Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mice can sing - Who knew?

In experiments to test how male mice responded to sex pheromones found in the urine of female mice, neurobiologists at Washington University in St. Louis, Tim Holy and Zhongsheng Guo, recorded male mice as they sniffed a cotton ball soaked in a female mouse’s urine. Within seconds of smelling the urine of a female who is ready to mate, the male mice broke into song, inaudible to the human ear. The male mice were genetically identical and were all the same age. Surprisingly, each mouse sang his own individual song. It isn’t certain if the best singers win the most desirable females as is often the case with birds.

This link takes you to a recording of a mouse singing.
It has been lowered four octaves but left at the original speed. The singing sounds like birds twittering. It brings to my mind an imagine of birds and mice, perched side by side in the tree tops, twittering.

At this link the recording has been lowered four octaves and also slowed down sixteen-fold. This sounds more like whistling. Notes seem to be repeated to make a melody.

The researchers didn’t check to see if the female mice sing. Wouldn’t that be interesting to know?
Information from “National Geographic News” - November 1, 2005
Mouse.John Good .NPS Photo.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Variations

Obviously, the azalea photo in the top left is the original. This shows how wild you can be using filters and colors changes. I am thinking about printing some of these onto fabric. Doing research on the internet, I found a product called "Bubble Jet" that lets you adhere fabric to paper so it will go through a printer. Another suggestion I found was to iron the fabric onto freezer paper, then print. The flower print could be a pocket on a skirt or on a bag. Or with borders it could be made into a bag. This project may have to wait until gardening slows down.


This is an example of how you can change a photo. The original is on the bottom and for the variation above, I used Adobe Photo Elements, Ink outline.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Photograping my Collections

Photography is another hobby of mine. Isn't digital wonderful? When you had to buy film and have it developed at great expense, you couldn't really play around with the camera. I like to gather my collections and antiques and photograph them. Unfortunately, I can't paint, but by putting a filter on my photos I can make them look like a painting. This photo is done using my five year old Sony camera, Photo Shop Elements, and the filter is Dry Brush, all done on a Mac computer.

Crazy Cat

We are all creative. More so than we give ourselves credit for. Don't be afraid to try something. If it looks a little odd - just call it "Art."

Creating things has been a hobby of mine for many years. I don't work from a pattern unless it is one I make myself. Usually I don't bother with making a pattern but just start right in on the project. Crazy Cat was made from a nice herringbone fabric. His eyes and nose are buttons. His ears contain a tuft of wool and his tail tip is rabbit fur. I save everything because it might come in handy - and it usually does. I am cursed with being able to see possibilities in everything! It makes it hard to throw things away! I am lucky to have a craft room, but I always wish it were larger. Leave me a comment about what you create!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring in Virginia

I have been transplanting ferns from the woods (where they grow abundantly) into my shady yard. Having already gone over my budget for plants this spring, this is a good way to fill in areas with plants that thrive in poor soil and can survive our hot dry summers. Besides, I love ferns. They look so cool and delicate.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brookgreen Gardens

In March, we took a trip with our friends, Margie and Dan, to Myrtle Beach. Ten miles down the road is a lovely place, Murriels Inlet. Bob and I spent a day there at Brookgreen Gardens ( It is a sculpture garden and more! Just to see the huge oak trees is worth the trip.

I love this sculpture! He looks noble!