Friday, January 11, 2019

Resolutions, FL and NMPM

This post is not just about my New Year's Resolutions but contains various catchings-ups and news bits.  Lastly it treats my NaMoPaiMo dreams - as of today, closer to reality!  It is illustrated with Florida pictures from our recent trip (mostly).  Thus it is a three-strand post, similar to but even more ambitious than my first venture into Stable Blankets: Three Strands at Once.  The plain truth is I've been so busy, since returning home, that I could not give inquiring model friends anything like what they deserved.  One demand piled onto another until I felt choked with frustration.  Only now, a week after return, do I feel reasonably able to blog... at the cost of some sleep, alas.
Great Blue Heron seen at Webb Lake
There are probably many blog posts in what we shot in FL this time.  Of 9 days canoeing and 8 days hiking/birding, a few days escaped without any pictures but 11 days were pretty well captured.  In trying to find a theme to start with, birds, reptiles and butterflies suggest themselves.  Mind you we didn't set out to document the fauna, only the flora!  Flower shots are George's specialty but I'm seldom interested in them; it's the animals I'm more likely to try for.  Today's frontispiece was photo'd while hiking:  Dry The Sea poses on a log along the Florida Trail in Green Swamp WMA.  If I can find the time (blogging is a reward of sorts), more FL posts will come.
Red bellied turtle (?) in Big Cypress WMA.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS.  When I look at last year's, I see only one that got fulfilled ("Finish TSII #456.")  I did indeed reach a certain weight... but could not stay there.  Does that count?  (By the way my "Emerson" experiment, detailed in my Christmas letter, achieved 13 of 14 days and then was cut off by vacation.  Trying again, as of today I'm 3 of 7 days.)  Some of my resolutions I'll just roll over:  to clear out the old TIME magazines; to explore Print-on-Demand; to hang up the pile of collected fishing bobbers, making "Bobber Ristras," a specialty of our family canoeing.  Some resolutions go without saying:  to clean out the file drawers;  to enter more 5K races, as I enjoy these so much.  (By the way in my 5K race, Run Rudolph Run, mentioned in my Christmas letter, I finished second-fastest of all my races so far.  It was my second sub-forty-minute finish.)
Seen at Myakka Lake while napping in the canoe in a flooded oak forest.
Some of my resolutions are no-brainers.  A new belt.  A new watchband.  A mesh holder for the bird list in the canoe.  Moving on to the TSII, a pile of plates and a bunch of text for the next book, and a couple saddles if we can manage them.  It's still a tie between the one-hour-a-day approach and the Thursdays-and-Fridays for tack-only approach, for tackmaking.
Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area
Some resolutions are more personal experiments.  Every vacation brings home a list of desires.  This one asks if I cannot manage my FaceBook time a little better.  Could we go one day a week totally free of FB?  It is such a timesink!  There were whole years of my career without computer at all.  I get so much done in a web-free day!  Moving on, could we try not to boast about or promise something until it's a lot more done??  This really has been a problem with me throughout my career.  Unfortunately it runs smack up against advertising tack pieces, which is legit.  Perhaps there is a happy medium in there, a balance between keeping interest up and protecting the creative process.

George spotted this Red Shouldered Hawk in Big Cypress WMA.
In a general way, I need to be less hard on myself.  It seems to me I always expect too much, and try to do too much.  It's one thing to have accomplished miracles, but unrealistic to expect them to happen every time.  Allow for flub-ups.
That little lump in the center is a Great Horned Owl.  Babcock-Webb WMA.
Dry The Sea was the only horse to get himself shot this trip.  I brought 2 others, a buckskin Show Jumping Warmblood (factory name Jewel, personal name Corsair) and an ancient old Halla in fleabit grey from 1989, named Kalwari.  I realized later I had chosen 3 horses that spanned 30 years of Breyer.  I also discovered that 3 is too many for these trips.  Normally I use 2 Stone Tack Boxes to stow them in the car, back seat center between the food box and the trip box.  A few years ago we chose to try using only one box in an effort to save space.  (You have no idea of the premium on space on a road trip!)  This year I found stashing a second one next to the Stone Box, with only a pony pocket, was acceptable.  But a third under the seat did not work, being too difficult of easy access.  It's like a gypsy caravan in the car:  a space for everything and a routine to access it.
White Peacock Butterfly, Babcock-Webb WMA
NEWS.  Now that I'm home, I'm inking again!!  Last used who knows how many years ago, I cleaned up my Rapidograph technical pens (a 2-day job), bought some ink (my bottle was dated 1997 and is nearly empty!), and am happily inking plates for my next book.  Work must vary between writing, drawing and inking, but oh how I enjoy making those pens behave.  There were years around college [1978-1983] when I was doing this, and the year-plus spent on the Guide (1997).  Unlike model tackmaking in which I'm largely self-taught, drafting was my degree.  This activity is a direct link to my grandparents, who paid for my education, and to high school classes in drafting.  It all feels so homey, so true:  a pleasure once thoroughly known and gratefully returned to.
Big Cypress WMA.  There was a lot of rain, hence puddles.

And my other news is NaMoPaiMo.  I haven't entered yet because my horse isn't here, but as of today she's on her way!  all the way from Russia.  Thank you more than I can say Margarita!  The intended victim is a resin called Magnolia, not to be confused with Breyer's Magnolia the little Stablemate by Moody.  This stretching Ahkal Teke filly was sculpted by Margarita Malova.  Yes, she will be Brasenose's daughter.  I have visions of a sooty metallic buckskin.  On the same day as I bought ink, I purchased many more pastels and some Pearl-Ex.  All cheers for Uncle Eli's art store, which, unlike the University Book Store, carries waterproof drawing ink.
George wants to call this horse ScreetchHalt  :(  but I have named her out of the depths of my Ragtime life, a crossing of the beams of my life which strangely has never happened before.  In Zimmerman's Gems of Chicago Ragtime collection (2012) there is a Ragtime Medley No. 1., arranged by Adolph Schroeder (1899).  The second strain is called "Ambolena Snow."  It has become a favorite of mine.  This little filly went without a name for more than a year in my imagination before I realized this one was for her.

Kudos for those who hold NaMoPaiMo and who uphold its spirit.   And honor to those who manage wilderness areas.


  1. Welcome back! I enjoyed reading about your trip, your thoughts on the New Year, and how you organize your day to get things done. And I love the thoughts behind naming Brasenose's daughter. :)

  2. I don't think I could enjoy being in a canoe if there were gators! You are braver than I!