Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Pair of Bluebirds

This pair of bluebirds is one of the wood paintings I wasn't quite happy with so I've gone back and worked a little more on the branches, berries and bluebirds. It's always a treat in Spring when the bluebirds return. I often feel sorry for them because they return so early and sometimes the weather is still very cold.

Update on my shallots. My shallots have dried nicely so I decided to postpone using them for now. They're more cylindrical in shape rather than the torpedo ones at the grocery. Perhaps it's the variety. Behind the scenes of all my growing experiments I research the best varieties to grow, growing requirements, fertilization needs, and product marketability. I am a constant seeker of knowledge in so many categories.

I picked the remaining shallots which I let grow a bit more. I think they are larger than the previous ones, so I could have let all of them grow a bit longer. These are now drying. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fishing For Rainbow Trout

It's been years since I've been fishing for rainbow trout. Here in Georgia the stream and lake fishing is supposed to be excellent. Now I'm sorry I sold my fishing rods. I might have to get a new one. There is nothing better than a stream or lake caught wild fish cooked over a campground fire. Once I tried for hours to catch a big rainbow trout in the Stanislaus River. It was one of the first times I'd gone fishing on my own. The trout was in a deep pool and he kept eating my bait. Finally I caught him, pulled him up on the big rock I'd been sitting on. Then I had to kill him. That was one of the hardest things I ever did. Later that day the fish which I and others had caught (stored in our ice chest) were stolen.

When I used to go fishing at Lake Davis in California I sometimes would catch a kokanee (land locked salmon). I would gut the fish but leave the head on, stuff the cavity with lemon slices, wrap the kokanee in bacon, piercing the skin with a toothpick to hold the bacon on. I had a wire basket and when the campfire coals were just right, I'd cook the salmon over the hot coals. Oh so delicious.

One time my brother, Larry, (sadly he passed away suddenly at 44 years of age) took me fishing off the shore of San Francisco Bay in Marin County. It was one of his favorite fishing spots. There was only one problem we had to slide down a gravelly steep cliff to get down to the shore.  Larry carried the fishing rods and I carried the live bait in a five gallon bucket. We fished for several hours and we caught two rock cod and one lingcod.

When we decided to leave, Larry gave me the choice of carrying the three fish in the bucket of water or the fishing rods. I chose the bucket of fish. I literally had to crawl on my knees and clutch the earth digging in with my fingernails to keep from slipping down that hill. If you knew my brother you'd know I'd catch hell if I dropped that bucket of fish. Luckily I made it up the hill more than ten minutes after he'd made it up the hill. Whew, what a close one.

Later we cooked the fish at my house on my BBQ grill and I invited Gary over for dinner. This was all before we were married. I still remember the flesh of the lingcod was fluorescent blue. When cooked the flesh turns white and poses no health risk. Only one in one hundred lingcod have the blue flesh. I also remember I made bearnaise sauce for the fish. Those were the days. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Monday, August 14, 2017

This Little Piggy

This little piggy has not made it to the market yet. Actually the farmer's market has been a bit slow the last couple of weeks. Even the produce folks next to me said this past Saturday was the slowest it's ever been for them. Perhaps this coming Saturday will be better since the total solar eclipse, (the moon completely blocks the sun), will be on Monday, August 21. Our town of Blairsville is a prime location for viewing and we are supposed to be inundated with visitors. Wonder if the skies will be clear?

Gary said an optometrist told him even with the special glasses being sold, it isn't safe to look at the eclipse. We've decided we won't look at the eclipse while it happens, even though we purchased some of the special glasses. At our age we don't need any unnecessary reduction in eyesight; actually no one does. Better safe than sorry.

While painting I find myself smoothing and blending some of the colors with my fingers like I've done on clay with stains. Later I take a photo to see if I need to make any corrections to the painting. I think I like this little guy; he's painted on oak. When painting on wood it isn't easy to get the edges smooth because the grain of the wood affects how the paint adheres. I might try painting a couple of animals on canvas. I'm having fun seeing if I can develop their personality with paint. Trivia note: I read somewhere pigs are the smartest domestic barnyard animal. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunflower Volunteer

A seed germinated in my garden and I was about to pull it up but decided it looked like a flower seed. Later as it grew I thought the leaves looked like a sunflower. This morning I went out and it has bloomed and it is a sunflower. It's much smaller than those large headed sunflowers but it still is bright and cheerful to see. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.