And there was birding!

My friend Tina is a serious commando birder, and took me out birding twice. We went out on Monday with Sandy & Gary, other friends who were in town, and saw a whole plethora of awesome birds. (Ten hours or so, went over the mountains into the sagebrush desert.)

It was seriously awesome. We’d drive along at thirty-some, then somebody would yell “Got a bird!” and Tina would slam on the brakes and throw it in reverse, back up to the bird, and we’d try to get a bead on it. If possible, we’d hop out of the car and set up the scope. It totally does not get better than that.

For Sandy’s reference, we got: Band-tailed Pigeon, Spotted Sandpiper, Western Tanager, Rufous Hummingbird, Evening Grosbeak, Cassin’s Finch, Orange-crowned Warbler, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-Headed Blackbird, Wilson’s Snipe, Brewer’s Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, Loggerhead Shrike, Black-billed Magpie, Lark Sparrow, Say’s Phoebe, Rock Wren, Mountain Bluebird, Western Bluebird, Raven, Crow, American Robin, Eastern Kingbird, Kestrel, Red-Tailed Hawk, Osprey, Mourning Dove, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Violet-Green Swallow, Mallard, Red-winged Blackbird, Turkey Vulture, Starling, English House Sparrow, Tree Swallow, American Goldfinch and Northern Flicker (red-shafted.)

We also got song-only on Bewick’s Wren, Warbling Vireo, and Black-Headed Grosbreak.

Wednesday we went back over the mountains, to a town called…err…Ellensburg? Ellenstown? Something like that. Way up in the hills over it is awesome birding. It was where we got the mountain bluebird and western bluebird the first day—they have a whole bluebird trail set up there. We went farther up the road this time, got the Dusky Flycatcher (a bird I would never have been able to ID on my own!) Northern Harriers, which are awesome, and a rare-for-the-area Swainson’s Hawk. The best, however, was bird #250 for me—Lewis’s Woodpecker.

Seriously, this bird was PINK. At least on the underside, and it was REALLY pink. Tina knew where they were nesting, and we were able to set up the scope and get some amazing looks at the woodpecker perching, beating a large bee to death, posing, and generally being pink. He had a great red face, too. What a fantastic bird.

We also went out to a bridge that hosts White-Throated Swifts, which really do look like little orcas, caught Common Mergansers on a pond, and I am completely in love with Black-Billed Magpies. (I realize people who live with them are less so, but wow! Those are so spectacular! We drove into a flock of a dozen or so hanging out on the roadway, and just…the colors, man!) Finally got the Evening Grosbeak, too, which had been a nemesis of mine, in the “They were just here a minute ago…” sense for several years.

All in all, I got 28 lifers and better looks at a couple of birds that I’d wanted to see closer. Huge thanks to Tina for taking me out, and to Sandy and Gary for coming along on Monday.

Mutant fetus villain?

Okay, before I start the what-was-that-book communities, I shall seek knowledge from you, O vast cross-section of fandom!

Do any of you remember a book…pretty sure it was science fiction…where the villain was a weird evil fetus thingy? He could walk around, he was human sized, but he had that freaky fetal head thing going on, only bigger. Possibly he was telepathic, not entire clear on that, but he was definitely bad. I recall the weird eyes and whatnot being rather horribly vividly described and it gave me the screaming weeblies, and for some reason I forgot it for, oh, twenty years or so, and now it’s poking at my brain with a stick.

I am pretty sure this is neither “Lasher” nor “Demon Seed” which as I recall also involved freaky mutant fetuses.

Stegosaurus Says “Moo”

6 x 12 mixed media on cradled clayboard

Dimetrodon says “Pfeh.” Icthysaurs use sonar and so what they say is completely unrenderable in English.

It took two pages of doodles to work out the stegosaurus, and the only other doodle of interest is the one with prickly-pear cactus for spines, which I still think is kinda neat.

Prints available!

Triceratops Says “Wub.”

6 x 12, mixed media on board

Let’s be clear—this is not “love” pronounced as “wub.” That would be saccharine. Triceratopses just say “wub.” Well known science fact.

At least, the young ones do. The older ones say “gronk.” Stegasaurs say “moo.” Anklyosaurs go “Hmmph!” and ignore you thereafter.

Look, I don’t make the rules.

Original for sale, prints available and all that good stuff!

Google+…

…is awfully shiny. We’ll see if it has staying power, but at the moment, it seems to fall into that nice little slot between Twitter and blogging–more than 140 characters, images, etc, suitable for “Look at this shiny object!” but not quite a blog post with bells and whistles. And the circles thing is pretty nifty.

