Critter of the Month: Dimorphodon

Meet Douglas. He’s excited to meet you!  This bundle of energy may not be the best of flyers, but he loves to clamber all over things…rocks, trees, the couch, you… 😉

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The little girl clung tightly to the small creature, his wings folded close against his furry body. His legs dangled loosely down by her legs, but he didn’t seem to mind. He gazed up at her pink, rounded face with the wide-eyed curiosity of a bird as she chattered about lizards and the rough bark on the pine trees that bordered the fenced backyard.

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Critter of the Month: Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

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He could see her across the field with his keen, yellow eyes. A fence separated him from her as she rested beneath the shade of a tall, prickly cycad palm. Was that a hint of rosy pink wattles? A flash of golden eyes beneath the soft brown of the half-moon crest that crowned her delicate white head? He wasn’t sure, but a gentleman must always look his best in front of a lady, so he arched his long neck and raised his scaly tail.

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Critter of the Month: Ornitholestes

Meet Opie. He’s a happy little fella who loves to curl up in your lap, so it’s a good thing he’s about the size of a big dog!

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Sunlight streamed through the tangled layers of conifer branches and cycad fronds to pierce the eternal twilight of the undergrowth. A cloud of tiny, reflective wings coiled like mist in the shaft of light, the thin whine of their hanging flight almost drowned by the whirring, buzzing, drumming, chirping of countless other unseen insects. Alien cries from leather-winged creatures called from above, answered and challenged by a cacophony of voices that clicked, whooped, hollered, whistled…any and every sound fighting to be heard through air so dense with foliage and humidity, constant moisture clung to the leaves and dripped to the black forest floor.

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Critter of the Month: Dryosaurus

Meet Rosie. She’s a bit shy, and might need a little encouragement to come closer.  A few treats should do the trick.  Before you know it she’ll be perfectly content to snuggle close and put her head on your lap. 🙂

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Patricia rested a hand on the sturdy gate and squinted, the other hand shading her eyes from the morning sun glinting through the underbrush. Was that a shadowy, two-legged figure, or just one of the cycad fronds blowing in the breeze? She scanned the small paddock, fumbling with the gate latch blindly for a moment before looking down to thumb the pin back and unhook the chain.

 

“Alright, where are you Rosie,” she murmered as she swung the gate open. The paddock was not very large, but the small shed in the corner was dark and empty, and nothing stirred in the grove of thick cycads surrounding it- like thick, stumpy palm trees, but pricklier. Of course. Rosie had to be hiding there.

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Critter of the Month: Camptosaurus

Meet Copper & Daisy. These gentle giants are always happy to meet new friends.  They love being part of the group.

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Daisy opened her beak and let her tongue hang lose in a gaping yawn that stretched all the way down her spine. She shook her head, and her scaly skin rippled as she shook the yawn down to the tip of her long, rigid tail.

Satisfied with her shake down, she lowered her head and nosed the conifer needles and knotted roots along the ground. She shuffled the foliage to one side with her hands- scraping at the dirt with the claw that was her thumb, grasping twigs with two strong middle fingers, brushing needles and dried ferns into a pile with the stubby and clawless end digits…She patted the patch of ground one last time, and eased her body down front end first, like a cow. She sighed and, after taking one last look to make sure her herd-mates were shuffling nearby, closed her eyes, neck arched comfortably over her shoulders.

A deep, short, croaking noise by her head made Daisy open her yellow eyes, and she stared at the disturbance.

He was standing over her, his deep red throat bloated and vibrating with each croak. In his beaked lips he held a conifer branch, the tender kind with soft, scaly needles all along the branch, and he brushed this down Daisy’s neck and flank. Daisy just closed her eyes. She didn’t want anything to do with this nonsense, but Copper softened his croak to a coo, dropped the branch at her feet, and tapped his beaked nose against her dappled green side.

Daisy tossed her head and grunted a quiet warning, and Copper backed away with his head low. He looked sideways at her, silent, and Daisy arched her neck and closed her eyes. She heard shuffling, heavy steps, and she allowed her mind to wander as she relaxed into her patch of dirt and ferns. The sun felt warm and soothing on her green, pebbly scales, and she breathed in the tang of sap and spice of crushed cycad fruit.

Shuffling steps moved closer. Thud, thud, thud…and the rustling of dried needles and ferns. A warm weight settled beside her, dry and pebbly as she, and she opened one eye. Copper lay next to her, his back against her brown belly, and his three-toed feet stretched out like a giant bird laying on its side. If he noticed she was looking at him he didn’t show it, because he kept his eyes closed and yellow neck arched like he was sleeping.

Daisy draped her head across Copper’s shoulders and shifted her weight against him, closing her eyes as his rhythmic breathing mingled with the ever-present shuffling of feet in the undergrowth.

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In case you’re wondering what Copper’s “love song” sounds like… 😀

 

 

Making progress…

I’ve been delightfully busy this month!

Baby Girl is sitting up, taste-testing food, and crawling down the hallways now, so she’s a little bundle of excitement around here. A solid night’s sleep is still pretty rare, but nap times are a little more predictable, and even if she’s awake she is easily entertained. So some days she “helps” me with my artwork. 😀

Here are a few things she’s been offering her raspberry critique on…

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So now that this “quick” project is done and in my redbubble shop, here are a few things I’ve learned…

  • Never underestimate a particular art form because it looks “simple”.
  • “Fast and easy” art, like patterns or simple designs for t-shirts, are much more complex than you’d think. Nothing is “fast and easy” if it’s the first time you’ve ever done it.
  • Time taken for a “fast and easy” side project is mostly procrastination and time taken away from the larger project. However…
  • “small” projects can provide some mental space and rest from a much larger project

 

Working on Dippy’s updated image also taught me a few things. Especially…

  • Don’t procrastinate, just start!
  • Sometimes we struggle on something we thought should be simple, and that’s ok. Sometimes we just need to see it from a different angle.
  • Don’t waste time making a reference model perfect, or even 80% accurate. Good enough is good enough. 🙂

Now that I’ve finished this little ammonite pattern and a few critter updates, I am ready to jump back into the picture book again with fresh energy. 😀 Dippy’s reference model taught me that a reference model doesn’t need to look good to do what you need it to, so I will apply that lesson to finishing Steggy’s habitat. 😀

Hopefully I can make some real progress there over the next month! In the meantime, I hope you like Copper and Daisy’s quiet little adventure. 🙂

 

Coming Sept 1st…

This little dino is a bit shy, but she’ll come out of the bushes for a sweet hug and a small treat. 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! She’s one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

Critter of the Month: Camarasaurus

Meet Bella. She’s big, she’s loud, and she’s really happy to see you! She’s happy to see anyone really, except Alfred, but can you blame her? There’s about a-bazillion years of conflict going on there…

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There she is! She is the most accommodating of Pete’s very large camarasaurus herd- voted least likely to accidentally trample the equipment. They can be an excitable bunch, and don’t always pay attention to what they’re bumping into. Continue reading

Critter of the Month: Ceratosaurus

Meet Bowser. Those horns may look intimidating, and his toothy grin can be downright fearsome.  But you know what they say about books and their covers… 😉

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Crouched in the dappled shade of a gnarled cedar tree, Bowser inhaled a long, slow breath.

The bitter tang of oily sap that bubbled from a gash in the tree’s trunk.

The dusty heat from sun-baked rocks and chalky, clay-hardened soil.

The earthy spice of charcoal and wood smoke…and a sweetness so tantalizing he could almost taste it as the scent filled his sinuses. Continue reading