Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Posts tagged ‘Parrots’

Getting Somewhere

The CEA count went up to 850 – NOT GOOD – so we have changed the protocol again. In the meantime, the oncologist has referred us to TGen for gene studies and possible clinical trials. We will make that appointment as soon as the cat-scan is done. That appointment this Thursday. Except during the treatment week, I am feeling pretty good and have some energy, but stay tired most of the time. Once again, I have to to Thank all of you for the prayers, good intentions, and positive thoughts. Could not have made it this far without every one of you. This is what community is.

Still working the metal, here are a few of the new ones.


Blue & Gold Macaw in Pewter – Loki


Black Palm Cockatoo in Pewter


African Grey in Pewter








Stay tuned, next week will post some Christmas cards with metal embossing on them. In the meantime, it is nap time,zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.



Put one Foot in Front of the Other Foot…

Got the Lab results last Wed, the CEA count is back up a little to 37. After visiting with the oncologist today, he is not really alarmed. We were hoping for under 10, so I am a little disappointed. However it will be what will be – so no point in borrowing trouble. We will just hope it stays in this range for a while. We have appointments for May to get blood-work  and see the good Dr. again. In the meantime will be putting one foot in front of the other and getting some bird watching and art done in between sneezing from the seasonal allergies. It has been so warm this winter, the plants are convinced it is spring and they are springing with a vengence!

FeaatherworkToday’s art exploration is: learning to wrap feathers with sinew to attach to the dreamcatchers. Sinew is now made with polyester and is heavily waxed, so no disgusting animal parts, LOL. Glad to live in the present hi tech world. The top feather is wrapped, then a silver cone bead was added…..the middle is plain sinew wrapping…and the bottom is wrapped with a copper cone bead added. I am sure my wrapping will get better as I go, since there are so many feathers on one dreamcatcher. Stay tuned….dreamcatcher coming!!!

cards1Have to post the current Christmas card update….no I have not forgotten, and have kept up with the monthly quota. I have a total of 15 now! Wish the glitter showed up better in the photos, they do not look quite the same without it. Everything looks better with some bling!

Good luck with changing your clocks! We are so blessed to live in Arizona where we do not go through the “daylight savings change your clock twice a year.” That does not keep us from being confused about what time it is where you live though. So we do have sympathy pains with the whole “daylight savings” phenomena. The parrots all think clocks are for chewing on, so that is a good thing to them. The cats, as usual, are indifferent to the whole “time” concept. They only care about “meal time” because to them the rest of the time is “nap time.” Speaking of nap time, that sounds like a great idea……zzzz…..’til next time….zzzzzz.

Three Quarters Going on Two Thirds

MacawTherapyAs this week of resting draws to an end, I am very excited that we are on the last stretch of chemo therapy! I have been working on a new piece, but it is not far enough along, so I am posting a photo of Macaw Therapy. I think it is so great that a former celebrity bird would volunteer her services as a therapy bird. Loki is the first celebrity bird I have


Ready For a Ride

known, Joey  Bird, being the second. Loki did her tour as a the star of the show of a small group of clicker trained birds. She would ride her bike, play basketball, go shopping and watch the little birds, Sunny and Charlie, would keep score and clean up the mess after the basketball game, which Loki always won. One human almost made a shot in her basket ball hoop, just missing.


About To Slam Dunk

Miss Loki Bird also proved the superior intelligence of Macaws by answering questions pulled out of a bag. Volunteers were almost always unable to answer their question (such as: How many drops of water in the ocean?), while Loki always knew the answer to her question (Any yes or no question, such as: Is your name Loki?) . Loki shuns the celebrity life having had so much public attention. Loki rarely goes out in public as people still hound her for autographs and the paparazzi constantly harass her. She spends her time with her previous cast, Sunny and Charlie, volunteering as a therapy bird, sunning and looking beautiful.


