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  • A Parrot With a Headache


    Quaker Parrot Quintin pet bird by Leanne Wildermuth
    Quintin, our Quaker Parrot, has recently taken to lying on his back in the palm of Catybug’s hand. He typically holds his head and occasionally “sucks his thumb” as well. When I saw this shot, though, I could totally relate to the “ohhhhh I have a headache” look on him!

    I’ve recently come across a news story about how a Quaker Parrot named Willie saved the life of a young girl who had choked on her breakfast while her sitter was in another room. They’re such amazing and smart little birds!

    Quintin, though, he just makes me want to take a few Advil and schedule in some nappy time.

    Quintin, the Qthead


    quintin quaker parrot portrait photo leanne wildermuth

    Have I mentioned lately how much I adore our little Quinnie the Quaker? I do. I had fun photographing him last week, and just fiddled with his portrait in PhotoScape a bit. I’ll try to get video of him soon!

    That’s it for my daily distraction, I must stay on task. (rinse, repeat.)

    Our Waving Quaker


    quintin the quaker parrot waving hi hello' class=

    Quintin, our Quaker Parrot, kept lifting up his foot to me when I said “hi”. I think he’s waving back at me. He’s gotten pretty entertaining!

    Here’s his current vocabulary (he’s just over a year old) :

    • Hi
    • Kiss Kiss (the words)
    • Kiss Kiss (the noise)
    • Muuuah
    • Whaddaya say?
    • Good Boy
    • Yeah.
    • Pretty bird
    • Pretty PRETTY bird
    • AaaaCHOO!
    • Bless you!
    • Thank you!
    • Ha ha ha!
    • You’re funny!
    • Tickle tickle?
    • Arf! (he barks like the puppy)
    • Cat call (the whistle)
    • Purr (the sound)
    • Pllllllbt (the sound)

    Not too bad for a baby bird, huh? Right now I’m working on “good morning” and “love you”. He rambles on at the television, too – some of his words aren’t totally distinct so I don’t really know what they are. He’s so awesome, I absolutely love having him around and I can’t imagine not having a bird now. (Thumps my husband for making me wait so long.)

    We were at the pet store last weekend and they had about 6 African Gray parrots, two of them were still so young that they weren’t afraid of people yet. (The more they’re exposed to passers by that don’t know how to handle birds, the more scared/agressive they become.) Catie and I picked two of the snuggliest parrots and it was hard to put them down when it was time to leave, and believe me I would have taken one home but those beauties cost a minimum of $1200 just for the bird, their cages start at around $300. Yikes! They’re totally worth it, and I’ll get one eventually, when the timing is right.

    If you’re considering a parrot, I really would recommend starting out with a hand fed baby Quaker (and here’s a great web resource on Quakers). They’re sweet and loving, cuddly and talkative without being obnoxious and loud. There are a few varieties, too – I initially wanted the Blue Quaker, but Catie ultimately chose because he’s her bird and will go with her when she leaves the nest, too.

    A Week In Photos


    It’s been a couple of months since I carried my camera around with any kind of passion to take a photograph. Winter had me tightly in its grips – until last week. I wore open toed shoes to church (my piggies are aubergine, go figure!). I cleared away the dead and dried out iris from last fall to reveal tulips and new iris making their way up out of the earth. I felt excited again! So much so that I even took the cover off the grill and fired it up, we had grilled chicken for dinner that night.

    Aaah spring is coming.

    My camera is at the ready once again, I removed the screen from the front window yesterday for clear photos once I saw the “official” confirmation of Spring in my front yard:

    red breasted american robin spring bird' class=
    I’ve seen them around, yes, but I needed to see him in my front yard. He needed to be right there.

    More random and springy snaps in between dog naps below!

    red bellied woodpecker' class=
    Our resident red bellied woodpecker has begun making regular appearances
    on the suet block out back,
    chiapoo puppy with toys' class=
    While Copper collected all of his toys,
    and one of my furry flip flops,
    in and around his cozy little shoebox.

    bathroom makeover' class=
    I’m debating what to do with my bathroom, tile, paint, wallpaper?
    We’re still piecing it together…

    chiapoo puppy napping' class=
    While Copper takes a nap.

    old home rooftop palmer college' class=
    I admired the architecture of the buildings around Palmer College
    on the way home last weekend,

    st patricks day quaker parrot' class=
    Quintin joined in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities,
    donning a clover scrunchie,

    chickeymonkey piano recital
    And our sweet little Chickeymonkey
    smiled adorably at her piano recital…

    chiapoo puppy napping' class=
    While Copper took a nap.

    red bellied woodpecker' class=
    The red bellied woodpecker made yet another loud entrance
    (you can’t miss ’em when you hear ’em)…

    sewer toilet drain' class=
    And we figured out how to fix this mess and reinstall the toilet,

    chiapoo puppy napping' class=
    While Copper took a nap.

    As you can see, Copper sleeps through most everything, and I have entirely too much stuff to do. Any suggestions on the bathroom remodel are MORE than welcome. My dear sweet hubby can tell you how many times I’ve changed my mind about what to do, since I’ve lost count. I was going to install ceramic tile last weekend until the floor decided to be WAY too unlevel (we live on a slab) to even out without a professional and a load of concrete – and I ended up at Lowe’s 5 minutes before closing time for peel & stick flooring.

    I cannot tell you how I yearn for a custom built home. Maybe next year, eh?

