingbirds that have been coming to our feeders year round for a few years. This one was a bit smaller than the others.
 
An Anna's Hummingbird is a medium sized hummingbird native to the west coast of North America. It has a reddish purple throat but here it appears black.
 
It was sad to see, this little fellow's ending was especially poignant to me because it is just the beginning of spring and new life.



 
On a happier note a bit later in the afternoon I got a picture of another Anna's at one of our feeders.
 
 
 
I have begun painting again, several things at once, but have only managed to finish one painting so far. It is painting of a bird I saw in Italy last summer, a black headed gull I think. A watercolour, no name, no signature, just a little study I did.
 
 
 
 
 That's all for this week, happy Wednesday, thanks so much for dropping by.
 
Gillian