Sunny Keeps Score

Of course there is still tension among the cast as to who was the star of the show. Sunny thinks she was the star, since she always stole the spotlight. And if you ask Charlie, she will tell you that she was the star of the show, especially since she was the only one of the birds who would disappear and reappear


Charlie and Sunny Cleaning

after several mishaps, such as being flattened, turned into a scarf and being shrunk. Charlie weathered all of her mishaps and she and Sunny are happily retired also and help Loki with the parrot therapy. SO as a parrot slave, it it time to fix the gourmet meal and take the parrots out to Sun



………Ok guys, I hear you……not so loud, the police will be coming to check on the party noise levels again……..Yes it is coming right up…….oh, you don’t want peanuts again………..Ok….what do you mean you don’t like almonds any more…….Hey you don’y have to throw the berries all over……….argh, anyone have red stain remover…..Stay Tuned!

Once Again…..

Once again, I find myself looking at the calendar, realizing that it is July and wondering where the year went?!?!??!? What is up with time? it used to go by so SLOOOOOOW, now it is rushing by at the speed of light, and I am not even used to writing 2014 yet. Better get the Christmas decorations out quick, or I will miss it too!

Bathing BeautyThere is a WIP in the works, believe it or not, here is the latest version of “Bathing Beauty”.  It is over due, as we just returned from some much needed R&R. We attended a family reunion in Angel Fire, NM. The weather was fabulous, we enjoyed the cool mountain air, visiting with family, the scent of pines, and daily afternoon rains. We missed a huge sandstorm, and came back to 109 degree temps with monsoon humidity.

Mean while back at the cat hair saga……have you ever tried to put a bandaid on your toe in a house full of cat fur? I got to try it last night, and let me tell you, after going through a whole box of bandaids, I finally got one on with only  one cat hair in it. Any of you cat owners out there…….buy stock in bandaids! As I type, one of the cats has decided to take up residence on my asdfjkkllill;’,mnbnvcttyuioop, oops……… Keyboard. Oh no, now there is long black cat hair all over my keyboard and stuck to the screen.  Cats 5 – Arlene 0.

Excuse me a moment….there goes the phone…..hello…..uh excuse me while I go to the back room, my parrots are all screaming, hello……..uh….excuse me while I get all of the cat fur out of my mouth…..OK, uh hello………buzzzzzzzzzzzzz….Hmmmmmm guess it was a wrong number. Hello Charlie…..Hello Loki…..Hello……Birdie and Sunny. I am off the phone, you can all stop screaming now. Parrots 1,253 – Arlene 0    Ohhhhhhh sweet silence, so much better.  Oh no, here comes the cat again!

Time out for Photos

Eagle Owl

Eagle Owl

So many projects… little time….we recently visited Bearizona, watched the flight show, and got a photograph of this beauty(Eurasian Eagle Owl) who is the subject of the current WIP. There should be an update soon, as the background is in, but I have to find a few spare moments to get some current pictures.

Those of you on Facebook probably saw photos of the Feathered Friends Festival at the Gilbert Riparian institute. For those of you who did not catch it, here is a photo of a couple of the celebrity parrots who attended the event. A good time was had by all!

Celebrity Parrots

Celebrity Parrots

Then it was on to “Wishes For Wildlife”, the annual Liberty Wildlife fundraiser. It was a fabulous event, ending the night with a Great Horned Owl being released. The owl flew like a champ, never looking back, and we all wiped a little tear from our eye and sighed, thinking, “This is what makes it all worth it!”

The next event, which was also chronicled on Facebook was the lunar eclipse and “Blood Moon”, which involved staying up into the wee hours of the morning with camera on tripod, remote switch in hand, and LOTS of caffeine on hand. It was definitely worth being physically trashed for a couple of days after and trying to catch up on all that lost sleep. Weeeeellllll…..see for yourself…here is my favorite from that night.

Blood Moon

Blood Moon

There are supposed to be three “Blood Moons” over the next 18 months, so I may get a lot of practice staying up ’til the wee hours of the morning with the company of the camera. It is interesting being surrounded by all the snoring while gazing upon such a dramatic scene. The parrots were producing some beak grinding noises and I think I even heard some cat purring in all that cacaphony.