I would be happy with it destroying Facebook, but that is partly because I cannot hear an interview with Facebook’s founder without wishing unspecified doom upon him, and perhaps hives.

Disdainful Turtle

We have new stuff! There is a new KUEC up! In it, we explore what happens when Pocky meets mac & cheese. I have tasted things, man. THINGS.

Also, I will be at the Cary Barnes & Noble this Friday at 7, to do a little reading and sign Dragonbreath. The timing is somewhat ironic, because Book 5 comes out NEXT week, but hopefully it’ll all work out for the best. Come on out! Save me from an audience entirely full of children, who will not get half of my jokes and will bite me on the ankles if sufficiently bored! Thrills! Chills! Assorted ills!

Finally, have a judgmental turtle.

5 x 5 mixed media on board. Judgmental Turtle saw what you did. Yes, he did. He prefers not to speak of it, but he saw.

And there was much rejoicing!

Kevin got a job!

It’s local, it looks awesome, only thing is that he has to fly to Seattle for three weeks of training pretty much immediately. I am going to try and go out for a week, both to see Seattle (where I haven’t been in a dog’s age) and to get some serious distraction-free writing time in, which will hopefully allow me to get Regency Ninja significantly underway. (Yes, my agent likes it, yes, I’m writing it, no, I know absolutely nothing more beyond that.)

Meanwhile, have some art! I was in the mood to do small, brightly colored portraits of random animals.

I am a rooster. Rar.

6 x 6, mixed media. Kevin described this one as “The colors say that he’s at a rave, but the expression says that he’s a cop.”

Original is for sale, prints available!

I was pretty pleased with how the wool came out.

Meanwhile, Kevin felt this one said “I have wool. But first, listen to this Bauhaus album!” Me, I just liked the wool. (Although it’s weird how the black lines came out oddly dark–the light of the scanner bounced differently off the black ink than it does off the rest of the paper, so they’re peculiarly stark on the scan.

6 x 6, mixed media. Both of these are on cradled clayboard, so they’re ready to hang as is. Prints of Goth Sheep available!

Now I think I’m gonna curl up with some wine and Okamiden.

 

Capybara auction!

Apparently the capybara hit critical mass last night, because there were about a half-dozen e-mails when I got up this morning. I mention this only so that I can point out that “Capybara Critical Mass” would be a good name for a ska band, and also that the original is on e-bay.

Also, it is thundering. And the sun is shining. I find this vaguely unsettling.

Round-up!

Whew, we got a lot of stuff goin’ on!

First off, there is a new KUEC up! (Actually, there were new ones the entire time we were gone, we spent a week recording episodes in advance, much to the detriment of our intestinal tracts.) In this one, we eat canned menudo. Or at least Kevin does.

Also available on iTunes!

Next up, Digger vol. 6 is now available to order on-line! (For those asking about an omnibus edition, it might happen, but probably not until next year, and will depend on schedule and pre-orders and all kinda stuff.)

Finally, have some art! These were some of the only originals to come home with me from Anthrocon. They’re for sale, drop a line if interested, and prints are available of both!

Rawr! I'm a dragon!

Way back when, I did a set of Chinese zodiac tiles for a company that promptly stopped returning my e-mails when I said things like “I’m really going to need that contract before I send you the full-size files.” The dragon was one of my favorites, and I had never finished it. So a couple of months ago, I got the bright idea to use the unfinished painting as the base for a mixed-media piece. This is mostly colored pencil over top of that underpainting, 6 x 6 on deep cradled board, ready to hang as-is.

Since I had to print it on a sturdier paper, everything came out much darker and more uniformly colored than the painting, which dismayed me at first, but when I saw how well the colored pencil worked on top of the dark paper—do it right, and it practically glows—I was ultimately pretty pleased.

Prints available!

Pensive Capybara is pensive!

This one had an amusing genesis. If you haven’t read Cat Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, it’s a delight. Anyway, we are on-line acquaintances, and she dropped me a line asking if I’d draw a capybara aviator for her—it’s supposed to be a character in the third Fairyland book, which will then be named Ursula. I don’t do too many things like this, but I really enjoyed the book and was in a mad rush of making originals anyway, so I agreed. She got a print, I get an eponymous capybara, who could ask for more?

Meanwhile, the original is available–6 x 6, mixed media on print sealed to board, same as the dragon. Prints are available!

Now I gotta go to the cafe and slap some words down…