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The day began with the titmouse banging into my window again as I sat paying bills and looking for art opportunities around town as I write an art submission blog, http://art4submission.blogspot.com So feel free to take a look and see if there is an opportunity for you.  100_3696res
I did finally grab Adam and head for the Drivers License Bureau to change a title which will double in price after September 1st. We know they have to make money somehow. That was a two and 1/2 hour wait! Actually we took our number, and then ran a few errands and came back.
It was slammed!
Finally we headed downtown to pic up my enlargement from Roger McNichols of RT Art. He lives in a wonderful older neighborhood downtown and has artists traipsing in and out all day and night picking up their work. He and his wife Trish have massive equipment, he dry mounts, stretches canvas, giclees,  uses textured paper or whatever you want, he can probably do.
http://www.rt-art.com
Right on his street was a beautiful fountain, and I mean on the street literally.  DSC00725res It looked very European down Washington Ave.
Adam and I drove toward home and I told him we would stop and look around Lake Lily for some wildlife, usually I see turtles and birds. We had passed several lakes earlier and saw nothing.
We passed all the new condo/shops near Lee Rd.  100_3714-2res WOW, they really looked good, (and I improved them with color and filters as they would look in Abbesworld).
We parked near the lake and began to explore when suddenly Adam was surrounded by faces and beaks that were all works of art! (have a few larger views at   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com
100_3717res Adam looked like he was in the middle of a new Sy-fi  movie- Zombie Bloodsucking Ducks. They are used to getting food from people, and what happens if they don’t get their way? …They just waddle away
We actually smiled all the way around the lake at face after painted face, each with such unique markings – I love the Muscovys. But, I don’t need to tell you, like a good writer I need to “show and don’t tell”…
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DSC00764 copy DSC00780-1 DSC00788res When we got back in the car, all we could think of was how happy Carbs would be if he lived here! No band of brothers, (BOBs), the mean mallards who always chase him off. We wondered if we could kidnap Carbs and throw a box over him and take him to this park??? Carbs is not like these ducks, he is still very shy of people. I am not able to get too close to him, even when I feed him some birdseed and bread, he waits till I am about ten feet away before he will come to eat. If only he knew we were doing it so he could be so happy and never again have to worry about being chased off.  We plotted ways in the car. I think we need a big net and a box – ummm, it’s something to think about, kidnapping a duck for his well being.  Just tonight I saw the BOBs chase him and peck him as he hurried away through the neighbors yard. It breaks your heart because Carbs is so happy until the mean mallards come and dominate him. We did not witness one incident of a duck bossing another one at Lake Lily. The egrets were bossy, but not any of the muscovys we saw.  Carb’s wings just don’t work or I’d map quest a direction and tape it to his wing and send him off. And, it is way too far for his flappy, yellow feet to carry him.  What shall we do? Stay tuned and don’t quack about this too loudly until we deducked the situation. I have a feeling I will dream of things like strapping him with a remote set of wings, or hitching him to a kite, or even dreaming of him with wings that hold the power of the wind. I can’t wait to go to bed and dream in deep Rem of muscovy art and Carbs being in the land where he can conduck his life with no fear of the BOBs!  41409BOB&ElvisC-1res The BOBs with Elvis in March. Elvis flew away and have not seen him since…
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Went to a luncheon put on by the Gateway Center For the Arts, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts. They wanted to thank Victor Thomas, the manager of Stacey’s for his generous support of food during the art receptions. I had never been to Staceys which is about a mile north of Saxon Blvd on 17/92. It’s been there many years under different names: Homers and Duffs. Stacey is Homer the owners daughter.  They also have them in Ohio and other Florida locations.
There was a good line waiting to get in at 1pm when Pam and I went to the meeting. They charge $5.99 for all you can eat and WHAT A DEAL! The food was DELISH!!!! I ate and ate and looked at the dozens of different desserts and my eyeballs almost went into a diabetic shock! They do have the option of sugar-free pies).   003res They had it all, food food food in all descriptions. I ate fried fish and hush puppies, steamed carrots and mac and cheese, broccoli and soup. They had turkey, tacos, meatloaf, fried chicken and much more. Everything was great. I had a lot of fun and so wanted to really take close ups of the food which was beautifully displayed, but knew that was rather tacky.  So just got a few to show.  004res