Several spring projects are underway, but I think they will be good for a blog all of their own, so more about those in a future post!!!

This weekend, my son and daughter get to care for the zoo here, while hubby and I take a little time out for photos. As an artist I prefer to use my own photos for reference material, so we are heading to Southern Arizona to see what birds we can find with our cameras. I am hoping for nesting birds and babies, but who knows what we will find!!!!!

Happy Easter, hope you are able to take some time out for photos!

Tea For “Too” or “Too” Much Drama?

Red Vented Cockatoo

Red Vented Cockatoo

Yeah! We had rain in Arizona yesterday! A little bit of hail too, but we survived one of our two or three rainfalls this year. We didn’t even melt….though some of my friends refused to get out of the car fearing they would melt…..just DID not happen. LOL, we still don’t quite know what to do when it rains here. Most Arizonans think rain is the signal to go out and DRIVE. Doesn’t matter where, just get out there and fill up those streets with traffic, so that anyone who really needs to get somewhere can NOT do so! Also we seem to think it is time to shop. We had to go run a couple of errands, and after finally realizing that the rain was not going to stop, we went to the grocery store….I think everyone in Arizona was in that store! SO while waiting to go to the store, I got some more work done on the Red Vented Cockatoo. For those of you who don’t have parrots, a lot of parrot people call cockatoos, “Toos”, I probably have told you that since I did the “Too” Much painting as a WIP on this blog, but you know I forget things, so you will have to deal with some repetition! Oh yes, I forget things, so you will have to deal with some repetition.

BTW, how are you guys liking the background? This one has been rattling around in my head for a while, so thought to try it out with this painting. Comments are appreciated. If I forget to get back to you right away, don’t worry, I will eventually remember to check for comments!

SO since the RV “Too” is native to the Philippines, I need to go research native trees of the Philippines to get ideas for the branch. See ya soon with the final!

Conspiracy Theory

A few weeks of having parrots in my house convinced me of the following human/animal relationships: Dogs have “friends”, cats have “staff”and parrots have “slaves”. Some of my friends thought I was getting paranoid because I told them that parrots were getting on our computers when we were not home and that they really run the world.  AHA!!! I now have confirmation. Joey Bird(a celebrity Blue and Gold Macaw) let it slip on her Facebook page. She has made several comments regarding the superior intelligence of parrots, BUT now she has gone far enough that I have been able to put the puzzle pieces together.  If you will check out our conversation under “How did the NSA hack our e-mails” you can see how it went. At this point, I am not revealing the name of my parrot (caught in the act of ruling the world from a computer) because I do not want her to get in trouble with the “Parrots Rule The World Organization”. But as a concerned human, you should really know what your flock is up to!RVWIP2

Speaking of Flocks, my flock has been after me to finish this painting. It gets a little difficult completing a watercolor when brushes get chewed up, paper gets turned into nesting material, and you just can’t find a pencil with any wood left on it……but they tell me that it is the price you pay for being part of a parrot flock! Here is the latest update on the Red Vented Cockatoo! Why do I feel like I am talking to the tail??

Update on Chula

For those of you who followed the Chula WIP, tickets are on sale for the raffle. Check out the following:


It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

R U Talking to me

R U Talking to me

Ya just gotta love Arizona! Last week, we had five days of FREEZING temperatures and this week it is back to spring weather. Last week, with the hard freezes at night, we wrapped our fragile plants in blankets. We set up a warming light for our Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis and wrapped it’s plant in blankets. The whole Phoenix Metro Area looked like a giant blanket sale, LOL. We gobbled up hot drinks – coffee, hot chocolate, hot cider, anything to warm the hands and core temp! So here we are on Tuesday, and we are back by the pool with sunglasses on sipping a lemonade! Got an extra lounge here by the pool, wanna join me?

