an owl a day

and also maybe sewing stuff

my fifteenth owl June 13, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 10:30 am

The flammulated owl.  Thanks to ScareCrow, I now know that “flammulated” means having flame-shaped markings.  I’m not really sure to what that refers, though.  Oh well!


my fourteenth owl June 11, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 10:53 am

This is a Whiskered Screech Owl.

I learned recently that the ABA (American Birding Association) standard is to capitalize bird names.  So that when you say you saw a Yellow Warbler, people know you mean a legit Yellow Warbler and not just a warbler that is yellow.  Because most warblers have yellow bits.  I see yellow warblers ALL the damn time but not necessarily Yellow Warblers.  Y’know?  Anyway so now you know that the sketch above portrays a Whiskered Screech Owl and not just any ol’ noisy, moustachioed owl.


my twelfth and thirteenth owls

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 10:48 am

This is an Elf Owl.

He is very tiny, I guess.  According to Wikipedia, “it is the world’s lightest owl. . . .  The mean body weight of this species is 1.4 oz.  These tiny owls are 4.9 to 5.7 inches long and have a wingspan of about 10.6 inches.”

And here is another Great Horned Owl:

I drew a Great Horned Owl on April 29th as well.  I wasn’t going to do repeats until I had drawn one of EVERY OWL ON EARTH but then this guy came up in my bird-a-day calendar so I drew him.  He looks as though he has something to say.  (I think he is also probably a dark morph.  My bird-a-day calendar doesn’t give very much trivial information though, so that’s just me spit-ballin’.)


my eleventh owl May 30, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 1:02 pm

The spectacled owl.



The juvenile spectacled owl looks like an adult one in reverse.  So that’s neat.


May was super busy, but now the busy parts are over:  Lisa and Curt are married; Chris is now thirty; and Jeff and Stephanie have returned to California.
Commence the freak-out about moving.  It has many layers.  Many layers of freaking out.


my tenth owl

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 12:58 pm

The great gray owl.

When I was drawing this owl at home on Friday, I said it was a Great Gray Owl, and Chris said “great gray owl!” like an exclamation.  Like “sweet fancy Moses!”  Then like two minutes later he said “what kind of owl is it again?” and I said “a great gray owl” and he said “great gray owl!” in the same way.  And then said “I just said that, didn’t I?”

I only mention it because it’s such a Kerry thing to do.  Poor guy, I’m rubbing off on him in all the worst, dorkiest ways.

[I started writing this post on 5/14 and lost steam.  So here it is now.]


my ninth owl May 9, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 9:53 am

This is a Northern long-eared owl.



I like this one. He looks most realistic so far, of all my owls.  It’s because of all the hatching.  I don’t really have the patience for that sort of thing, though?  I remember back in the day I’d read Kris Dresen (Calamity Jon’s friend) and her comics had SO much cross-hatching in them, she said they would take forever.  Of course I’m also only working with two pens and a mechanical pencil, just office stuff.  So clearly I’m at a disadvantage, and anything I do is therefore extra-awesome.


On Monday I had sewing class, and I gathered my skirt and attached it to the bodice and even put the zipper in!  I didn’t think I’d get all that done, but I did.  Lots of ladies were doing gathering that evening, it was a gathering coincidence.  I’m hoping to finish the dress tomorrow (Friday,) and then on Sunday, which is Mother’s Day, Lynn & Ralph are going to come over but Lynn said she didn’t mind if I did sewing.  So I’ll work on my petticoat and chat with her.  We haven’t seen them since they left for Florida in . . . January or February.  It will be good to see them.


See, now I thought that I had real actual things to say, you know?  Something to talk about, not just a dry boring run-down of what I did this week.  But now it’s been too long and I can’t remember.  Boo.


I haven’t been very productive at work lately, and it’s a circular rotating trap.  But then on Tuesday I drew that owl and it made me feel like I had done something.  And I mean it only takes me like five or ten minutes, but I just felt . . . I dunno.  Something.  So I’m going to keep on drawing these owls.


My life is about to get super-crazy.  Lisa’s Bachelorette is this weekend, plus also Mother’s Day, Monday I have sewing class and Tuesday I have a (legit) planning board meeting and then on Wednesday Jeff and Steph arrive!  And then it’s busybusybusy for the month of May.  New Star Trek movie, the wedding, going up to Hawley (if my boss allows me the time off,) Chris’s birthday BBQ.  It will be so great to see Jeff again.  And I’ll have to try to squeeze my regular life in when they’re doing other things.  I sure do like that he/they will use our home as a home base, though.  It’s nice to just . . . sit around and hang out, sometimes.  Not just at parties.
I shall draw another owl today.


my eighth owl May 8, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour,sewing — geniusscientist @ 8:57 am

Phew, I’m a little behind!  Here’s a barn owl.  The owl that looks most (to me) like an alien.  Not so much in a “wow I can’t believe that animal lives on the planet that I live on” sense but in a legit, they look like little grey aliens sense.

