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small vs big crankbait fishing challenge

What lure fires up a Bass to bite? Today, I do a mini challenge to see what the fish are attracted to – a small or a big crankbait, both are by Bagley brand. Crankbaits emulate a scurrying fish when being retrieved in the water. I really like Bagley brand lures because they come in bright neon colors. They almost belong in a Mardi Gras parade! And it is a parade for me when I catch a fish :)

Plus, while I am on the river, I am pleasantly surprised by the presence of a rare endangered bird. It is a sighting of a Peregrine Falcon! You may not know it but I am an aspiring birdwatcher. (I have a bunch of bird feeders outside my window. And I like to see if I can name the birds that visit my deck.)

In my neck of the woods, Peregrine Falcons used to flourish before industrialization, living on the towering cliffs of the Hudson River and the Delaware Water Gap. Then, Peregrines were threatened due to heavy use of pesticides, like DDT, that seeped into the rivers, and drinking water, making their eggs so brittle that babies would not survive. Thankfully, DDT was banned in the 1970s and Peregrine Falcon populations are healthier and returning.

The falcon that I see is very big and fluffy, because it is a female, and females are much bigger than the males. In the distance, if you listen carefully, you can hear the babies. I am blessed to capture her on video perched, while drinking water from the river, and in flight.

Check out my short video, and let me know what you think.

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While fishing, I come across an odd sight. Did you know squirrels can swim? My video features me trying to catch a big Northern Pike, and seeing a family of cute baby skunks up close :)  Check it out and enjoy!

Illustration: fall leaves

September 30, 2017

SONY DSC

Here, in the Northeast, the leaves are starting to change. Hear the subtle crunching as you walk outside. Gracefully, they float down from the heavens like orange and yellow snowflakes. Although the air is crisp, the colors will soon illuminate the vista with brilliant warmth.

Do you look at the different shapes and try to identify what tree they are from? What tree is common in your area?

I made four watercolors, and then turned them into postcards. Feel free to check them out at my store.

drawing: the oak tree

October 22, 2016

oak_tree_600yr_by_al_lau

Long before Henry the VIII was the King of England and long before Leonardo da Vinci painted his famous painting Mona Lisa, an oak tree began its life, 600-years ago. Generations of American Indians enjoyed the shade underneath its long branches. Even George Washington was here, during the revolutionary war.

Sadly, now, the old oak tree is dying. It is showing its age. There are steel props and support wires applied by caring people, desperately holding up its heavy branches.

The New Jersey town is understandably distraught. It is like a family member is going away and so is piece of history.

I visit the gentle giant to witness its grandeur which still stands next to a church in Basking Ridge, NJ. I am so glad I did. In own my way, I honor the amazing tree by doing a little sketch.

Found a pretty Spotted Grapevine Beetle, one early morning, this week.  It’s like a shiny Egyptian Scarab… but in orange.

sketch: earthworm

June 10, 2010

Although, not normally a subject I would draw, earthworms have become curious creatures to me. I’ve been collecting worms for fishing and composting. They seem like creepy bottom-dwellers, but without worms, the soil would not be fertile for vegetation.

These are photos I took while hiking at a nature preserve in NJ. They can be used as wallpapers for the computer desktop, or textures for graphic design. The resolution is 1600 x 1200 pixels. They are free. Enjoy.

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