Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aluminum Can Crafts

Last summer I sold my hand crafted jewelry at flea and farmers markets. Didn't go so well. Apparently people at these markets aren't looking for jewelry. This summer, I've decided to try producing some other kinds of crafts that people would buy to decorate their gardens and cabins. There are a lot of lake homes and cabins in this area, so I figured fish would be a good subject to start off with. I recently purchased a crafting book at an antique store with ideas for crafting with aluminum cans. Here is what I've made so far:
Also, I am working on flowers and ladybugs. Once they are finished, I will post photos. Hopefully I can sell these things successfully so I can make some money for my last semester of tuition!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Can anyone identify this moth?

I found this moth today, though I am unsure of its name. There is no record of how many moth species are found in Minnesota, so it is difficult to pinpoint.

Correction on my last post...
The caterpillar I mentioned is actually a forest tent caterpillar, not an armyworm. The name armyworm has been incorrectly applied to tree defoliating caterpillars, when in reality, the armyworm primarily feeds on grass, corn, and grains. Regardless, these forest tent caterpillars have large outbreaks every 5 to 10 years and can be detrimental to trees.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another day of photographing found creatures

Today, I found a blue-spotted salamander. As a kid, I remember finding larger salamanders with yellow spots (tiger salamander). It has been a very long time since I have seen that species. In recent years, the blue-spotted salamander is much more common in central Minnesota. I also found an armyworm. They are pests and are over populated in this area, while destroying the plants and trees. I find it important to pay attention to the trends and fall-outs of certain species in the area. These changes occur very often and there are new creatures to be seen every year - some good, some bad. These particular instances are very telling about the ecosystem at large.

Monday, June 13, 2011

golden retriever versus chipmunk

At least a couple times per week, I like to walk around my yard and take photos of the little creatures and things that are ordinarily abundant, but often unnoticed. When I photograph them, it allows me to alter the ordinary into something extraordinary. I highly value the living things that inhabit my surroundings and would like to help others realize how much beauty and purpose nature has to offer. I also believe that it is important to be conscious of how irreplaceable and fragile it is.

Speaking of fragility, to my horror, my golden retriever, who appears harmless, caught and ate a chipmunk before my very eyes while I was taking photos. I assume that there will be laughter upon reading this, and I do understand the humor in it. I mean, seriously. Picture a fluffy family dog happily chowing a chippy like a chew toy. But it is also stunning and terrible and real. Death is just...death. It happens and it can come so quickly and unexpectedly. Even if it is just a rodent. The circulation of life and death is unwavering and brutal. Time stops for the victim when death consumes, but keeps eerily going on for the rest of us, whether we can recover quickly or not. This incident just really resonated with me personally, as well as the thematic content for my artwork. It is important to me to preserve life and nature to the best of my ability and I think this is usually evident in my art. Yep. I got all of that from my dog eating a chipmunk. And, no, I did not take pictures of this particular incident. I was too horrified and there was too much blood involved. Anyways, here are the pictures:

Menomonie WI Pics

A couple weekends ago, I visited my friend/former roomie Britney. I took lots of pictures as we explored parts of Menomonie that we were unfortunately unable to during winter months while we were so terribly caught up in school. It is amazing how much can be missed by residing indoors for long durations of time. Menomonie is really a beautiful place when one ventures off campus - especially in the summer. Most of these pictures aren't anything special, but here they are.

The awesome Buddha was a birthday present from Britney :)

We actually ate some of the clover :) It is edible, you know.

Albinism in foliage? Interesting...

The nasty algae bloom actually made for an interesting vivid green color in the water. Good for my pictures, bad for the environment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Painted Turtle

My boyfriend, Jason, found a baby painted turtle yesterday at work doing beach clean-up. He brought it to me thinking that I might want to raise it. Although I would love to keep it, I think it would have a better chance in its natural habitat. I kept it for one night and took some photos of it in the morning. The pond in our back yard is now its new home. Maybe I will see it around. Oh, and I named it Francis.