Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Worst Part of Bike Riding

We have now been car-free for 6 weeks. This weekend especially we spent a lot of time on the bike, Friday night being the most intense ride so far - 23.5 miles, most of it after midnight, uphill and in strong rain. I am really enjoying this experience, but there are two things that make bike riding significantly less fun.

Thing #1: Bugs. At dusk, and especially on down hills, the face becomes a human windshield. Not only do you have to be careful to keep your mouth shut and your eyes squinty, it's also a little bit like being sandblasted. Sometimes you hit a pretty big insect which can hurt quite a bit. But nothing compares to ...

Thing #2: Roadkill. Since we travel some roads every day (to and from work, to and from the garden, for example), we get to see all stages of this lovely process. First day you see a cute fuzzy dead animal. Last week for example I was delighted to meet a mother turkey with a bunch of babies in tow while going up a particularly challenging hill. I took some photos, communed with nature, and kept on riding only to find three more little turkeys sqooshed on the side of the road a few yards away. Next comes the inevitable decomp, with the bloating, the maggots, the guts dragged around my scavengers and spread by cars, and the SMELL of DEATH, which is just the worst thing really. It takes about a week for that animal to become nothing but a darker spot of pavement, but it sure is unpleasant.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Watercolor* Still Life with Pea

I spent my 4th of July painting and lounging by the river. An excellent use of my time if I say so myself. Here is my final piece, which is for a show I am participating in in the fall. The theme - water.

And here it is next to the still life. The background is a summer dress slung over a computer monitor. Fun!

*Update 7-13-10 : I now realize why the painting came out better than I thought - it wasn't watercolor! I used acrylic paint instead of watercolors and diluted them. Just realized the mistake today. Am a bit disappointed actually, but perhaps I have learned a new technique at least.