Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Critter comments

Sometimes pictures just cry out for comments, like these that I took at the Parc de la Tete D'or in Lyon, France last month. The park has many pathways around a lake and through a rose garden and is open to the public. We enjoyed a stroll, sat on shaded benches and of course I took a few pictures. We caught sight of this little fellow and I expected him to run away, but he was just as curious about us as we were about him.

Got anything for me?

This red squirrel was looking for handouts from passersby but was so cute that we couldn't refuse. My husband found a cracker for him. Bright eyes and look at those tufty ears and claws !

Pretty please.

Gee, thanks this isn't too bad.

Yes, this is actually quite good.

Any more where that came from?

No! Well nice to meet you, I'm out of here then.

I think this little cutey had a dedicated following, as we were watching him another person approached and he responded by rushing over to her, maybe he sensed she had a treat for him or maybe he recognized her.

I hope you will excuse me today as I indulge in a little anthropomorphism; great word, it is the giving of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals or  non-living things. Today it's all about animals and birds.

"As a literary device, anthropomorphism is strongly associated with art and storytelling.... Most cultures possess a long-standing tradition with anthropomorphised animals as characters that can stand as commonly recognised types of human behavior." (Wikipedia)

Here is a link to a squirrel fable "Once upon a time there lived a squirrel named Cynthia ....."

These ducks were lined up on a log preening, I especially like the triangle of light on the top duck's face.

Hey, can we have a little privacy here.

There were a few families of mallards, and the ducklings were so small and very cute.

Boy, towing Mum is sure hard work.

This isn't as easy as it looks.

OK, let's get organized here!

Good, that's better,  now I have my ducks in a row.

"If you keep your feathers well oiled the water of criticism will run off as from a duck's back." Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards
Yes this is a Moorhen crossing, didn't you see the sign?

I think I'll just settle down here, so comfortable, so ........ zzzzzz.
I was thrilled to see these baby moorhens, a first for me. They are all fluff and have very large feet for their size. This little one below seemed to be having trouble tripping over his feet.

I'll just try to blend into the background here.

Wait, if I can just get onto the bank, I'm sure I can get used to these feet.

There must be a manual to go with these feet, maybe I should have read it after all.
In this picture I liked the position of the bubbles in the water behind the little guy.
Very funny, she has me pictured as a wind up toy now.

Oh, that was embarrassing, I think I'll stand still for a while.

The kids had a sleep over last night, I didn't get a wink of sleep.

We saw a pair of crested grebes with two babies.
Oh, oh, where did the kids get to now?

Hey, tell Dad to wait up.
This mother was between the path and her brood.
Who me, just sitting here pay no attention.

Oops, I see you spotted the kids after all.

Yeah, aren't they lovely they are almost as big as me now, I'm so proud.

Ha, ha, you can't get a good picture of me! And he was right ....
These Greylag geese were grazing, when the signal came for them to move,and  the whole group marched down and across the path. You can tell the young ones by the paler colour of their beaks and feet (the adults have pink feet).
OK, group let's move!

Are we there yet?

It's all peaceful now but a moment or two ago ...

Mum was chasing the interloper (the coot) to the far end of the log.

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable." Joseph Addison

I hope you got a few chuckles from these pictures. Our walk was just ducky, thank you.

I tried something new (to me) this week, a painting of a bird with a  poured background a painted bird. I took some pictures of the process. There were 4 pours for the background, each time I poured yellow then red then blue waited for them to dry completely, applied masking fluid and then poured the colours again. I took pictures of the first three pours:

After the first pour:

Here's the second:

...and the third:

Here is the final work with all the masking fluid removed and the Chickadee painted, I have called this one "Sweet Serenade". The inspiration for this one comes from the bird bath in my back yard which has a small stone bird on the edge and the red maple behind it.

"Sweet Serenade"

Glad you dropped by, and a special thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, your comments are very much appreciated.

Hope you enjoyed today's post, glad you dropped by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ............ 


