Accruing Garden Hours

Harris’s Antelope Squirrel

I’ve mentioned before that I volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden and that one of my 2017 goals was to get 100 hours in this year (because you get a pin if you make 100 and they’re custom-made every year)! Well, it’s looking uncertain but I’m not losing hope yet; I can still get there. Keep in mind that it’s awfully hot here for several months so the Garden doesn’t have as many offerings in the areas I’m trained to volunteer in during the summer which only leaves about 7-8 months. So, in addition to laziness, not many opportunities were available. But they are now and one of the many advantages is that I can walk around before or after my shifts and see the sights.

Last Monday I was there for a meeting and, after that, I went to find some people I know who participate in the Monday morning Bird Walk. So I got to spend some time with them and meet some other birders. This little guy was happy to catch a few grapes. He buried one and dined on this one.

We went off to try to locate the Green-tailed Towhees that have been spotted there lately. I’ve seen one there before but they are often reluctant to come out in the open so we were glad this one cooperated. They are such a pretty bird and not seen very often.

They love lantana berries! And everyone loves to see the roadrunners:

Greater Roadrunner

Yesterday I was an Instructor Aide at the Garden for a local well-known photographer, Lisa Langell, who has a very engaging personality. She not only teaches classes several places but does regular workshops including two every summer in Alaska, which sound unique and wonderful. She guarantees bears and much more. Check out her website if you’re interested. She also sells her prints and one of the ways she displays them to potential clients is by using interior mockups so they can better visualize how the prints might look in their own spaces. I’ve seen a couple other people doing this lately. Although I don’t really sell prints, the mockups looked fun to me so I tried to find some free ones today to play around with. Lisa licenses hers and they’re a little more sophisticated but I didn’t want to spend any money so here are a couple of freebies I found:

Created using Free Wall Mockup in Gorgeous Living Room Environment from ZippyPixels.

I don’t know where the above one originated, found it here.

Shortly after playing around with those for awhile, I found a free WallApp from OhMyPrints. It’s got several different rooms and is really easy to use.

Almost makes me want to sell some prints so I have a good excuse to play around with these. Actually, a man contacted me yesterday and asked if he could purchase a print of the above photo, something I made in 2012 to commemorate Arizona’s centennial. It’s a 1912 AZ map superimposed with a saguaro. Since I don’t have any prints, I just sent him the jpg and told him he could get it printed. Maybe it will look like that.

Anyway, I’ll be spending more time at the DBG over the next couple months. I work on Special Events, too, and they have a ton of them. Coming up will be Music in the Garden, Dia de Los Muertos, Chiles and Chocolate, The Strange Garden, and Las Noches de las Luminarias. So I hope I can get to 100…





5 thoughts on “Accruing Garden Hours

  1. The Towhee is very pretty: I love the photo of the one with the fanned tail!
    The interior mockups are interesting. That’s a good way to get the thought process started. I wonder if you could develop a process where someone could use a digital photo of their setting and then be able to insertt a thumbnail of one of your photos into the setting to see exactly what it would look like.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t realize you volunteered at DBG, Candace. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s difficult to get to from over here in the far west side of the Valley (Buckeye). The rewards seem worth it, though, so I’ll have to check into what is required. You were, indeed, fortunate to see the green-tailed Towhee and to get such great shots!

    Thanks, too, for sharing the information about artwork mockups; I didn’t know templates existed. I am planning to sell prints on my developing web site. I have a lot of experience in Photoshop and had the same thought as Montucky did about using a photo of a client’s own space. Thanks for sharing your discovery!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those are great captures from the botanical garden, Candace! Seeing the Green-Tailed Towhee was a pleasant surprise as I’m not very familiar with birds of Western areas and I didn’t know there were several kinds of towhees. The plumage is very different from the Eastern Rufous-sided Towhee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leah, I just looked up the Eastern Towhee. We have Spotted Towhees here that are similar in color to them but they have white spots on their wings. We also have Abert’s Towhees and Canyon Towhees here.


  4. Awwww, Candace, that little squirrel is just precious, and I just love the roadrunner. I’ve never seen one “in person,” but they look much smaller than I imagined them to be.

    Congratulations on finding the Towhee. I love that little red crest. A very beautiful bird.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

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