May 27, 2013

Beetle Juice...

I found this little guy walking/flying around my daughter's yard last weekend.  It's color was dazzling!

I had never seen an insect like this before.  This is what I found out about the Green Tiger Beetle:

With the sun shining off its irisdescent blue-green elytra, the green tiger beetle resembles an emerald lost on a sandy path. A closer inspection usually reveals nothing—the "emerald" has flown several feet down the path.
Green tiger beetle adults are slender predatory beetles with long legs, large eyes, and thread-like antennae. Like all chewing insects they have a pair of mandibles. The tiger beetle's mandibles are sickle-shaped and very sharp pointed, with several teeth on the inner face. The name tiger beetle refers to its predaceous habits (both adults and larvae eat all kinds of insects) and to the ability of the adults to suddenly pounce on their prey.
During the summer months females will deposit their eggs in sandy soil. The eggs are deposited singly, each in a separate burrow. The larvae are whitish, S-shaped and grub-like with long curving jaws and a large hard head. The larvae prop themselves up in vertical burrows with their oddly shaped heads often plugging the entrance. They wait with open mandibles for a hapless victim, which they seize and take to the bottom of the burrow (sometimes a foot below the surface) to devour at their leisure. On the larva's 5th abdominal segment is a spine that anchors it to the side of the burrow. Thus, if a larva grabs an insect that is too large to overcome, it is anchored to the burrow and will not be pulled out.

"May" texture courtesy of Kim Klassen.

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May 24, 2013

The New Man in My Life...

Shsssh - don't tell Richard - I have a new man in my life.  His name is Adam.  I met him at Dick Blick's.   It was love at first sight!  He is easy to get along with and does exactly as I tell him...sigh

Linking to:

Favorite Photo Friday
Happy Friday Blog Hop
Friday Finds
Weekly Top Shot

May 20, 2013

My Left Foot...

I created MY SHOE TREE yard art - old shoes hanging on my ficus tree.  The neighbors stop and stare - many take photos.  One lady asked me if these shoes were for sale - ha ha!

"Frosted" texture courtesy of Kim Klassen (top photo).

May 18, 2013

Spring Graduation

Spring has definitely arrived here in Elgin, IL. The trees are filled with blossoms. I noticed these trees while on my morning run. I raced back to the hotel to pick up my camera.


I'm super excited to be here for my granddaughter, Emily's graduation party.

Here she is showing off her bearded dragon Kevin.


Only 3 years before Abby follows in Emily's footsteps.



The ceremony and party are at 3:30PM today. I can hardly wait!


May 14, 2013


I enjoyed an afternoon at The Conservancy of Southwest Florida.  I was working with a new Nikkor AF-S micro 40mm 1:28g lens for my camera.  I'm beginning to get the hang of it!

This little dude (anole) was moving so fast, that I was surprised to find that I actually captured him!

Mouse Over to see Original
The original photo duplicated, B&W filter added; opacity 80%; mask applied.  Texture applied.
"KK2" texture courtesy of Kim Klassen.

May 10, 2013

Who was that guy...

I was out and about yesterday experimenting with the news lens I bought for my camera.  (AF-S Micro Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8G).  Richard and I were stopped in traffic when a Harley Davidson rider pulled up next to us.  I rolled down my window and asked if I could take his picture for a project I'm working on - he smiled OK.  I snapped away and before I had a chance to ask his name, the light changed and he was long gone!

May 6, 2013


Original photo of these dusty pop bottles taken at the Smallwood Store in Everglades City, FL.  (Where I live, these carbonated beverages are called pop.)

"1001" texture courtesy of Kim Klassen

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May 5, 2013

Dolls, dolls and more dolls...

I love making dolls.  Working with paper clay is one of the materials I use and is the base for these two little sweet things.

This is my first effort making dolls in this fashion (notching out a space for legs and attaching with wire).  It was a learning experience for sure!  My holes on the crotch area and legs didn't match up as well as they should; unintended holes made with the wire trying to attach the limbs - it was a bit frustrating...

Hat and Crown made from assorted papers.  (Don't even ask how many tries it took before the tricorner hat fit!)  These dolls are quite small - measuring approximately 5" tall.

I had the honor recently of being published in Art Doll Quarterly.