I’ve been using these owls as an excuse to post boring journal entries, and now I’m way behind.  Let’s see if I can catch up:

On Wednesday I went to the Pour House to celebrate Sasi’s birthday.  It was fun and delicious, and I drank beers.  I drove by myself because Chris was playing Magic.  I listened to Animals on the way home.  I think that is probably the best album to listen to whilst driving at night.

(Oh, and on Wednesday both Gray and Curt said that they like my owls!  Hooray for non-Facebook-having friends that check Google+.  Thanks, guys!)

On Thursday I went to a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon.  This was kind of awesome because I was home by 3:30.  I read my book (2312, I’m liking it a whole lot) on the deck and then got sleepy so I laid down on the outside couch and took a nap.  Taking naps outside is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  Then dudes came over to play Polish Bowling Shoes.  I played whilst they needed a fourth (I am pretty terrible at it usually) and then bowed out as soon as I could.  I went to the front to plant my annuals in the ground — I was going to wait until after the professional landscaper dude came but they were looking, well, dead, so I planted them around the daffodils.  Then I watered them and watered some of the other annuals and one thing led to another and I ended up weeding most of the front slope, between the periwinkle that we had planted in the fall.  So I ended up being productive in that fashion, when my intent had been to be productive in a sewing-my-dress fashion.

See, this is why I shouldn’t leave these things for a whole week, because I have no idea what we did on Friday.  I guess maybe I worked on my dress and watched a whole lot of Deep Space Nine?  That’s possible.  (They’re doing a re-watch on and I’m going to try and keep up.)

Then on Saturday during the day . . . at first I was angry at Chris about something.  Once again it’s mostly a matter of communication, but I think I caught this one earlier than the last one.  So we had that little discussion.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to be outside, but I also needed to make up for the dress-making that I didn’t do on Thursday and Friday.  I kept the winders open, though it’s not really the same thing.  Chris and his dad cut down a big-ass bough from a tree in the front yard.  That evening we went into Philly to the . . . uh, something.  Some sort of a fair.  They had part of South Street closed off and made into a Fußgängerzone.  We watched a band called . . . something Heat.  I thought it was Feet but then it turned out to be Heat.  They were good!  I was dancing!  They had a trumpet!  There were a gaggle of tiny kids dancing in the street behind me with bouncy balloons.  Those kids ruled.
Then we were summoned to Gray’s apartment.  It’s a studio and I tried to imagine Chris and Indiana and I living in a studio.  I think we could do it.  Then the whole gang appeared and we went out to eat at a Mexican place.  We were outside even though it was chilly.  I ordered tacos that were essentially big slabs of barely-cooked tuna on a soft taco, topped with an enormous slice of avacado.  THEY WERE FREAKING DELICIOUS.  Then Chris and I walked the thousand miles back to our car and went home.  My heels hurt.

The next day Chris got up and went to his hunting exam, and then to work.  In the meantime I worked on my dress.  I made a lot of progress!  I finished the bodice completely (buttons and everything) and sewed the skirt together.  When Chris got home we went to the first Hammonton Wine Festival.  Indiana wore a backpack and was a huge hit.  I bought and drank wine, and we saw Jess & Leah at their booth (and I bought another infinity scarf things for May for her birthday, shh don’t tell.)  I also had a delicious cheesesteak sandwich with broccoli rabe.


UGH this post is so BORING see this is why I have to do this more often, to spread out the boredom.


my seventh owl May 2, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 12:00 pm

This the European eagle owl.

He’s a really cool-looking owl in real life.  Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t look anything like him.  Eh, whaddaya gonna do.

On Tuesday Chris and I took Indiana to the vet for her annual.  We didn’t both need to go, but I guess we wanted to go as a family or something.  She was pretty good.  She got to eat about a thousand treats.  She received compliments from the tech about how calm she is.  I wasn’t crazy about the tech (he took SO MANY tries to draw blood, and I was watching, and Indiana didn’t seem to mind/notice because Chris had treats in her face, but still, it was difficult to watch) but I adore our doctor, as I always have.  So if you need a vet in South Jersey, I recommend Dr. Chachkes at Winslow Animal Hospital.

After the vet and dinner I cleaned the inside of the fridge!  The whole thing!  I should probably do that more often than I do.  There wasn’t actually that much to throw out; it was mostly just taking everything out and cleaning the shelves and whatnot.  And I organized!  I put all the mustard together on the same little shelf, for example.  That won’t last very long, but was fun to do.  I like to be organized.

Chris fell asleep early on the couch (like, 9:30 or something) so I put on episodes of Project Runway that I need to catch up on.  Our DVR has been acting up lately but they were on On Demand!  We never go to that thing except for HBO so it’s nice to know that things are there.  Mad Men is there too which is good.  And it seems like they cut out most of the commercials — there were only two (2) commercial breaks in a 90 minute show, that’s pretty good.