006res Victor’s wife, Veronica works there also and could not have been more attentive to our needs.  The NMWA & Gateway gave Victor and Veronica a beautiful signed and numbered print from one of the members.
So here’s the thumbs up for a fun afternoon with very nice artists and art supporters and of course, great home cooking, (I never cook anything like this at home,) thanks to Pam for hauling me up there and paying for my lunch, I ate my fill and then some! My turn to get lunch next time!
Back at home, Carbs is still here. 81709carbsmouth-1res Look at duck’s teeth, how uniform, see if you can enlarge to see them. As long as the Band Of Brother mallards stay away, I guess Carbs will stick around. I fished a little while, no bites, but a wonderful breeze blew over the lake. I decided to mow the back instead. Carbs just moved from one side of the yard to the other as I mowed, it didn’t really bother him.
The hurricane is supposed to stay to the east of us, lets hope so. The state of Florida seems to love to gouge us with spiking gas prices as a hurricane approaches, they know we will be gassing our cars and gas cans and any thing that has a gas cap to have the extra gas for generators. It will be reaching about $3.00 a gallon in a week I bet, and maybe sooner if that hurricane comes closer to home. I did fill up a couple gas cans and they are out in the garage, and I can even smell faint fumes in the house – how I hate hate hate everything gasoline. One day they will find an alternative like electric instead! I hate having to gas the lawn mower and blower and having that awful smell on your hands or a few drops on your shoes – YUK!!! But I hate having extra long cords and fooling with electric by the lake!!! One day we should be able to harness the sun with a sensor chip on our lawn equipment!  If I don’t write tomorrow. I have been overcome with gas…

53009carbs-1 CARBS! Carbs the duck was by the stump this morning looking for seed. What a surprise! It was good to see him, he ate then waddled away not even waiting for the Pekins who were not far away. Hope he will come more often. I will have to go by the marina to see if there are more muscovy ducks up there now.
I had another surprise last night — a moorhen has built a nest in the cattails and tall grass about twenty feet from the bank. She used bent cat tail leaves as the base or kind of platform  and built it up with nesting material. 53009moorhennest-1 52908moorhenonnest_edited-1

It holds two ‘hen-size’ eggs that I can see, though they say usually there are 5 or more. I only see two. It takes about 27 days to hatch so I will keep an eye out.
Outside it is HOT and it is only morning. When I was out at 6:45am it was already humid and hot and when the sun breeched the homes across the lake, WHEW! That stare down was no competition, I got out of the suns way!
Today I might get the boat my neighbor does not want anymore. I am so hoping I get it, my son and I have big weeding projects for our area of lakefront.  And that’s today so far, got a long way to go yet and temperature is supposed to hit 93!!! I will be in most of the day!  And here’s a face that popped up last night while I was fishing – the mooch turtle face with feather – oh, that’s a duck feather stuck to its’ chin. then there is always Ringo and how he deals with the heat… ringotakessnooze

dsc02705 That’s him! The missing baby heron has grown a bit and now he   and his sibling have taken to regular flights back and forth to the nest. I am convinced that is the same one who was rejected. What’s fun is to watch the two babies fly awkwardly around the lake, they stop and eat at different spots then fly back to the nest to compare. They are always competing up there, YAK YAK YAK, their necks go up and down, their wings extend and it’s always competiton.

