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After a relatively mild winter, spring has sprung it seems. We’re in that slippery sloshy season where abundant rains hopefully bring bountiful mushrooms and plentiful prey for wildlife. The warmth has already brought out the frogs, turtles and snakes, some of which I got to see on a recent trip to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I got to see one of those curious legless lizards, the Western Slender Glass Lizard which I assumed was a small fast snake at first, and a large common snapper just beneath the shallow water of the Great Marsh at Indiana Dunes. This snapper was large enough to push some floating logs out of its way, which was how I saw it in the first place.

Today’s painting is of the turtle variety. At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, part of Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens, NY, I got to assist Dr. Russ Burke, professor at Hofstra University, with his turtle research in the West Pond one day with Biological Science Technician and turtle researcher Kayleigh Erazmus. There were two turtles caught in one hoop trap: a huge 30-year old common snapper turtle and a small diamondback terrapin. Imagine the bewilderment of being confined in such a small space with each other. But they were retrieved quickly, separated (with some struggle) and duly measured, weighed and tagged. The Eastern Box Turtle is also another turtle that lives at the wildlife refuge. Seldom seen, it is quite a treat to encounter one. Their ornate yellow pattern stands out against the scrubby vegetation of the upland areas where it tends to live. Still, these three turtles, as well as other kinds, exist on the protected land of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, an oasis in the metropolis that is New York City.

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On top of loving wildlife, mushrooms, nature, being outside, illustration, art and wooly mammoths, I LOVE music. I love playing it (in my rather limited ways), listening to it and learning about it. And one of the things I love most is WFMU radio. If you’ve never tuned in, you’ve got to give it a shot. Listen on the radio (91.1 fm in New York, at 90.1 fm in the Hudson Valley, USA) or listen to it online from around the world at www.wfmu.org.

Lemme tell you something. I’ve lived in 4 major cities in the last 4 years spanning 2 countries, across one ocean, including 2 islands and places cross- and mid-continent. It’s thrilling yet exhausting, each time finding a new place to live, new job, new friends, new communities, new geography, and new flora and fauna. Besides my husband to make each new home feel like home, there’s also WFMU. “A radio station makes you feel that way?! Really, are you serious??” you might say. From wherever I am, I tune in and it’s like plugging into a live pulsing heart of music love. And yet it’s not familiarity and nostalgia that makes me feel this way. Sometimes the music is jarring, irritating and absurd, and most of the time it’s unfamiliar to me. But I hear and learn amazing things on WFMU, I love the DJs and it has made me laugh so hard I’ve cried. And that’s what’s so GREAT about it.

There are other wonderful things about WFMU too, besides the music. But that is for another post. In the meantime, WFMU needs our support. Pledge to the marathon and keep independent listener-supported freeform radio ALIVE. Thank you for your support!

A Dandy Snake

For the New Yorker’s annual Eustace Tilley bookbag design contest, I dressed up a silkscreen of a garter snake I did a few months ago with items around the apartment: fleece, corduroy and paper scraps, buttons, a key ring, a necklace, and cellophane from an envelope. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Have you ever tried to make a suit and top hat for a snake? It’s a silly endeavor, I tell ya. But here it is, Eussssssssstace Tilley!

Contest ends January 18, 2012 so get yours in quick!

Eusssssssstace Tilley

Eusssssssstace Tilley

Another One of Olive

Olive

GIF of Olive!

 

Wooly Mammoth!

I’ve long wanted to make a wooly mammoth costume. I had the chance this past Halloween. It was a blast and it’s not just for Halloween, y’know.  Keep your eyes peeled for a wooly mammoth loping across your horizon. You never know where I’ll turn up.

I dance too. Click the images to view. Dance along. Wooly mammoth jazzercize!

Pocket Full of GIFs

A place to put my GIFs. You don’t mind do you? Click the box below to see it. You may then hafta click the box again to see it. Making GIFs is my new hobby.

 

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