Wednesday, 23 January 2013

My friend flicker?

Anyone else remember the 1950's television series "My friend Flicka"? It's about a horse named Flicka (Swedish for little girl) and the boy that was devoted to her, Johnny, on a fictional ranch in Wyoming. For some reason seeing a flicker reminds me of the show.

The other day I heard what I thought was the music from "Friendly Giant", now there is another blast from the past. I was transported back to after school TV so many years ago, and it was strangely comforting.

Why these flashes (don't get me started on that topic) back to the past, maybe my short term memory is failing, who knows. I can remember my phone number from when I was 6 years old, but on the other hand I can't figure out how to use my android phone properly ...... yet another story.

But today I wanted to talk about flickers and a beautiful pair that has been visiting my back yard feeders recently.

Red shafted or Northern Flickers, him above with his red cheek patches, showing off the red feathers in his wings and tail. Her, below, with grey brown cheeks; she has red feathers in wings and tail but not quite as bright. Both have beautiful spotted chests and a black crescent shaped black "cravat".

They are woodpeckers, and can be seen feeding on the ground, hammering on trees and at feeders. They make a high pitched kee kee kee sound (that's what it sounds like to me anyway) when approaching an area to feed, this to me sounds like "get out, get out, it's my turn" and seems to continue until the feeder is vacant.

Using her tail to "balance" on the feeder below:

Showing off the orange under feathers on her tail:

Here he is investigating some insect life on the power pole in the back lane. You don't want to see them on your house because it probably means you have an insect infestation.

She prefers the nuts ...........

........ and he the suet block ......

Flickers (other woodpeckers too) drill into trees and pieces of wood in search of food, but they also pound on other surfaces too, metal for instance, and can make a huge racket. It turns out that is exactly the point, to attract attention, handy when trying to attract a mate or scare away a rival, but not popular if it awakens one very early in the morning.

Another favorite show from that era was "Lassie". Do you have favorites from that time?

I have been busy in the studio this week, but am still finishing off a painting which I hope to reveal next week.

Since I seem to be living in the past a bit this week I thought I would show you something from the past, I apologize ahead of time if you have seen this before:

"Oh-fish-al Greeter"

This is a colour conte work from a series of door knockers that I did 2 or 3 years ago.

There is more information on the picture, on door knockers and on the conte medium on my art blog:


Thanks for stopping by, happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ..................