Wetland Friends & Wacom Signature


_White-Winged Dove-F6A1740-wps
White-winged Dove

After a long absence from my favourite wetland rookery, I stopped by in recent travels. It was tempting to show every species I happened to take a picture of that day because it was so varied, but here is a sampling of wetland life with a couple of new visitors. The first two images are of White-winged Doves which I had never seen at the rookery before. There were quite a few scattered about the pond apple trees blending well with the muted colors of the winter branches. I do not think they were there to nest and after a couple of passes along the boardwalk they were all gone. It is early in nesting season but you could hear a chorus of Great Blue Heron chicks in the distance and other species too were nest sitting or looking for mates. The usual herons were present along with some friends pictured here including a business-like Green Heron in the dappled shadows, a hungry squirrel on a floor of pine needles, a baby gator looking out over its swampy domain, and a purple gallinule in an unusual location within a tree rather than feasting on fire-flag or pickerel weed flowers.

Besides the images I thought it might be interesting to show that I finally have my own signature on all of these images instead of my usual fun with fonts for a signature. My son gave me a Wacom tablet for Christmas, an Intuos CTH-490, which is very helpful for that sort of thing. Here is a Wacom link for the product line: Wacom Intuos . Their products are wonderful for artists much more advanced with digital art than I am. But, I am looking forward to seeing what this little tablet will enable me to do. I don’t think free handing birds will be one of those things. 🙂 That is why I have to use a camera! You can certainly digitize your signature by writing with a marker in black on a white sheet of paper and scan or photograph it and put it in Photoshop to lay over images. Or you could make a Photoshop signature brush. But, with the tablet hooked up to your computer you can actually write onto a blank layer with a transparent background in Photoshop. Of course, I am not particularly fond of the way I write and so stacked up a few layers before I decided which one I’d start out with. I always have wanted a cool signature…one of those signatures which is art in of itself. With these images I brought over my signature layer and made it into a smart object so I could size it down on the fly. The signature is black so I just used blending for a color overlay so the signature was complementary in color or tone to the image. I found it looked too thin in some cases so used stroke in the same color to thicken the lines. Next time I will use a thicker brush or pen in Photoshop.  You can also emboss, drop shadow…whatever you want.  I don’t know if I will give up font fun, but will experiment with signature presentations as it does seem a more personal display.

A gentle visitor - white-winged dove

Green Heron in the shadows intent on fishing

Green Heron intently looks for fish in the water below.

Cute Squirrel Nibbling

My first acceptable squirrel picture. Have fought their 
nervous quickness with shadowy light 
unsuccessfully a time or two.

Baby Gator

Baby Gator already looking a lot like mini Mom or Dad!

Purple Gallinule in Green Leaves

Purple Gallinule in tree branches with colorful green 
and yellow foliage.
jalovell signature-green overlay


Well, that is the Wacom signature attempt. Did a green overlay on it
 to show up on my dark WordPress background.

~ by Judy on February 6, 2016.

17 Responses to “Wetland Friends & Wacom Signature”

  1. While the dove is nice, I like the intent heron and the gallinule the best!

    • What! No love for the dove? Well I suppose that doves are kind of bland compared to herons or purple gallinules. What about the cute squirrel? 🙂

      • Well, when it comes to the squirrel, I am torn between the photographer’s obvious talent for aesthetic portrayals of wildlife, and the fact that it is a squirrel. 😉

      • You have to admit the squirrel did give me the classic squirrel pose!!

      • Yes, and I can tell from what you’ve written how fortunate you feel that one of those creatures finally cooperated. It does look quite the fine photograph.

  2. Very nice, Judy 😀


  3. Fantastic photos, Judy!

  4. That dove is so well camouflaged. I couldn’t see it on first glance, my vision blurred from too much close focus work. But how well it blends. And hence it survives. Good ole Darwin. The other bird-offering that strikes me is the green heron (always the herons.) Is it really as small as it looks?
    BTW, love the yellow signature on the purple gallinule. It’s a perfect match for its legs. Boy, there’ll be no stopping you now! 🙂

    • A dangerous thing!!

      Well, the green heron according to Wikipedia is 17″ in length as an adult. This is probably with the neck extended and in the photo the neck is held tight ready to spring. But, they are a small heron, not as small as the least bitterns are, but small. All herons look pretty intense when peering through water for fish, but the green heron always looks especially serious about it.

      I agree on the doves blending in so perfectly. I almost did not see them and when I did, they were all over those branches peering out of the shadows with those pretty eyes of theirs.

      • Though I haven’t yet read today’s blog, I see the photo of the ‘black’ heron and . . . WOW! Fantastic effect.

      • Oops! Egret.

      • You are not wrong by the way. All egrets are herons but all herons are not egrets. Egrets are the herons which display the lovely back plumes-the aigrettes-during breeding season. That is how an egret got its name. I think aigrettes is pronounced something close to egrettes..its French.

  5. Amazing photos as always, Judy! White-winged Doves are very nice looking, but unfortunately they only live in your part of the country. I am hoping to see a Green Heron later this year at a newly-found rookery.

    By the way, Happy New Lunar Year!

    • Green herons are particularly attractive I think. And, they have an interesting skill set in that they use things to lure prey..such as tossing a feather onto the water’s surface to attract fish. They are interesting to watch and stand so rock still when waiting to pounce!

  6. All of the photos are beautiful, Judy, but I’m glad to see the dove here, too. The white-wings have been common in south Texas, but they’re slowly expanding their territory, and we often see them here, now. We have mourning doves, too, and Incas — so much variety, and so interesting.

    You’ve reminded me that I need to get myself out and about el pronto if I’m going to see our winter bird-visitors. Time’s a passing, and the gallinules and such will be leaving. Some teal already are gone, and who knows what else. There’s just so much that I want to do, and so little time. If I could get some decent weather to get my work caught up, I’d be very happy, indeed.

    The signature is neat, and the technology wholly beyond my understanding. On the other hand, I gave up trying to figure out PS Elements. There are so many learning curves in my life just now, I don’t know where to turn. Ah, well. I’m glad you have your new technology, and I think your signature looks just fine. What’s important is your art, though. Some people have gorgeous signatures, and can’t draw a straight line.

  7. Beautiful Judy, you’ve really captured the quiet beauty of the dove, not to mention the others – we have similar doves here, but no gators!

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