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June 25, 2015

Birds, Birds, and Surf

When our friends are visiting us, and we are taking early morning beach walks, we see and find such interesting things.  We usually see skeletal parts of skates, and various fish skulls.  There are lots of empty helmet crab shells, and skate egg sacs.  This year we even saw one whelk egg case!  But this year we also found a bird skull!  My friend Jeff loves to do the research and using a bird skull identification site, he determined that it was from a "shearwater" bird that lives on the East coast.  I sketched dorsal, ventral, and lateral views, adding it to my painting of a feather that was different than all of the gull feathers lying on the beach.


At the end of our walk, 8 of us had coffee on the beach and Jeff's wife Sara and I sketched more scenes from the beach.  We had two pairs of birds right above us and next to us, and they definitely did not like the competition and squawked at each other the whole time.  The gulls love sitting there watching everyone eat.  The black birds (crows or grackles?) were newcomers.


Deliberate Practice:  I take pictures of the surf so I can practice with masking fluid when I'm home. 


June 23, 2015

Family Weekend at the Beach

We just returned from our Family Weekend at the Beach.  One of our children lives in DC and as a group we have increasing difficulty finding a summer weekend that everyone can be together.  Our oldest grandchildren are leaving for 7 weeks in summer camp this week and just about when they return, our DC grandchildren will be going back to school.

I invited my alien AXEL to join us too. 


I only did one sketchbook page while we were there.  The activity level was way too high to concentrate, but now that I'm home I'll work from a few photos I took.

On one of our beach walks we saw an area roped off as a tern nesting area.  We are used to seeing this for piping plovers.  I wasn't sure that I could recognize a tern, but it wasn't long before a tern and 3 babies were spotted ahead of us on the sand.


The hardest part of our summer weekend, and holidays when we are together, is to get a photo of all 8 grandchildren.  It was starting to rain, and I quickly got them lined up and took several photos.  Here they are - ages 2-11!   



June 9, 2015

Beach Sketchbook - Part 2

We are still at the beach, for the 7th annual beach visit with two other couples.  Our husbands met in 1965, so they are friends of 50 years!  We love early morning beach walks on these wonderful wide, and almost empty beaches (at that hour).  Two of us collect all sorts of things on the beach and we regularly see types of shells, and unknown marine life washed up which generates lots of questions and Google image searches.  Sometimes my friend Sara and I sketch at the beach.  Other times we wait until we're home and paint the landscape.  Here are two beach photos that I love and my 2 most recent landscape "at-home" sketchbook pages.





View From the Sunroom:



View at the End of the Pool: 



June 5, 2015

Vacation at the Beach


These are two of the sketchbook pages that I did since our arrival at the beach. 

We have many little rabbits and one Mom running around the backyard.  I collect shells on the beach, but never saw a sand dollar before today.  Over the years I've taken many photos of the gulls for sketches, but today my friend gave me this great photo that she took for my drawing.




August 5, 2014

Last Beach Week of the Summer

We were back at the beach for the last time this summer.  Three of our grandchildren just returned from sleep-away camp and we gathered to celebrate their return.  This bunny was sitting in the yard, eating in the grass, and I only had my camera in hand.  I took several photos without breathing or moving and did this sketchbook page.



Dinner with our daughter, her husband, and their 3 children at LT Burger in Sag Harbor.  These gumball machines were hard to resist. 



Our oldest grandchild, 11 year old Henry, went on our 2 mile early morning beach walk again this year.  He is delightful because he has a natural curiosity about everything we see.




He loved watching the waves roll in and generate foam.



And spent time with me examining and photographing a dead spider crab.  We saw the poor crab again today and it really did have 8 legs and two claws at one time. 



A battered 4 leaf clover and one of the variant hydrangeas at our daughter's house.



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