Chinese Robe and Diamond Wall

Chinese Robe and Diamond Wall
Inside the front door...

Monday, August 25, 2008

August Insects

When I was on the front porch roof painting with a brushsicle--my brush duct-taped on a stick (afraid of heights/ladder too freaky), Brigg 'rescued' me from a nest of wasps.
I thought he was just going to spray them, but he whipped out a lighter too and did the Schwarzenegger/Van Damme immense ball of fire/flame-thrower thing while I screamed in fright and had an angry heart-attack. (Sorry, I don't really like Jean-Claude, so I usually refer to him as Dirt Clod Van Damme and I was pissed as hell at this form of weaponry, because Brig nearly burnt me, the roof, and the nearby cedar tree and I don't approve of torches created from aerosol cans... Idiots!)
Red arrow=too high!

But the wasps are everywhere.

This is the time of year when I usually head out to a pond/pasture/roadside and observe bug activities, so I hope my trucks repaired soon. They're very prevalent now and our high school used to give a major insect-collecting project so we have an immense net. If you go out to MudFeet Farmer's pasture, several dung beetles will be rolling poo along the cow paths while helicopter-size dragonflies hover overhead.

Huge hornets have been digging burrows on this block; here's one straddling his victim. I watched him buzz slowly around the yard, struggling with the weight of a huge cicada:

Three times I've seen an ichneumon traveling around waist high, but every time I grab the net, it disappears, so this one's from google: (It looks like a flying thread.)

Brigg caught the biggest praying mantis I've ever seen (besides Bail's); here's it's pic through glass. It was about 5" long with creepy skinny legs:

Later 3 of us roamed the neighborhood and saw some swallowtail caterpillers and the monarch/tobacco worm ones--greens white black yellow--very pretty. We used to freeze and pin our creatures in the bugbox, but now we just keep them for a day and release them for other to enjoy...or fear!

The Release of the Mantis:

And here's the back of the house where I moved the little ladder which I will NOT use. It's laying there at an angle. Guess I'll have to find a longer pole for my brushsicle, as you can see where I chickened-out on the scraping! See that dinosaur sheet hanging over the window? That would be Tegan's and I better take it down before it fades since he got it when he was in 5th grade, I think! I'm sure he would want it on his bed!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

War of the Worlds Art

I'd posted a drawing I started the other night based on a cool jellyfish picture and I couldn't help noticing it's resemblance (in my mind anyway!) to the Tripods on the War of the Worlds movie starring Tom Cruise, though I've cropped the leg section a bit short here...
When this was a brief TV series in the late 80's, I could NOT stay up late and watch it--gave me a really negative/creeped-out feeling. (Other things I couldn't bear to watch: China Beach, Platoon, & American History X-- in which I nearly hysterically scream "Turn it off! Now! Turn the channel!"'-- How someone thought up curb-stompin'... makes me physically sick.)
Anyway, the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics were on, so I was going to sit down and sketch! But during a commercial I flipped the channel and War of the Worlds was I just HAD to watch the Tripods...
Here's a little more Jelly; observed upside down, it resembles little humans....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pottawatomie County

Last night we traveled north to the tiny town of Onaga; this is where the Pott County Fair is held every year and has been since the dawn of time.
I'd never watched the "Miss Pottawatomie" contest before, but Brig's gal Paula was a participant so we wanted to see her perform. It was very nice, held in the high school auditorium with really well-executed paintings of old cowtown buildings as a backdrop.
We'd heard that since the dawn of time, an Onaga girl usually wins the crown, and 5 of the 8 girls were from there. All 8 performed a cute dance with barefeet, jeans, and cowboy hats. They all answered a question--Paula was contestant number 5 but the announcer accidentally called her by the wrong name and she was very tactful when emphasizing that she was 'Paula...!"
All the little ladies had spent an afternoon of questions/answers with 3 judges--NOT local.
Most everyone's 'talent' was either a dance, or an oral skit, but Paula sang a lovely operetta song in Italian and she had graceful arm and hand movements and natural poise. I think she'd won a state award with this song at school, but I hadn't heard it yet.)
Later, the announcer read comments about the girls' achievements while they walked in their evening gowns and Paula had some pretty impressive items... besides the numerous activities/clubs/extracurricular things she belongs to, she'd been to KU to Girls State for a week last month. She had been voted "Supreme Court Justice", some type of "Judge" and had also taken a bar exam and received a 100%. She'd also designed the blue formal she was wearing and beaded it, and also the 'Elizabethan' type-opera dress. (The pic up top is a fake crown on an old photo: Paula and Brig wore maroon to a school dance.)
As the judges left to put in their final votes, an awesome comedian came on stage and had us laughing til our sides ached--he was quite clever.
At the end, we waited on the edge of our seats...what was going to happen? Another Wamego girl ended up winning a Congeniality scholarship, an Onaga girl won some type monetary certificate too, then Paula ended up winning the overall title, so it was really fun!
So, this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, she will have to hand out ribbons/prizes/medals to all of the Fair contestants, so this means from 8:00am to late-- in a livestock pen, stepping around the poo!
Baaaaa.....We will go watch the parade on Sunday at 1:00 and collect candy for the little kids, wave at Paula, and bake in the sun!