Archive for the ‘Bird Gossip’ Category

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It’s A Hummer

12/28/2013

As incongruous as it may seem for winter, a hummingbird appeared for all of two seconds at my window this morning. It was not one of my old friends who used to perch on a camellia branch to chat for a minute or two, but a new member of the tribe without interest in a a wingless biped. It is an understandable bias that I hope she will ignore. A nest in a nearby tree would provide much appreciated entertainment and inspiration during the overcast weeks ahead.

Come back, little one, and bathe in the admiration and appreciation I will send your way.

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Even A Bird Can Enjoy A Good Ride

12/16/2013
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Pink, Meet Greens!

02/23/2013

My ink rotation is looking a bit somber for the almost-spring weather with its blue skies and 65° of warmth. Tuesday’s snow has melted from the surrounding mountains. One neighbor’s gardener is whacking off tree limbs while the house across the street is getting demolished in favor of a boring, modern structure. It is far too noisy to hear the birds but they are around even if drowned out by the blare of machinery. Their chatter can be heard in the early morning before the sound of man takes over so with certainty they have returned. New growth is sparse yet, but that lack of color can be remedied by some vivid hues in my pens.

Rohrer & Klingner Solferino is my annual choice for the ink that announces the retreat of winter. To complement that jolt of pink, a green is in order. For comparison, I swabbed a few available options on a sheet of Strathmore Windpower Sketch paper. None of these inks look wrong but a few look more right than others. Which green would you choose?

  • Diamine Emerald
  • Diamine Kelly Green
  • Diamine Sherwood
  • Diamine Ultra Green
  • Diamine Umber
  • Diamine Woodland
  • Iroshizuku shin-ryoku
  • J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage
  • J. Herbin Vert Empire
  • Montblanc Racing Green
  • Rohrer & Klingner Verdura
  • Private Reserve Avacado
  • Sailor Epinard
Pink, Meet Green Inks!

Pink, Meet Green Inks!

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Pink Ink And The Hummingbird

02/04/2013

It’s that time of year when the Anna’s Hummingbirds appear outside my kitchen window. My friend from previous years has yet to appear but a vividly colored cock checked out my camellia tree a few minutes ago. His jewel tones are stunning and have inspired me to find inks that mimic his brilliant head feathers.

Click the image to see the variety of colors a mature Anna’s can sport.

Anna's Hummingbird at Rest

Anna’s Hummingbird at Rest

For the darker tones:

  • Noodler’s Saguaro Wine
  • Noodler’s Burgundy
  • Sailor Grenade
  • Diamine Claret
  • Diamine Syrah
  • Diamine Deep Magenta

For the lighter tones:

  • Noodler’s Shah’s Rose
  • Pelikian Edelstein Tournaline
  • Iroshizuku Tsutsuji
  • Noodler’s Baystate Cranberry
  • Caran d’Ache Sunset
  • Diamine Amaranth
  • Platinum Cyclamen Pink

Only four of these are in my collection limited to a bottle of Claret and small samples of Tsutsuji, Cyclamen Pink, and Deep Magenta. The samples were written with a J. Herbin glass dip pen on a Quattro pad. All four inks are in the right range.

Pink Fountain Pen Inks

Pink Fountain Pen Inks

It was a challenge to find suitable colors, but turned into a good exercise in color matching. Of those on hand, Tsutsuji and Cyclamen Pink hit the spirit best. Deep Magenta and Claret are a bit too blue. One day the perfect color will come along, but for now flashes of that vibrant pink whizzing past my window will suffice.

Just for the fun of it, find an item you really enjoy for its color and match an ink to it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it should make you happy. Isn’t that what pens and inks are all about?

An Anna's Hummingbird in My Camellia Tree

An Anna’s Hummingbird in My Camellia Tree

Photo courtesy of Tessa R. Maurer.

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Inkophile Links From Moleskine To Babies To Bugs

06/07/2012

What do babies, bugs, Moleskine, ice cream, and a carnival have in common? Nothing except they all made it into this edition of my links post…

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Musings From The Bird Gossip

06/02/2012

Wow, did I get sidetracked today. Beth called my bird-related musings “bird gossip” and I just had to run with it. In fact I like it so well I’ve added it as a category so bird lovers can find those posts easily.

To bring you up to date, the mockingbird hasn’t menaced me in a week though I am told one or two continue to perch on nearby utility wires. The Anna’s Hummingbirds have relocated to the backyard but a Pacific-slope flycatcher has moved into their former digs, a camellia tree that brushes against my kitchen window. I miss the hummers but the calm presence of the less flighty new resident is a worthy replacement. He is more difficult to spot even at close quarters. That lovely, soft green is nearly indistinguishable from the camellia leaves, the perfect camouflage against any predators. He is quite the clever fellow for finding such an ideal home.

Yesterday a robin serenaded us from the patio and was quite miffed when he spied me listening through the french doors. The acoustics of the 3/4 enclosed space are wonderful as we’ve learned over the past several years when Mourning Doves nested there. I hope the robin returns soon for another concert.

Mid-afternoon is nap time but around 5:00 or so the finches and sparrows chime together reminding us life is good and we should take time for some joy when the day’s work is done.

But that does make me wonder. Since they are so chatty, do they gossip about us, too?

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There Is A Bully Outside My Window

05/23/2012

In the guise of a bully, a mockingbird is scaring away my avian neighbors, the hummingbirds, finches, and sparrows. For two weeks this drama has played out turning my formerly peaceful yard into a combat zone.

Today the puff-chested, terrier wannabe had the nerve to posture and flick his tail at me. Silly bird tried to send me scurrying from my kitchen window. How cheeky of him!

The crows just ignore the mockingbird, even when challenged over food. It seems to be the only effective strategy although there is no doubt who would win at hand to hand combat. Hopefully, the super-sized crow, a massive guy who is at least 1/3 larger than the average crow, gets disgusted with the pest and chases him off. Then the smaller birds can return to the bounty in my yard and delight the neighborhood with their antics. If not, it will be a very long, very quiet summer.

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