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I enjoy looking out and seeing their activity from my desk. Yesterday the one baby was here twice and that’s the one I think finally found his way back home.
It’s also quite evident the dragonflies are busy. At the lake they are all over. I also get them on the porch and have to take them outside. They do pinch too! dfAnd of course, the band of brothers and Pekins are here off and on as usual and even Carbs will show up during early evening then take off before the BOB’s pick on him.  carbsresize

Then last night I was flipping through the channels and came across the American network and another winged specimen  the  old Batman series with Adam West and he looked like a little kid!  bmresize

dsc06519dsc06531 The bat mobile looked so cheap, but it was fun watching the action scenes with POP, POW and cartoon effects when our imaginations were so much simpler. We had no bloodshed, only lame storylines and stupid acting that made it work in the 60’s.      I stuck around and saw The Hornet was next and watched about ten minutes and my son pointed out that Bruce Lee was the Hornets butler. How weird! The Hornet was really a great looking guy!

hornetreisix So it was a full day of wings and even Ringo the cat was exhausted and dreaming as his tail seemed to take flight. Was he dreaming of flying, or growing up to become a lion and catching all kinds of things? 42409ringolion

dsc01244 Finally today it rained nicely in the afternoon. It was how it’s supposed to be,
the thunder clouds developed, the lightning flashed and the rain came
sheeting down. It really feels so alive, so electric! We also had some tornado
warnings, but luckily, nothing happened. 4109bayheroninrain-1The baby heron was drenched having no protection.

After all the soaking, the sky cleared
and the hour struck;  fishing time!
The mother heron flew right in over my head 4109motherheronfliesoverhead-1_edited-1

and took her place at the lake to the side of me. Mama heron watched to see if I would toss her a fish.
The baby heron was walking over toward us and
saw his mother, he came alive: his wings extended, 4109babyseesmomc-1

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he hurried over to get as close as he could to her and flapped and flapped trying to get her attention.
He made his prehistoric plea, he jumped and ran to the edge of the sea wall. He was
ecstatic, overjoyed to see that familiar face who fed him. And in his little, baby
bird mind, I’m sure baby heron thought he was going back to the nest, that his dreams were going to come true, surely his mother would help him back to safety, back to where he would get a nice meal and spend time with the sibling who is still up there, but that was not to be. The mother would not even look at him. She ignored all his waving and sqwacking and his unbridled joy.  He continued for a few minutes more and then gave up, his head went down and he walked off in the opposite direction.
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Poor thing, so  depressed and rejected, so full of hope and then so full of sadness.
No one can tell me that animals don’t feel! That baby heron looked at
his mother with the need of any child waiting to go home again, wanting to be protected and fed.

I am still not sure if he is eating too well. I see him down by the water pulling at weeds and I even brought him a small plastic bucket with a dozen live goldfish and placed it under his tree where he sleeps only to find the damn ducks trying to splash out the water and the fish. I know the heron did not eat any.
Oh my heart hurts for the feathered baby, his spirit tonight was broken. He still cannot figure out what his wings do or how to catch a fish, he is lacking in so many skills. And there is no way I can catch him, he runs if I start to advance in its direction. All I hope is he toughens up and learns all the skills he needs to grow strong. It will be a wonderful day when I can tell you I saw his first flight, it will be with the excitement of a mother watching her babies first steps!

Another avian experience today: I was driving with a friend to show her the marina in Sanford and on the road that runs parallel with Lake Monroe, a damn duck flew right into my truck, BANG! Its’ thick flying body hit hard but luckily it didn’t get bashed too badly, I looked back and didn’t see it on the road or side, so I suppose it made it to where it was going. What’s with me and these crazy damn ducks???

