Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway, photography project by Chris Jordan, plastics do not disintegrate, design squish blog

Midway is a photography project by Chris Jordan

“On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.
For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.
- Chris Jordan, Seattle, February 2011”

May 15, 2013


feeding chikadees, russian postcards, soviet children book illustrations, design squish blog

soviet postcards, putting up birdhouse, design squish blog

The Canary

The free canary warbles
In leafy forest dell:
Who feels what rapture thrills her,
And who her joy can tell?

The sweet canary warbles
Where wealth and splendor dwell:
Who knows what sorrow moves her,
And who her pain can tell?

- Morris Rosenfeld

April 15, 2013


treehouse nest, design squish blog

“Weaver’s Nest” by Porky Hefer

treehouse nest, design squish blog

“The Nest” treehouse by Bertil Harström

Inside the human nest treehouse in Big Sur - The Human Nest Treehouse

bird fashion, design squish blog

Bird inspired fashion - http://www.trendtablet.com/419-birds-2/

February 18, 2012


taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park design squish blog

taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park, design squish blog

taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park, design squish blog

taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park, design squish blog

taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park, design squish blog

Above: Rhododendrons blooming everywhere.

taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park, design squish blog

Above: Blueberries.  Not yet ripened

taking a train upstate, hiking, harriman state park, design squish blog

lake, harriman state park, design squish blog

Carless days. Catching a train from New York City,  Penn Station to Sloatsburg then hiking to Harriman State Park(Upstate New York)

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June 11, 2011


laughing owl, extinct, new zealand, design squish blog

The Laughing Owl (Sceloglaux albifacies), also known as Whēkau or the White-faced Owl, was an endemic owl found in New Zealand, but is now extinct. It was plentiful when European settlers arrived in New Zealand in 1840.  By 1880, the species was becoming rare, and the last recorded specimen was found dead at Bluecliffs Station in Canterbury, New Zealand on July 5, 1914

laughing owl

laughing owl, birds of new zealand, design squish blog

laughing owl, birds of new zealand, design squish blog

The Laughing Owl generally occupied rocky, low rainfall areas. Being quite large, Laughing Owls were able to deal with the introduced European rats that had caused the extinction of so much of their prey; however, the stoats introduced to control feral rabbits, and feral cats were too much for the species.

January 31, 2011


golden tree, prospect park, brooklyn, design squish blog

Golden leaves and trees full of house sparrows in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

house sparrows on a tree, prospect park, brooklyn, design squish blog

house sparrows , vorobej, design squish blog

November 08, 2010


pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

golubyatnya, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia,design squish blog  design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog  design squish blog

Pigeons need houses too?

Few decades back in Russia, almost every building courtyard had a pigeon house(pigeon loft / dovecote). There were two near where I used to live in Moscow near Molodezhnaya street.  Why? Pigeons symbolize peace? The need to care for environment and others (bird and non-bird friends)? To be used as messengers during war (haha)? White doves, brown, black and regular gray pigeons were trained to fly around the neighborhood in perfect circles.  I loved watching them flying or sitting in their pigeon lofts.  Today most of pigeon houses in Russia are abandoned or demolished.  Reasons: pigeons spread disease but most importantly care for pigeons asks for money and time. Maybe it’s not cool anymore to have pigeon keeping as a hobby..

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia,  design squish blog

“The hobby of pigeon keeping is gaining in popularity in the United States, after having waned within the last 50 years. Both the hobby and commercial aspects of keeping pigeons are thriving in other parts of the world” -Wiki

Read about John Neilko’s flock of 250 pigeons that lives on the roof of the Polonia Democratic Club in Williamsburg, New York - NYMag


October 27, 2010


soviet environmental posters, design squish blog, red book protects nature

“Red List protects nature” - The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1948, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

soviet environmental posters, birds-doctors of the forest

“Protect birds - they are doctors of the forest”

soviet environmental poster

soviet environmental poster, design squish blog

“Cut down one - plant ten”

design squish blog

“Welcome, my feathered friends!”

