Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Tuesday round-up

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get back into the flow of regular blogging where I want to get back to posting bits and bobs of my life, not just my sketchbooks. I miss doing that.

So for starters, meet some of our feathered family -

Chico — formerly known as Phoenix — likes to snooze in my studio while I work.

And below are the awesome foursome! I won't tell you all their names because my son changed their names that many times, I've lost track. However I still call the green budgie, Jacob. He is the second eldest at around 9 years old. The blue one, Malik, is our eldest boy at 10 years old. That's very good going for budgies in captivity. Our vet said to keep on doing whatever we're doing. They are a happy bunch and love their mini-aviary.

Since becoming vegan, I have to say that I'm not overly comfortable owning birds in captivity. That said, these lovelies were here before I became vegan so not much I can do about that now plus I do love them.  They are very well cared for and they pretty much have the run of the house throughout the day as we open their cage roofs of a morning. They are all hand-tamed. I know there are differing opinions on this but, yes, my son does clip some of their flight feathers purely for their own safety. They can still fly, just not high enough or too fast where they can injure themselves on ceiling fans, walls, or glass doors. It is much safer for them and they still get to exercise.

We also get daily visits from the Butcherbirds who I'm sure would love to have our birds for supper. When our birds get noisy chattering, a Butcherbird will sometimes perch on the fence looking in through the window. They are aggressive predators feasting on insects, lizards, and small animals including birds. They have been known to hook and pull a small bird from its cage. They are called Butcherbirds because they often impale their victims against fences or tree limbs to render them helpless. Butcherbirds are native to Australia and protected by law.

The one pictured below is a juvenile Grey Butcherbird which perched on the fence outside my studio as it could hear Chico chirping. The adults have a black crown and face, with a white collar. Their wings also dark grey rather than brown.  (Sorry, not a great photo as it was taken from behind a security fly-screen.)



And the beauty below is of the fin variety, not feathered.  He is my son's Siamese Fighting fish also known as a Betta fish. This one is a Crown-tail Betta. I must sketch him one day.

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I've been trying to get back into regular sketching and, back in mid-February, I signed up to Sktchy to draw a daily face....then the pain and depression hit so no sketching. I plan to do ALL the faces in order and yesterdays efforts are below. Reference Image is Adam Vitry, another Sktchy artist/member.  I sketched him with a purple pencil and a purple ballpoint pen...not quite finished yet. I'm going to experiment more as I go along.


On a sad note, today marks three years since my Dad's passing. 
Still miss him every day.
Love you, Dad xo

That's it from me for today. 
See you tomorrow for Scribble Picnic. 

16 comments:

  1. Your birds are so lovely! I know how you feel about having them as I don't necessarily agree with captivity. Humans have created such a mess when it comes to the animal kingdom, shamelessly exploiting and abusing them. People here love to have bulbuls because of their birdsong but I'd rather watch them flit about naturally, singing to me from a nearby tree. That being said, I do have Jingles ... a scaredy cat who doesn't like the outside world. And now I have little Mr. Tofu, the tortoise someone threw out into the street. He's happy on my balcony right now but when it gets too hot, I'll have to bring him inside. That's going to be tricky as the only place to keep him is in the boys' room and tortoises really need room to roam. I haven't been creating much at all lately. I go through bouts of not wanting to do much of anything at all and then it is hard for me to get my mojo back. Glad to see that you are back to drawing. Take care!

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    1. It upsets me so much to see how we have exploited, abused, and killed animals for our own gain. I much prefer birds to be in the wild too. I don't like zoos because I don't believe animals should be in captivity and exploited. Zoos are a business just like any other but they use the guise that they are helping wild animals. Humans certainly have created a mess, Tammy.

      Dogs and cats are domesticated animals so not quite as bad as capturing animals from the wild. I know Mr Tofu will lead a happy life in your care. I always thought tortoises still needed access to water as they need both land and water to be content...is that right? It sounds strange hearing of a tortoise in your area...is that common?

      It sounds like we've been in the same creative slump...my creativity directly relates to my emotions and, if I'm feeling down, I find it very hard to create. I can crochet and such...just not sketching. I hope you get over your creative slump soon. xx

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  2. Hi Serena :) So nice to read little tidbits of your daily life :) Your birds are so pretty. What great photos! Sending hugs to you, it's hard to lose someone you love so much. xx

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    1. Thanks, Rain...glad you enjoyed the post. :)

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  3. pretty old for small birds :D not a fan of clipping but if it means the bird is going to be safer, its a good thing. i know you can put bigger birds in harness' but not sure how that would work with the smaller ones

    healthy looking betta fish too :) so sad when you see them in little cups at pets stores :(

    good to see you blogging again :)

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    1. Yes they are...years ago, budgies we had usually lived to around 4 years old. Budgies are very social and we used to only ever have one at a time whereas now we have four together. They seem very happy socialising with one another and I wonder if this may well be a part of their longevity.


      I totally agree re. the clipping. My son convinced me that it was for the birds' safety though and, funnily enough, just after I posted, my cockatiel flew into our glass sliding door as his previously clipped feathers had grown back. I was so lucky he didn't injure himself. We had to clip back a couple of feathers to avoid it happening again. He can still fly, just not high, and not as fast, which will lessen the possibility of injury. I've never heard of bird harnesses before so looked it up...it appears people use them for going outdoors with their birds, mostly larger parrots...like a dog leash in a sense? I don't think my cockatiel would like one and I'm not sure they would serve a purpose indoors. All our birds have the capability to still fly and explore unlike some birds whose owners completely cut back all their flight feathers so they can't fly at all.

      OH yes, I get very upset to see Betta fish in little jars in the pet shops. Some look so sad and sickly. A lot of pet stores no longer sell puppies and kittens as they were under pressure because of the horror of puppy farms. There are a few very reputable pet shops now having specific days where they run adoption programs for shelter animals instead which I think is a great idea. Always better to adopt rather than encourage despicable puppy farms to continue.

      I hope to be blogging more regular but I had a set back since my last post. Always the way it seems. haha

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  4. Hi Serena! Beautiful little pets! Awesome sketch and sorry to hear you're in pain! Hugs for you and thinking of you as you remember your Daddy. Take care!

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    1. Thanks, Darla. Glad you liked seeing some of our feathered pets. Chronic pain seems to be the norm for me now. :(

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  5. Nice to see all the critters--even the visiting deadly one. ;) Lovely sketch.
    Goodness! If it's three years since you lost your dad then next month it will be three years for me, too. I still miss my dad's sense of humor. :) We lost them so close together.

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    1. Thanks, Rita. Yes, that's right...our Dad's did pass fairly close together. xo

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  6. Your birds are doing well to be that age.

    I'm not a fan of the feather clipping thing, but I do agree it's good to keep them safe, and if that's what it takes...

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    1. Yes...even our vet was impressed by their ages.

      I'm definitely not a fan of clipping either, Tori. My son convinced me that it is for their own safety as we did have a few near misses with ceiling fans previously, the fans weren't in use of course but even stationary metal blades can be deadly to flying birds. All our birds can still fly to exercise and stretch their wings...just not as high as the ceiling fans nor as fast which does lessen chance of injury. :)

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  7. I think your pets are beautiful. That fish is so beautiful. The colours are amazing. I bet all the pets need a lot of looking after. We tried to keep some salt water fish but we failed inspite of spending a lot of money on various equipments and tending them carefully.

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    1. Thanks, Shashi! I've heard that salt water aquariums can be very difficult to maintain with all the special requirements. My son seems to be a natural when it comes to birds and fish...although we've never had a salt water tank.

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