Ugh that’s so boring to read about but whatever, it was exciting for me at the time.


my sixth owl April 30, 2013

Filed under: owl du jour,sewing — geniusscientist @ 4:19 pm

This is the burrowing owl.

He doesn’t have pants on.  I like birds that have pants on.  But the burrowing owl does not have pants, and I cannot put pants on him.

Yesterday I went to sewing class.  It’s held in the tiny community center that is located in the park that is situated directly next door to my house.  Therefore, it is quite convenient.

It’s run through the Gloucester Township Recreation Department.  (Going to a class that is held by the township recreation department makes me feel like a legit grown-up, for some reason.)  This is my second session; each session is eight weeks long.  For the first week or two there is a group project, which uses some technique or other that it is useful to learn.  This time we made a pot holder.  I learned a) how to use the little dongle on my sewing machine to quilt in a straight line, and b) how to make my own bias tape (for edging.)

Then you get to work on your own project for the rest of the session.  This time I’m working on a dress to wear to Lisa and Curt’s wedding.  I am prettttttty excited about it.  First I constructed it (most of the way) in cotton muslin to help ensure two things:  first, that the fit is correct; and second, that I would know all the techniques I’d need to complete it.

I finished the muslin version last week, and last night started working on the actual real fabric.  I am still pretttttty excited about it.  I definitely think I have time to finish it if I don’t fart around.  I also want to wear a petticoat with it; at some point I have to determine whether or not I’ll be able to make that myself as well.  I have a pattern and everything, but it’s a timing issue.  I have a whole list of things I want to get done before the wedding/Jeff & Steph arrive.  So we’ll see.


my fifth owl

Filed under: owl du jour — geniusscientist @ 1:04 pm

This a great horned owl.


I didn’t draw any owls over the weekend.

It was a good weekend, though!  Full of fun things and productive things also.  Those are my best kind of weekends because then I don’t feel guilty about them afterwards.

Friday after work Chris and went to shoot shotguns.  It’s only my second time shooting shotguns.  I like it a lot.  I’m not all that good at it yet, but I will get better.  We shot at clay pigeons.  Clay pigeons are as fragile as eggs!  It says so right on the box.

On Saturday we went to Ag-Field Day at Rutgers.  We met up with Meggers and Steve Glennon, and their tiny daughter Lucy, and their two dogs Cooper and Ruby.  Cooper is this ginormous golden retriever who has a lot of energy.  Ruby is this tiny, super-calm puppy.  She is SO cute and so quiet and unassuming.  Coop and Ruby got a lot of attention from people.  I felt a little badly for poor Indiana.  Usually she gets a lot of attention herself, but next to those two more “friendlier” looking dogs, she stood no chance.  Even Lucy wasn’t getting much attention from strangers, and she’s an actual human baby!

On our way out though, a lady accosted Indiana and put her face in my dog’s face about two seconds after meeting her.  Obvs a fellow pit owner.  That’s dangerous, though!  One shouldn’t do that.  Indiana is fine but you can’t do that to every dog.

I didn’t get kettle corn.  When we got there, the line was short but we didn’t have cash.  Later when we had cash the line was long; I waited for it to get shorter but then they ran out of corn.  I got cinnamon roasted almonds instead.  I ate the shit out of those almonds.

And we missed the World’s Largest Egg Toss!  We went to the NJ Folk Fest get food and when we got back it was all over.  I don’t think I’ve ever missed it before.

When we came home I put together the farm cart that Lynn and Ralph got me for my birthday.  Adam came over and I thought he and Chris were going to play Magic but Chris left the Flyers game on and sort of just fell asleep on the couch.  (Chris sleeps a lot.  He slept a lot at Ag Field Day too.)  I cut the fabric (the REAL fabric, not just muslin) for the dress that I’m making to wear to Curt and Lisa’s wedding.  Then I guess we went to bed?  I don’t know.

Sunday was the day we had agreed to work on stuff around the yard, so that’s what we did.  We emptied almost all of the compost piles; Chris wheelbarrow’d it out to the front and I spread it all in front of the foundations.  The landscaping dude who did our railroad ties in the fall is going to plant shrubs there.  All of those shrubs are purchased, and in pots; I watered them and put them on the porch to protect them from the sun.  (I used my farm cart, which worked out great.)  We dragged old rotted pallets out to the front curb.  (I used my farm cart for this as well.)  Then we went to Agway to pick up some supplies.  We got a bunch of annuals (Chris likes dahlias, I like marigolds) and I planted them in pots.  (We don’t really get enough sun anywhere, so we’ll get them going in pots, which we can move into the sun, and then when they’re established we can put them on the steps.)  I have some tiny purple things left over and once the landscaping dude does whatever he’s going to do, maybe I’ll put them in the ground somewhere.  Chris mowed the lawn.

Then Tony and Sasi came over to eat cheeseburgers and watch Game of Thrones.  I like those kids.  And they had just gotten engaged!  How exciting!  I am so legit super happy for them.  We’ll have to come back to Jersey for the wedding, since hopefully we’ll be living in California or something by the time that happens.