33009elviswith2bandofbrothers-1 I am convinced Elvis is a double agent or the Mob boss of the lake.
I was fishing around 6pm and suddenly my neighbor Reyna and I were chatting about her school work when suddenly Carbs came swimming over with the Pekin twins in tow. He was glad to be home you could tell. Carbs and the girls made a lot of happy honks and I fed them all a few bread crumbs which they happily ate. When I looked up, there was Elvis flying straight across the lake and not a minute later, the BOB, (band of brothers) were flying after him. We expected to see a fight, but no, they all were swimming around one another when one of the BOB noticed Carbs at my house and took off in our direction. Reyna and I tried to block the mallard mix from Carbs. We made the bad duck go back to the water as Carbs hurried his fat body up toward my house, Carbs wings were going like a broken wind up toy while the mallard mix flew right over Reyna and I and right into Carbs! Carbs ran as fast as he could while Reyna and I tried to sidetrack the bad duck, but we just weren’t fast enough and Carbs was chased off the property by the other duck.
Elvis flew over with the other two mallard males and they cavorted around flirting with the Pekin twins. The twins swam away to the other side of the lake. The two band of brother ducks and Elvis swam around bickering among themselves near my shore. The mallards would get right in Elvis’ face arguing, but Elvis looked like he could care less!  33009bobmouthsofftoelvis-1_edited-1

I am thinking that Elvis might be the top dog, or top duck as it applies. How else does it make sense that the BOB don’t bother
Elvis and he can swim among them, but Carbs is totaly attacked?
Why does Elvis pretend to be Carbs good friend? Is it only to get at the Pekin twins? dsc01161

Somehow this is akin to Meerkat manor light.
The Pekin ducks also seem confused, they love
Carbs, but are not as chummy with the Mallard

band of brothers and are shy around Elvis too.
We felt so badly for Carbs. He obviously does not fly, and his wings are not fast enough to propel him away from the mean mallard. Elvis must be the mob king, the band of brothers are his cartel, and poor carbs is caught in a thug war!
As for the baby heron, it was here all afternoon. I caught some fish and threw it in his direction. the baby just did not get it. He did not even perk up when they flipped around onshore. When it started to get dark, it began it’s climb into the Norfolk pine while it’s mother who was fishing within 25 feet of him, flew up to the nest and when she got up there, the one baby still in the nest was making it’s pteradactyl noise. The baby heron on the ground did notice this familiar sound and looked up. You could tell that he wanted to be up there too! he squawked a low noise and looked in that direction. I still don’t know if the baby heron is eating, but he looks no worse for the wear. So much drama on the lake! I need a life or syndication…

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No photos of Carbs included, the muscovy pictured is Elvis so don’t get confused. the flying heron is the mother and that’s the baby heron in the last photo.

FINALLY – I tracked them down and got a few photos. The baby has been very well taught by the parents to be skeptical of all noise and older people with cameras. The baby darted out of view into the bushes and I would have to wait for it to feel safe enough to come out. I bet I was at least 75 feet from them, but the parents were fine, it was the baby who wanted my credentials before posing. I tried to hide behind a tree so it would come out, this was all I could get, but gives a sense of size of this 5 day old and he’s bigger than I remembered. The single child seems to thrive faster and grow bigger!
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P/S, so long to Carbs. Have not seen him since the band of brothers took over ruling the lake
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Elvis and Carbs March 2009

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First of all the clocks ‘sprung’ ahead last night, but I got up at normal time. Bella and Ringo the cat and I went out the back door, (actually Bella is about 3 feet behind Ringo being that Ringo is about twelve pounds heavier than Bella and sometimes looks at Bella as a nuisance animal and pounces.) The first thing I saw was the otter swim by so I turned and ran in for the camera and the otter was long gone. Missed that shot. But did see Elvis the duck was here visiting his buddy Carbs. They posed for me.

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My philosophical and wise neighbor Dee always says if you get one muscovy, a lot more will follow. I am hoping Carbs is keeping a low profile and only entertains once in a while. The worst thing is the duck dung, it is all over the bank and where I fish, I can no longer wear my shoes in the house after fishing, they have to be hosed off! Gross!                                             100_0065

The ducks were all at the lake and when we walked down there, I saw one duck egg on the bank. I walked over to go get it and a big black bird swooped it up in it’s mouth and took off! I am going to get out earlier to see if I can find duck eggs. I often see cracked ones so I assume Daisy and Lily the Pekin, Aflac ducks are on a roll, (ha ha ‘cheep’ humor.) I am going to try and hatch one if I find one whole. It just amazed me that crow could carry it off. I wish I had had time for that photo.

