Tales from the field #13

When I was setting up for Palo Alto, I was setting the shelf in my desk and found out I’d inadvertantly packed a gecko. Far away from his natural climate, this little critter would not have survived to be released onto the streets of Palo Alto. I needed to take him home.

gecko in a cup

My friend Cindy went into Pete’s and begged an empty cup from them, and he spent the day in cup jail in my booth.

That evening, having found that he eats various bugs, I was looking around my airbnb, thinking ‘I need a fly’. Then, I found a spider! I scooped it up and added it to the cup, which by this time had some natural materials in it so as to not be quite so boring.

gecko in a cup

A little furniture.

I left him at the airbnb on Sunday, and in the evening brought him out so he could have a warm up on my hand. After he no longer felt chilly, he wanted to run around a little more, but it was time for bed before an early start.


“Ah, a heating pad.”

I put him back in the cup – really? his little face said, cup jail again?

gecko in a cup

What did I do to deserve this?

We’re going home in the morning!
You’re really going to take me home? was the quizzical expression.

gecko in a cup

Really, you’re taking me home? You mean it?

The one expression I didn’t capture was the look on his face when I put out the contents of the cup in the front yard. He looked around, then looked at me. Wow, you kept your word! I’m home.
Then he zoomed off into the oleander at gecko speed.

Newer work #28


#1196 Geese in an Emerald Dawn. 8×10″ in mat to 12×14″ $90. Currently at Incredible Art Center in Palm Springs.

Geese in an Emerald Dawn is a ‘true child’ of Vermillion Delight.  Without, however the Shakespearean sonnet that it’s parent has.  Yes, I know it’s more purple than emerald, but there are little hints of green, and it’s not often I get to use that color!



Here I am at the show in Fallbrook.  It’s raining outside.  I was setting up during the rain.  Today, the forecast is more raining.  We need the rain.  I love the fact that this weekend I’m doing an indoor show!

Well protected.

This morning while I was running around the yard in my bathrobe and uggs photographing this:


…I noticed this:


Looking forward to finding out who’s it is.

The birds know.

So this year we are forecast an El Nino.  Even before the first rain, which gave us a good inch of water a couple weeks ago, there is a shift in activity in the desert.  For many years the house finches would raise young in the nesting baskets and boxes I placed around the eaves of the house. It is such a delight to hear the twittering of open beaks insisting that they are definitely the starvingest chick in the nest and need to be the recipient of the next beakfull of food.  One year I even had a verdin build a nest in the bottom of the tiny windmill tied to my washing line.  The verdin nest is a ball of sticks with an entrance facing downwards. A few years ago, the  number of nests built dwindled noticeably and last year no chicks were raised around my house.


Remodeled verdin nest in the smoke tree

This year is different.  In the wash where I frequently walk, a smoke tree which had one derelict verdin nest now has that nest remodelled, and a second one built.  And the other day, I found a verdin nest in the mesquite in the front of the yard.  I think it’s going to be a good year for rain here! [Just not on weekends, please…]

verdin nest

Verdin nest in the front mesquite

Bird brains

I follow a blog called ‘TheTomPostPile’ about life on the opposite corner of the country, and in one of Tom’s most recent posts, he added a link to a movie about turkeys. I rarely watch anything vaguely like a movie, but this one had me enthralled.  I’m a bird lover and the turkey story was a real treat!  Hope you enjoy it too.