Excuse me for a minute, the phone is ringing……..OK, ANOTHER JUNK CAll !!!! SO what is up with the “Don’t Call List? You put your number on there and people call anyway?!?!?!??!? It is the same as the “click on this button to get off of our e-mail list”, I click, and the junk e-mail increases! Guess it is the price we pay for technology.

No, I did not forget, there are updates! As you can see Mingus is starting to get “in your face”. Colored Pencil class is going well, except I found out I was afraid of the darks. LOL, funny how, when you haven’t worked in a medium for a while, it is almost like starting over. So here are the Red Fronted Macaws to date. That is all for this week – stay tuned!

No longer afraid of the darks!

No longer afraid of the darks!

Introducing………..Amber and Chulla…….Guest Blog

165784_1686675521290_4501607_nIntroducing my friend, Amber Puckett, and her beautiful friend, Chulla:

I first met Chulla, my beautiful 12 year old military macaw, in December of 2007. I was babysitting for a friend who rescues unwanted parrots, mostly macaws. Chulla had been placed up for adoption one year earlier by her owners because she was very loud and had a tendency to bite on occasion. At that time, I considered myself an “Amazon” person and not so much a “macaw” person. I had lived with my double yellow head amazon, Rudy, since 1992 and she was the biggest parrot that I had owned. I didn’t have much experience with macaws except for my occasional babysitting adventures.

During the week that I babysat the 36 macaws, Chulla followed me all over the house. I could put her at one end of the house and within minutes, she would come find me. This was a little intimidating at first, but she was so beautiful that I gave in to her and we started our relationship. Once my friend came back from her vacation, I visited Chulla every day after work for 6 months to make sure that we did in fact have a real connection and that I had what it took to be a full time macaw mom.

Now, 5 years later, I cannot imagine my life without this funny, sweet, gentle giant green bird. We have a connection that I can’t describe. “She picked me” is what I often tell people. I’m glad she did.

Earlier this year, Mary Rose told me that she had met Carlos Bonilla, the biologist from the Military Macaw project in Mexico, while she was at a conference in Canada. I had never heard of this project except when our bird club participated in the “Pennies for Parrots” program in 2011. I needed to find out more about them. Mary said that they had trips available to Mexico with the biologists and you could go see the military macaws in the wild. I decided that I was going to put that on my list of things to do ASAP! Being friends with Mary Rose has allowed me to visit the Puerto Rican amazons and have a dinner with Bennett Hennessey , so she is a pretty valuable person to have in your friends list! Thank you, Mary!

So, speaking of having dinner with Bennett Hennessey, that is how this whole project came about. We were having dinner with a few of our bird club members and Bennett before he talked to our club about his Blue Throated and Red Fronted macaw project in Bolivia and Arlene just happened to mention that she was looking for a new project to work on. I spoke right up and said “You should paint a military macaw! The group at Macaws Forever needs help with funding!”  You see, when Mary mentioned the Military Macaw project in Mexico, I looked them up online, joined their group on Facebook, followed their posts, started my own Military Macaw owners group to help get other people interested, and started the Facebook group for Artists Supporting Avian Conservation so that the artist community could do projects like this to raise money to support the parrots.

Next year I am having one of those “milestone” birthdays and I am planning on celebrating it by going to Puerto Vallarta and visiting Claudia, Carlos, and 114 wild military macaws that they help protect. The Macaws Forever group is made up of volunteers such as researchers, veterinarians and biologists who genuinely care about protecting their native macaws. They fight such battles as stopping illegal trade and protecting the macaws native forest (from a potential 500 room resort that wants to build on the land where the macaws nest). The group also goes into the local schools and educates the children about why the macaws are so special and why they deserve to be protected. The work that they do is very important and they are just a very small group. They need help with funding so that they can continue the amazing work that they do. Please consider purchasing raffle tickets for the finished painting when they are available so that the Military Macaw program can continue to grow and visit their website to learn more about them at

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