Sunday, August 25, 2013

Placemats From My Past

When I was young, our family meals were served on these placemats. Naturally, they were in better shape back then. Originally there were eight, but unfortunately these five are all that remain. I remember gazing closely at the whimsical illustrations between courses, absorbing all the details.

After I moved away from home, Mom must have given them to me to help me get set up. I used them a lot, but at some point they looked so shabby, new placemats were purchased and these were shoved into the back of a drawer only to be rediscovered recently. I couldn't throw them out without capturing the illustrations.

After scanning them, I noticed the artist's name at the bottom of a couple of them: Judith Bledsoe. A quick Google reveals that someone recently auctioned a complete set of these placemats in much better shape on the UK eBay site for £15.

As for the artist, Google indicates there is a living artist by that name. Her online portfolio exhibits a very different style but her biography states that Bledsoe "ran off to Europe at age 16 to discover her artistic calling." It goes on to describe how she, in her early years, illustrated children's books while living in London. So this, in fact, may be the same artist!

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

Friday, August 16, 2013


Pierce giving his presentation, along with his partner Sander, at the end of his summer course at the ‪‎AMNH‬. The topic was the "platecarpus", a 14 foot mosasaur from the late cretaceous native to North America's ancient western interior seaway.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Introducing Ceiling Cat (formerly known as Swingie) from the Liberty Humane Society. He's settling in as though he's always lived with us. Purrfect!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cooler Climes in Canada

In early July we escaped Hoboken in the midst of a heat wave to begin our annual Canadian vacation. Canada did not disappoint, keeping the temperatures in the 60s to 70s, and as low as freezing one night camping in the Rockies. We first visited the Wall clan in Alberta. We spent some time in Cochrane with Clair, Ciara and Randy, visited Calgary's Heritage Park, paid a visit to the amazing Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, and then headed into Kananaskis Country for a few nights camping. Then we were off to visit the Bonds on Vancouver Island. We spent time at Arbutus Ridge with Mom, visited the wonderful Aquarium of the Salish Sea in Sidney with Ben, spent a few days at the relaxing Ocean Village Beach Resort on Mackenzie Beach in beautiful Tofino BC, hiked a short rainforest trail in nearby Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and then paid a visit to Marianne, Allison, Ben and the cats in Victoria (Sannich, actually!). We were away for a full month but it feels like an eyeblink now that we're back (sigh!). Here are some pictures of our trip. Click on each picture to see a slideshow.


Vancouver Island

Looking for Bears in Kananaskis Country

In July 2013 I had the opportunity to ride-along with my brother-in-law, a Kananaskis Country Conservation Officer, as he monitored the location of the park's bears. Kananaskis Country is located between Banff and Calgary in Alberta's beautiful Rocky Mountains and more than 20 grizzly bears call it home.

Mackenzie Beach Sunset

Here's a timelapse of a cloudless sunset at Mackenzie Beach in beautiful Tofino BC, July 2013.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Walk in the Rainforest

Pictures from a walk in the gorgeous green rainforest near Tofino BC. (For photo buffs: I used 5 exposure HDR for each shot and Photoshop HDR Pro to merge them). Click to enlarge.