The mocking bird was singing away on the chimney as usual. His song fills the fireplace and living room with bird music in the early morning.  He is the reason I am not using the fireplace, too much nesting material up there!100_0072

The mama crane came over and gets more rusty looking all the time  – I looked in on her yesterday and she was sitting on nest so did not see if both eggs were present.100_0079And thats it for the morning at least. I missed two good photo opportunities. One day I will get that otter photo! Maybe it will show up tonight when I am fishing. Well, looks like a gorgeous Florida day with 80+ degree temp, I can dig it! The water level is dropping low, can’t see my small meter yet, but it will show soon if we don’t get any rain, it’s too dry.

One more close up of Elvis the muscovy to go- do you believe in reincarnation? This duck wiggles like Elvis too! Later…
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And now we have 3!  Another muscovy was out swimming with Carbs the duck and that other male muscovy that comes from time to time. Bella the Chihuahua was trying to herd them, she had already done a great job of turning the crane away. We are expecting rain and a big cold front, so I must go hurry down to lake and try out my new rod holder my brother bought for me at Gander Mountain.
Yesterday I had to take down my artwork at the Maitland Library, got there just before they opened and that is one busy library, even some tourists came in asking for things to see around Maitland and Winter Park and the librarian gave them great information. Afterwards I walked to Lake Lily which is a wonderful and calm park with a round the lake walk way. My purpose was to look at the muscovy ducks and see how they differ. And there were a lot, too many to show all the photos I took. The best thing was the turtles are not freaked out by people and actually sit close to shore. dsc00587

Ut oh, clouds building, have to fish before rain – be back later    100_5090

dsc02892The great blue heron shows up around 4:30pm usually and jumps up on the stump as if to announce his presence. When he sees me respond by getting my fishing box and rod, he jumps down

and runs in front of me down to the lake. dsc02895 But last night, he looked very funny, like some old flasher! dsc02897 As you can see, even the female Pekin duck is hiding her face!  The heron stood like that a while.  Just strutting his stuff for all to see. dsc00114 Even Carbs, the muscovy duck had seen enough. Finally as I got close, the heron jumped off the concrete seawall and stood on the bank waiting to see if he could mooch a handout if I caught anything. dsc02386 He waited for a long time, but finally I caved in and threw him a nice sized bream.  I can hear babies up in the nest! There are two distinct young heron voices squawking for some food. I guess maybe the heron thinks if he puts on a peep show, I might put out more, ha ha!

For more heron photos: http://offshoot2.wordpress.com

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Today I went to “Friends of the Library” where they sell rejected books really cheap to people like me who hate paying more than a dollar for a book unless it is an antique poetry book with plates and printed in the 1800’s.
The book store is about ten miles and I have to pass this pond which is the gross-est water I have ever seen. It is covered split-pea colored, thick water. And yet there are always muscovy ducks there either in that nasty pond or on the shore. I don’t understand it at all because not more than 200 feet is a very nice big pond that does not have one ounce of scum on it. All the ducks have to do is cross the road, or fly.
On my way home I got out and took some shots, (photo-shots) of the ducks. The only white duck swam happily around the water as if making some kind of weird point and I must say the water had a stink like  like raw sewage!
The ducks saw me and started to waddle over in single file to check me out. As they got closer I did a once over looking for a duck with two heads, three feet, tumors, something out of the ordinary because they swam in that ‘spent nuclear’ looking water. Then I wondered if they were coming over to jump on me and roll me down the bank into that scum and maybe that was why that pond was like that, it was filled with other humans who had come to observe them and that was what was making the pond reek…. oooo, I hurried back to the truck and drove off, 55mph in a 25mph twilight zone….
check for duck photos tomorrow on http://printzandart.blogspot.com

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