Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Not-So-Smart Moves and Drawing Things

Upon realizing who I am and what I want to do, I've entered into the nature world in the extreme. If you haven't read my previous post, then I'll restate something. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to go all the way, headfirst. When I say I've entered in the extreme, I mean that I've divulged myself into piles of information to learn and memorize. Since it is deep winter here, memorizing plants and taking notes on them is a bit unpractical. Instead, I ordered a new camera lens (I call it my "baby") and started memorizing and learning about birds. After all, birds and plants are so interconnected that it's hard to know about one without learning about the other.

Upon yesterday's adventures, I've created a list of things that might seem smart but in reality are not so planned out in the long run.

1.) Sleepytime tea at dinner time when you have a boat-load of school work and other work that needs to be finished before the night is out
2.) Creating note cards for the 285 most common birds of North America
3.) Drawing the bird onto the aforementioned note cards (See some pictures of my drawings below)
4.) Trying to memorize all of the bird calls while still trying to remember 5/285 birds
5.) Watching a favorite TV show when you should be doing other things
6.) Attempting to bird whilst driving around without a notebook and camera
7.) Not knitting for days on end
8.) Playing ping pong

While most of these don't make any sense, they are all relevant to my life at the moment. Let's start backwards.

8.) I played ping pong at a Super Bowl party and re-injured my hamstring. While it was fun in the beginning, I wasn't so happy with the end results, i.e. pain.
7.) I haven't knit since Friday night, or possibly Saturday afternoon. It's slowly driving me nuts. I'm currently on a drawing kick, but that will soon pass and I'll be back to knitting. I'm also avoiding knitting because everything that I want to make I'd have to buy yarn for, which is a problem when funds run out.
6.) Instead of knitting in the car, I'm now sticking my head out the window (Yeah, not in the winter, but you get the idea) looking around frantically for birds. Of course, the majority of birds stay away from busy roads so I'm not sure why I'm wasting my time, but it's fun anyway. I can't see any birds far off without my camera and I can't record anything anyway without a notebook, so I'm doubly wasting my time. Oh well.
5.) While Downton Abbey might be extremely interesting and cliff-hanger-y, I really shouldn't be watching 2 episodes of it in one night when I have tons and tons of homework that is due the next day, regardless of the fact that today is a late start day.
4.) Yeah. I've always loved mornings filled with birdsong, even though I didn't venture to learn what birds I was hearing. Now that I'm interested, I'm trying to tackle this as well. Great idea? Probably, but maybe I should give it a little more time.
3.) I think I've finished 11 drawings. That is 11/285. Smart? Nah, probably not. Fun? Heck yes. And while I draw I cement in my mind the different colors and patterns of the birds that I am drawing.
2.) I've gotten decently far on these, actually. I might be around 45/285. And I'm running out of note cards. And these are only the most common birds in North America. It'd probably just be smarter to buy a field guide.
1.) This one is slightly less relevant than the others, but seriously. I had been tired all day and then adding warm, slightly sweet fluids while the snow fell and the sun went down with the added sleepy-time-ness nearly did me in. I curled up on the couch and nearly stayed there all night, but I managed to drag myself up to bed before that all unfolded. It tasted pretty delicious, though.

Now that I've finished that list, let me go on.
I started the notecards because that is how I learn. Doing and listening. So if I want to learn something, the best thing is to write the information down, talk it out loud and write it down over again. So note cards seem like the logical choice, no? That is what I thought, so I started. Oh, and remember when I mentioned buying a field guide? I'm not 100% convinced that it'd help a whole lot. Like I said, I learn by doing and listening. As for listening, that will come in handy when I start to learn the different calls. I do pride myself in having keen ears. With a little time, I can differentiate footfalls of different people, whinnies of horses, and calls of different animals. (That is, the differences between 3 sheeps' calls and 2 roosters' voices)
I love drawing, too. I used to draw exclusively horses, but after time, there are only so many different horses of North American that one can draw, and since horses are quite large animals, it's hard to get into deep detail with their faces unless you draw them onto massive surfaces. Thus, I've ventured into birds. My first attempts where pitiful, as were my first attempts at drawing horses. After drawing a few random birds and not knowing their ID's I had to learn more. That's when I got curious about different bird species. Visiting my grandparents over Christmas helped as well, as my grandfather is interested in birds, mostly just photographing the ones that come to his feeders. Watching the birds flock to the seed and heated water bath in the frigid temps though the window helped ignite my interests as well. It's where I first recorded, photographed, and drew the sightings of the day.
Anyhow, here are 3 of the note card drawings I've done. Yes, they are all done of 3"x5" cards. Yes, I know that I'm crazy. See if you can ID them from my artist's hand.

I still have yet to take out my "baby" (uh, my new camera lens) for his debut at the lake. With all the snow that has presented itself and my injury, I've been erring on the cautious side of things. Perhaps I can get out before the weekend arrives.
Have a good day and be kind to the earth!

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