Mystery Birds

Was still feeling malaised, so I went to the zoo again for inspiration. I feel a little guilty pampering my psyche in such a manner–once upon a time, I worked a crap job day in, and day out, and if I was depressed, it didn’t matter! I feel as if I’m guilty of that whole artists-are-delicate stereotype. However, I know that’s dumb–being an artist, however much of a real job it is, is also a creative endeavor, and if I’m malaised or blocked or whatever, it’s an actual, real problem. At my crappy job, if I came home and didn’t feel like painting, I didn’t. These days, that’s not an option–I HAVE to be able to paint something. Being creative is working my brain, and even stripping away all the “Ooo, it’s a mystic creative alchemy!” bullshit, you still just don’t get something for nothing. Creativity must be fed. My brain likes going to the zoo, so I take it to the zoo. (This summons up an image of a small, ravenous brain, like a pitbull on a leash, that I’m walking around the lemur cage. Hmm, maybe I should paint that…)

So anyway, I broke down and bought a membership, on the principle that I am five minutes away, and love zoos, so now I can go back and…I dunno, get my exercise by walking around the zoo or something. God knows, I am ze couch potato these days. Took a bunch of photos again–the anteaters were out roaming around, I caught both the Amazing Masturbating Meerkat and turtle porn, (it was a wild morning at the zoo!) and I hung out in the aviary for twenty minutes or so. Which actually got quite frustrating, because I lay in wait for a yellow-headed blackbird for twenty minutes–a gorgeous, amazing, spectacular bird of such bizarre coloration that I could hardly believe it–and finally it came out to kick the ass of an Inca dove that was, I dunno, looking at it funny or something. I raised the camera, took aim, focused, poised my finger over the trigger–and the battery died. Thirty species of desert bird and a gaggle of school children that I hadn’t realized was there got treated to a blistering stream of profanity. Defeated, I slunk home, only to have James say “Why didn’t you switch to the other battery, then?” “Other battery…?” “It’s in the case.” “Oh.” Sigh.

However! All you bird lovers and bird watchers out there–maybe you can help me identify a few of these (and there’s a few that I already know, but tossed it ‘cos they’re cool.)

desert iguana Okay, this isn’t a bird, it’s a desert iguana, but damn! Look at those colors! Isn’t that cool?
Mystery This was hanging out by the capybaras, staring into the water. It was loose–I have no idea what it is, and if someone can name it, that’d be cool
mystery2 Another one by the capybaras. It was huge, and had bright red eyes–I’d love to know what it was
Pyrrhuloxia This cute little guy was called a “pyrrhuloxia” and looked sort of like a cardinal.
thrasher This is a curve-billed brown thrasher. Got lots of photos of these while waiting for the yellow-headed blackbird.
Mystery3 Another mystery bird! This one from the backyard. He had tufted eyebrows.
Mystery4 Another mystery–this one looked a lot like a brown cardinal, but not quite (otherwise I’d guess it was a female cardinal!)

If anybody knows what these are, I’d be delighted to hear it! And, as always, if you like a photo and want a big one, drop me a line (and if you dropped one before, and I haven’t gotten back to you, send it again–I got a little swamped the first day or so!)

Also, more art. The first one I did yesterday because “creepy” always beats malaise, and the second one was pretty much just a desire to draw one of those brown thrashers.
Summoning Brown Thrasher with Thingy

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