Tag: April 2016

fri 1 apr 2016

Entry #1 on this page (tagged: april)

March was not a good month for me. I was very sick for a week and I stayed "not well" and needing 10 or 12 hours of sleep for a long time. Day job has been stressful, and it continues to be. I had a little issue with my windshield...

crack in the windshield

... approximately 6 inches across, not quite in my direct line of sight ...

which has actually been the least stressful thing this month because my wonderful Significant Other took care of it: He called around and got Speedy Glass out to my day job to replace the windshield out in the parking lot. Nice!

But back to my complainings.

I have had a terrible time with my postcards. After a little bit of procrastination, and many dumb excuses, I realized that I'm just not going to send out my regular "March" postcards to friends and family.

It makes me sad that I am not doing my favorite thing in the world. It's a little bit a lack of enthusiasm, a little bit I need more sleep, and a little bit of wanting to change things up.

My Intentions for April:

  Get back to my horse drawing class. The class officially ran in Nov and Dec, but I had to quit at the end of november. The class will remain open until June, I think; it's not a forever class and I'd really like to at least try to get through to the end. So I'm going to draw some horses.

  Wouldn't it be nice to have a few blog updates?!

  Stuff needs to happen at our community garden plot.

  As for the postcard situation, I am not going to force it. If I take a photo that I'm excited about and want to share, I will return to sending out crazy amounts of postcards. If not, I won't.

the hummingbirds
sun 3 apr 2016

Entry #2 on this page (tagged: april, )

CG hummingbird

On January 29th, I discovered a male Anna's hummingbird standing at the top of a trellis in the garden plot behind ours at the Community Garden. He was singing his heart out and I may have fallen in love with him.

I've been taking his picture every weekend since then, all through February and March. He sits on the same trellis, or one nearby, occasionally flying off to get food, but mostly singing. And since teaching me his song, I became attuned to hummingbird songs elsewhere. I started taking photos of so many hummingbirds along my walk to the garden that I had to name them all according to their territory...

OP-e hummingbird

OP-e and OP-w, both named for the street I live on, east and west side.
BPC, Bike Path Curve.
CV, for the next street up.
and of course my friend at the Community Garden, CG.

Meantime, I was also watching a hummingbird cam that was set up at a window of our local newspaper building, just down the street from my day job. A nest has been built there in the rhododendron bush for several years in a row. The cam was set up on the 29th of Feb... and you could see the female sitting on the nest she built. The males have nothing to do with raising the babies (which is why I got so many photos of all of them, standing at the tippy tops of the trees or trellises in their territory!).

There are only a few flowers blooming in March, which made me wonder why you'd want to support a baby during this time. But I guess the hummingbirds know what they are doing! Soon I saw a single baby being fed! I never got to see what the young one looked like tho, being deep in the nest, so it was a bit of a surprise when the next update on the site was 24 March, the "fledgling appears to have flown the nest."

Wow. Done. Just like that.

And now, none of the males are sitting in their singing spots! It's been a very nice weekend, with warm temperatures and many more flowers blooming now. I'm sure they are off, enjoying Spring and the yummy food that the flowers bring... but I sure miss their songs.

Walking into our garden plot today, CG was sitting in his usual spot! I said hello enthusiastically and carefully moved into a position where I could get some pics. I took 4 photos before he flew to some nearby flowers. I couldn't get my camera to focus quickly enough before he flew elsewhere. bummer.

But I think I'll continue to see him at the community garden occasionally! It will be prime hummingbird territory, after all, with trellises supporting all kinds of flowering vines and tall bamboo poles set up all around for favored hummingbird perches.

First Fountain Pens
sun 10 apr 2016

Entry #3 on this page (tagged: april, )

I did my taxes last weekend and my reward for this unpleasant task was to place an order for art supplies! I opened up my box today. Some washi tape, some shaped punches and some fountain pens...

playing with the art supplies I ordered

During LetterMo, I became vaguely interested in the conversations about fountain pens and inks. I have one fountain pen from my day job, and it was a disappointment to me: it felt scratchy to write with and you have to hold it at a fairly precise angle in order for the ink to flow. bah.

I also have one dip pen with which I have only experimented a little. I bought some inks for it, but never broke them open.

My interest was piqued, because people have a serious love of their fountain pens, not to mention their inks. But I had no idea about what to get. All different brands, all different price ranges, nibs, colours, inks, converting stuff, and all levels of tinkering. Overwhelmed. I don't even know what needs to be tinkered with!

But then JetPens had an article about Great Beginner Fountain Pens and I decided to get a couple to try out.

Pilot VPen 7pack

The Pilot Varsity or VPen is a disposable that came in a pack of 7 colours including black for 15$. These are ready to write and my first couple of scribbles had smooth ink flow, not scratchy, and nice, solid colours (tho the purple is too close to blue for my taste). The ink doesn't dry immediately, which I noticed right away on the green pen, the ink moved around quite a bit and puddled in parts of my letters. But maybe that's just the cheap copier paper I was using.

green Pilot Metropolitan

I also got a Pilot MR or Metropolitan. This is more of a "real" fountain pen: it cost 15$ and uses cartridges or an included converter if you want to use bottled inks. The pen comes with one black cartridge, but I got some purple ones and that's what I put in.

I had trouble starting the ink after I put in the cartridge. I actually opened up the pen, carefully, to make sure the cartridge had opened! It was open, and then I read the rest of the directions! ha. You have to squeeze the cartridge a couple times to get the ink flowing. I squeezed until a huge blob of ink came out... after cleaning that up, the ink still wasn't flowing through the nib. I kept messing with it, and in a minute or so it finally started working.

experimenting with new fountain pens

I'm not sure how I feel about these fountain pens. It's definitely not Love at First Write. But new pens are always fun to play with!

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