  1. Hi there - red squirrels and duck - two animals I could just watch and watch and watch!

    Nice post.

    Stewart M – Australia

  2. oh my! your painting is gorgeous! thanks for the link on masking fluid. i always wondered about that.

    enjoyed the critters and their conversations. those ducklings are adorable. the mama w/ the sleepy eye cracked me up! those tufted big ears on those euro-squirrels are something else!

  3. beautiful images again and your painting is truly gorgeous !

  4. Thanks for showing the steps of the painting process. That was truly fascinating to see. All of pictures were great fun, but I especially loved the Moorhens and the Crested Grebes. You really did soak up a lot of nature on your trip. Beautiful post, Gillian!

  5. Gorgeous art work! Very, very nice! Love the squirrel photos! Funny! And the moorhen shots are great!

  6. The Red Squirrel is a stunner. And the rest, and and your painting, wow.

  7. lol. love that moorhen chick. So cute with it´s big feet. :)

  8. Cute bunch of wildlife here.

  9. Great collection of critters and lovely art work!

  10. Such a joy to walk with you and see all those critters! What an assortment! You chickadee is lovely!

  11. I enjoy all your posts and I especially enjoyed the anthropomorphic comments on this one! Your "whimsy" makes me look at my own environment in a different way - thanks!

  12. Love the process, what an amazing painting.

    Those baby ducks, and all are so cute, there must be a lot of ohhh and ahhhhing going on.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  13. WOW!!



    See you Friday.....Marilyn

  14. Loved the moorhens. They are new to me. Wonderful series of critters and love your artwork. I even liked the first pouring. ;)

  15. I love your "sweet serenade" painting. All of the shots and captions are great but the squirrels are my favorites.

  16. You make wonderful art or it makes you. I don't know but what an incredible piece you put together. You should see my hand at drawing or painting....not pretty:)

    That red squirrel is a charmer. I think I would break down and give away all my food:) I love when furry animals are looking for handouts....but I'm not so crazy about the human kind:)

    Great pics Gillian. A real treat to walk with you today on that trail. Cute little moorhen pictures as well:)

  17. Your creatures have had a lovely time entertaining you and us but most of all I love your "Sweet Serenade", it's wonderful!

  18. Oh, that too adorable squirrel with the long tuffs at the tip of its ears looks a little like a rabbit I, too, enjoyed the interesting process of painting that you showed us. The end result is sweet and a touch mysterious. :)

  19. Wow - your Sweet Serenade is fabulous!

    And those squirrels - so cute!

  20. what a treat to see so msny different ducks and babies....& that red squirrel is just too cute!!

    your art piece is gorgeous, you are very talented!!

  21. So many wonderful photos of cute little critter. It just make me smile as I was scrolling through them. And you painting are always breathtaking.


  22. Gillian, you painting is especially lovely. It's neat to see your process.

    Such a fun post filled with wonderful photographs! It's always enjoyable to see all the youngsters. Love the cute little squirrel and the huge-footed baby coot. All are exceptional, though!

  23. I enjoyed seeing all those sweet animals and your painting is amazing!

  24. The artworks are great. After looking through your posts, I get the feeling that birds and animals trust you :)

  25. Such great shots Gillian! I love watching the squirrels now where we live. Those little ducklings are so sweet too! Your "Sweet Serenade" piece is the colors.

  26. A wonderful post Gillian..

    Many thanks for your lovely comments re Mum... It's really appreciated.

  27. What a great collection of birds and photos. My favorites are the Moorhen and chicks. They are just adorable. I have to agree with the others, your Sweet Serenade is just lovely.

  28. Last things first! I am so impressed with the work and creativity that has gone into your Sweet Serenade. It's such a lovely and colourful piece. Beautifully done.

    I also got quite a kick out of your comments which accompany your fine photos. The squirrel is adorable. The duckling towing his mallard mom is so cute. And what a joy to see those oversized feet on the wee moorhens. I've never seen this bird before (except on other blogs). Thanks for all of your treats.

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