    Or the year after that… or the year after that…

    Ever Snuggled A Parrot?


    quaker parrot enjoying a neck rub' class=

    quaker parrot sucking his thumb claws during petting and snuggle time' class=

    Catybug and Quinnie, our Quaker Parrot, have a very special bond. She snuggles him and gives him neckrubs while he yawns, gets sleepy, and eventually sucks his thumb (thumb? claw? feet? … you decide LOL!) . I wish I could tell you he does it for me, but he doesn’t. He loves me, he talks to me, I am the one he mimicks with sounds and vocals. But when it comes to snuggle time, Caty has that little bird wrapped around her fingers. He’ll sit in one place for hours with her while she caresses his head.

    Such a cool little bird. Did you know that parrots behave this way? Would you have ever guessed you could snuggle a bird as much as you could any other furbaby? We had no idea when we got him that he’d allow us this very personal relationship, it has been a real learning experience!

    My Bunneh is Lazy.


    In an effort to make Dusty more comfy cozy in her new home, we spoil her rotten. She immediately took to her litter box as a bed, so the way it’s supposed to go is that you move things to each corner of the cage in an effort to litter train your critter. They’re obviously not gonna go on their toys or food, but she was doin’ her doody under her water bottle. I switched places then, put her litter box where the water bottle was and her bottle where her box was. Then she began lying under her water. Rmpf.

    Enter hubby (he who had to be convinced, remember?) – suggesting I go get her a proper “bed”. I head off to the store and pick up a variety of things to try. I found a hide-a-way box, and thought it would fit nicely in her cage and she’d fit into it for a while, at least. I get home and get it situated in her designated bed spot, and she digs it. So I move her food over to the only corner left, which is in front of this little circle window in her new little room.

    Supah Lazy Bunneh figures out within seconds that she can reach her water bottle and pull it over toward her, making herself a little eat-in window.

    mini rex bunny opal 8 weeks' class=

    Yes, now she doesn’t even have to hop two hops out of her hide-a-bed to eat. What a laaaaazzyyyy bunneh she is! So I prepare her dinner and put it in front of her window.

    opal mini rex 8 weeks old' class=

    Oh, yes, she is a happy bunneh.

    Quinnie, on the other hand, is a little tickered off that Dusty is getting all the attention. He would like to remind you that he was here first, and he is a good boy and a very pretty bird. Loudly.

    quaker parrot quintin

    Blech! (Sorta, Kinda.)


    You know what I’m talking about?

    We went to dinner lastnight, and half of us are sick today. The half that’s sick used different oils in our (Mongolian) food than the other half, and it’s my best guess that the oil may have been a little rancid.

    Easter was wonderful. Church services were moving, our biggest little one played three songs on piano before services began and I was so proud of her, she played so well. Our baby quaker parrot birdy boy was just adorable this weekend (see our little pocket pal?), and we had a couple of slumber parties that left us all sleeping on our ginormous sectional.

    One of the highlights for me was seeing and id’ing a new backyard bird. Meet Jeepers, our new brown creeper. (Jeepers, creepers. Easy to remember, yes?)

    brown creeper illinois nuthatch look brown spotted speckled back
    Ain’t he just the cutest? I thought it might have been some kind of nuthatch, the way he climbs the tree. He’s even foraging off the nuthatches stowed away food under the bark. I identified him on BDI – man I love that site. We’re doing a lot more to the yard this year to bring more birds in and right now we’ll get to see some of the most interesting birds as they migrate. My camera and I are so excited!

    I’ll end my Monday on that note, since going off into tangent-land would probably cause my fingers and wrists to ache, and I’ll be using them in the studio later.

    Happy Monday (in spite of it all!)

    I Love My Clients


    custom portrait sun conure client gift to artist
    I was just telling Katie’s mom when she picked up her baby girl’s portrait last month how I have the best clients, ever. It’s not just that they appreciate what I do and how I do it, but that they have the patience of Job and understanding when it comes to my creative bursts.

    And then, I receive a phone call from Titto’s mom. His portrait arrived, and she’s a very happy bird portrait owner. She mentioned sending me photos and I’ll also be painting Titto’s portrait again, and tears welled up in my eyes, because I’m a big mushy gushy head. I did not expect what landed on my doorstep yesterday. Not even a little.

    {{{huge hugs to Tittto’s mom & family}}}
    Photos of Titto in his full feathered glory, a wooden palette (I’ve been eyeballing these for months!) some really nice brushes, a tin of Coconut Patties (oh. my. YUM.), the most sweet smelling rose pink peppercorn Caldrea candle, and a hefty amount of Perlier honey and glycerin hand cream. Oh! And also! A blank 5×7 canvas panel for Titto’s next portrait! I feel so spoiled, really. (I love to be spoiled.) This is just so – wow. How sweet is this? I have received some precious, sentimental gifts from my clients before, and each time I am just so grateful that people can be so ding dang kind and giving.

    It’s nice to feel special. {{{Group hug}}}

    client custom portrait artist gifts
    Seriously, the best clients ever. Titto looks incredible both framed and unframed.

    Meet Quintin


    quintin quaker parrot bird green
    Catybug has a new friend, his name is Quintin. He’s a Quaker Parrot, and he needed a “Qu” name. Why? Because that’s cute, that’s why. She initially wanted to ask you guys to help her name him, but then she just started calling him Quintin, so there you have it. (The spelling of it was her call, too.) He’s a 2 month old, hand fed baby boo fluffy sweetie kissy pie head, he snuggles and purrs sorta like a kitty. Or a soothing crow, if you can imagine a crow call to be soothing.

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