Monday, April 29, 2013

Santa Rosa Island Map

I just finished a painting of Santa Rosa Island located on the Florida panhandle. I've been to this area many times, fishing, vacationing and exploring. The white beaches are as white as sugar and the water is beautiful.

My father was stationed at Egin Air Force Base during WWII. When I young, we went on an adventure to Santa Rosa Island and the surrounding area. It was one of those childhood trips that I will always remember. Anyway, this decor map is of the east end of the island. I will post a map of the west end of the island at a later date with more about the adventure. See more of my decor maps at makes a great gift from 10x20 to over 4f tx 8ft.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Drama at the Rookery

When you are near lakes, rivers and bays, you usually see many birds. That was the case when I recently visited the Venice Rookery located near Venice Florida. This is a noisy place, squawks and shrieks are everywhere and if you look closely, you can see drama at the rookery. 
This appears to be an egret carefully doing some housekeeping, however this is far from what's actually happening. This egret has broken into her next door neighbor's home (nest) and is looking to rob the home of valuable furniture (sticks). I think us humans would call this breaking and entering, and thievery. I wondered what will happen when the great blue heron comes back from a day of fishing? 
It didn't take long for the homeowner to arrive on the scene. The great blue heron was petty angry to find the egret in her nest. A chase ensued and the egret was flogged back to its nest. 
Finally everything is back to normal in the neighborhood, but I don't think these two will be neighborly friends. 

 I was able to capture a nice photo of this ibis flying over the rookery. Checkout its curved beak, the perfect tool for catching its prey.  
The Venice Rookery is an island in the middle of a pond. This picture gives you an idea of the size and numerous nests on the island.
These two egrets are headed out to fish. They will be gone a few hours and will return to feed their chicks. Their mate remained on the nest until they arrive, once back the mate leaves to go fish as the drama at the rookery continues.
Interestingly, my daughter is a college student at Sewanee and is taking an ornithology class. She's majoring in biology and has been memorizing 20 birds a week (Bird name, calls, Latin name, etc..)
Now, when we are outdoors with her, she comments on every bird sighting and sound. I wonder where she got her love of birds? 
Remember, Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Fawn

Spring has definitely sprung! My wife looked out our bedroom window and spotted these deer. I was lucky to get a few photos of this mother deer and her two off-spring. Both fawns were bedded down and one was still asleep, while the other was being cleaned by its mother deer.

Looks like both fawns are now awake. I was able to take about a dozen photos without them discovering me because I was using my long range lens. Oh yeah, I was taking the pictures from inside the house. Our home is western cedar and I think the animals think it's a tree, I am able to take alot of good animal photos.
Look at how comfortable these two are, not a care in the world, however Mom's starting to move on. Nap time is over!
Must be time to roam. If you look closely, the fawn on the left is still a bit sleepy.
What's in your woods, river, lake or bay! Adventure Outdoors!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Can you feel the warmth?

I just finished a large print of beautiful Norfork Lake, which is located in Arkansas on the North Fork River.
I always add waterfowl flying over the map with shadows, this makes them appear 3-D. Also, on canvas printed maps, I repaint the waterfowl and others areas to make them pop out of the map.
Normally, I add a vintage plane flying over and if you look closely, you may see a mermaid or fish in the waters.

Here's the end result. This is the traditional style map and I also do a more creative style. It's difficult to show the detail and color on the internet. I try to have the golden colors come through like a crackling fire. Can you feel the warmth? See more at

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wise Old Owl

The other evening my wife came in from shopping and said an owl was up the street perched on a line. I can't pass up a picture of wildlife so, I grabbed the camera and off we went. The big question is if I will make it before he flies off. Luckily, he was still there. I was hoping it was a great horned owl because I only have a few photo's of these owls. When we arrived, I could see it was a barred owl, which are very common in this area.  
Darkness was settling in, but I was able to use a flash. The picture turned out nice and I like the color of the sky. This barred owl was perched ready to pounce on any rodent that rustled by.
This photo is kind of eerie because of the red eyes from the camera flash. As you can see, Mr. Owl is looking straight at me. I wondered what he is thinking? Probably, "Will you leave me alone, I'm working here." Anyway, Mr. Owl did fly off just after this picture was taken.  Not a bad meeting with the wise old owl, but I don't think he liked me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bad Fish

When the boat starts filling with water, most fishermen think that they forgot to put the plug in before they left the dock. Well that may not be the real story when fish go bad!

I hope you enjoyed my little cartoon, but remember, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!