Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Upper Sacramento Valley Birding

January is prime-time to go birding in the Upper Sacramento Valley with migrating birds wintering in the refuges and flooded fields and ponds of Butte and Colusa Counties. Today we visited Sacramento National, Greylodge and Colusa Wildlife Refuges and wetland fields north of Marysville and Yuba City.

Note: To view enlarged photo, click on pic

An unseasonably warm day in the Big Valley was a perfect day for birding . Dick at a viewing platform at Sac National.

The snow-capped Snow Mountain Range bordering the valley to the west. I hiked these mountains last summer.

Islands in the Sky . . . Sutter Buttes, an odd geologic formation, lies in the middle of the central valley near the refuges

A couple great views of the Buttes (above and below)

Firestorm! . . . appears like early rice fields burning in January!
Signs of a bad drought year.

White-faced Ibis and brewers blackbirds

More ibis's

Solo Ibis

Western Meadowlark

Lark Sparrow

Tundra Swans

Belted Kingfisher

Northern Pintail Ducks

Northern Shoveler

Two flying shovelers and ibis

Shoveler butts

Great Blue Heron

Ring-neck duck

Juvenile red-shouldered hawk

Ruddy Ducks

Mostly Ross' Geese

Mostly Snow Geese

Lotsa' snow geese

More snow geese

Snow geese

Snow geese and Mt. Lassen

Greater white-fronted geese and Mt. Lassen

Greater white-fronted geese

Totally Awesome!! . . .
this peregrine falcon was sharing the same tree with the bald eagle below


Bald eagle putting on a great air show

A family of four bald eagles - two adults (top L & R) and two immatures

Uncle Sam

Scruffy deer

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Natsoulas Art

Tony Natsoulas is one of Sacramento's renown ceramic artists. Last night I joined the Hastings Family - Dick, Audrey, Hillary and friend, Barb, and paid a visit to Tony and Donna's fabulous art filled home. Their home is a virtual folk art gallery with every room chock full of art made by Tony and many famous fellow Sacramento artists. We spent a fun-filled evening getting a personal tour of each room and the story behind each art piece. A big thanks to Tony and Donna for being such gracious hosts.

Note: To view enlarged photo, click the pic

A big Bob Arneson print centered over the fireplace surrounded by many funky art and 1950's period furniture graces the contemporary Streng Bros. home

X-mas is not yet over for the Natsuolas'. The fabulously decorated tree are adorned by many hand-made ornaments by Tony and other artist friends. So fun and cool!

Shelves chock-full of funky folk art

Hillary and friend

Tony with a giant piece made for UC Davis

Six Cups of Tea

Art, pie, politics and lots of yuks! . . . end to a great evening. L-R Barb, Tony, Donna, and Audrey

Hillary and another friend made of linoleum

Dick and the Barrel Man

A Clayton Baily Robot and cat . . . Hmmm, the red thing is a electric shoe brush

Another giant Tony original

The Wall of Noses made by Tony . . . sooo funny!

A couple close-ups of big snazze

Hey, a cool teardrop pulled by a Nash Ramber. Just like mine.

An Airstream made by a Marin County artist

Two Cups of Tea . . . here's looking at ya'

A Betty Grable ceramic piece

The Natsoulas's collection of egg cups

A tray of tasty cakes

A ballerina made from glass found objects glued together

Pieces made from bowling balls . . . note the shapes