Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 20, 2015

Well I haven't been getting in a sketch every day, but because of my health, I guess I'm going to change that. I've been mostly attached to my computer all day, into the wee hours of the night drawing. As a result, I haven't been getting enough sleep and no exercise, or too little. The last time that I had gotten sick again was just before Easter when I realized that I was only getting 4 hours of sleep. I'm trying to balance things out now, but going to bed at a decent time and doing some excercise everyday. This last week, except for Sunday, I've walked the dog at least two miles everyday and have gone to my 24 Hour classes. As my doctor said, I have to build my strength up through exercise. Last Saturday I got on the elliptical machine, did an hour of Zumba and then because I still felt good, I thought that I would try another class, Body Combat, a martial arts, kick boxing class. I lasted through the whole class and was feeling only a little achy in the knees and calves. I just have to remember to rehydrate after a workout like that and use Arnica right away. 

I had walked along the Laguna Creek on Friday, Saturday and today. There seemed to be a lot of wildlife there and it provided some good ideas for a drawing. On friday, I saw a pair of otters mating. They were slowly rolling around in the muddy water, the male griping the female behind her neck, both oblivious to the passersby watching them. There were Canadian geese, the mallards and a Great Egret or two as usual, coots, lots of turtles sunning themselves, a pair of cormorants and a green heron. Great stuff, but all that I had to capture all of the activity was my little cell phone. 

The next day I brought my SLR camera with the telephoto lens. I was looking for the otters, of course, but I didn't expect them to be mating again. It seems that they were in a love embrace most of the previous morning. When I had pointed this out to one of the other people watching, two older women bicycling along the creek. One of the women remarked, "Well their young..." 

I saw most of the other wildlife, but didn't see the otters, until I noticed a clump of grass, moving much too fast. As I watched, a couple of other people stopped too. I pointed out the moving grass and we all remarked that it was odd. It was moving too fast for a turtle or to be just floating on the water by it's self. I turned on my camera and looked through the lens. It was an otter carrying a large clump of grass. At one point, it dove under the water for a second, taking the grass with it, only to pop up again. This one was nesting. Otters don't build their own dens. They will take over one that another animal has dug out of the muddy bank, like a muskrat, just above the water line. I got a shot of the industrious otter with my camera, but I thought that I would try to draw it too. Attached is my drawing and my photo. The drawing was going to be a lot more ambitious, but I've got to get to bed!

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