June 25, 2010


design squish blog

The discovery, which the researchers reported last week in Nature, supports research showing that birds are dinosaurs, having descended from a group of bipedal dinosaurs called theropods.
Dr. Prum and his colleagues, meanwhile, had set out on a similar quest. Working with paleontologists at the Beijing Museum of Natural History and Peking University, the researchers began to study a 150-million-year-old species called Anchiornis huxleyi. The chicken-sized theropod was festooned with long feathers on its arms and legs.

mohawk dinosaur true colors
Above: Mohawk Dinosaur

Scientsts were able to assign color to individual feathers and thus work out color patterns for the entire fossil of Anchiornis huxleyi, a small, feathered, two-legged dinosaur that lived roughly 150 million years ago.  The animal would have weighed about four ounces (110 grams) and appears to have had a dark gray or black body and wings with some white feathers that gave it a stripe pattern, plus a reddish-brown crest and speckles on the face. ( Source:  New York Times and Discovery News)

March 30, 2010


charley harper poster the rocky mountains

One of my favorite posters by Charley Harper - The Rocky Mountains.

December 21, 2009



bird print

inuit art, bird print

Birds by Kenojuak Ashevak. Kenojuak Ashevak was born in an igloo in an Inuit camp, Ikirasaq, at the southern coast of Baffin Island. 

October 23, 2009


mushrooms of england, scientific illustration

mushrooms of england, scientific illustration

mushrooms of england, scientific illustration

mushrooms of england, scientific illustration

mushrooms of england, scientific illustration

john james audubon, finch bird scientific illustration

john james audubon scientific illustration

john james audubon, blue birds

Falcon, scientific illustration by John James Audubon

mushroom illustration

mushroom illustration poster

mushroom illustrations poster

mushroom illustration

mushroom illustration

mushroom illustration, podosinoviki

hummingbird, scientific illlustration


hummingbird, scientific illlustration, detail

Humming bird, detail

bird scientific illustration

Crimson necked bullfinch

September 06, 2009


Charley Harper poster - The Desert

I love Charley Harper’s print, The Desert. 

March 15, 2009


mushroom surreal artwork illustration by Amy Ross

Amy Ross’ drawings, watercolors and collages have a surreal effect.  The drawings are rendered in the style of scientific illustration . It is not easy to distinguish at the first glance where the leg of the mushroom starts and the leg of a human being begins. People’s heads are morphed with mushroom legs and birds are actually flower buds on magnolia trees - Amy plays with similarities and differences of nature’s shapes.

amy ross scientific illustration: Mushroom with Mird

Amy Ross
Legshroom With Bird
collage on paper
10 x 8 inches

February 18, 2009


bullfinch snegir bird of eurasia, russia

Bullfinch (Снегирь, snegir)  is a small bird with big round red belly that lives across Europe and Asia.  It is widespread in Russia and one can spot lots of them in Moscow city around winter time. Bullfinch birds travel from Siberia to warmer climate of Moscow during winter.  They eat mostly red Rowan berries that keep hanging in multiples on Rowan trees even in coldest days. It is quite beautiful to see many red birds around red Rowan berries juxtaposed on the winter snow.  Birds look like huge red berries lost in many little ones.  I even think that is why the word red in Russian comes from the word beautiful.
I found this ceramic cup that definitely has a watercolor of bullfinch bird on it by Helen Beard, ceramicist and a watercolor artist from England:

bullfinch bird, apricot belly chikadee


February 14, 2009


design squish blog

I love California quails and quails in general. This is what is it says on wikipedia about California quails: “The California Quail is a highly sociable bird that often gathers in small flocks and one of the daily communal activities is the taking of dust baths. A group of quail will select an area where the ground has been newly turned or is soft, and using their underbellies, will burrow downward into the soil some 1-2 inches. They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air.” (so cute!!!) 



ptarmigans - white mountain quails

I love Ptarmigans. Ptarmigans are sedentary species, breeding across arctic and subarctic Eurasia and North America. The Ptarmigan is seasonally camouflaged; its feathers moult from white in winter to brown in spring or summer. Ptarmigan’s feet are fully feathered to maintain body heat and to act as snowshoes during winter.

January 14, 2009


design squish blog

One of my my favorite drawings by Carson Ellis, artist from Portland, Oregon.

January 06, 2009


Recently I found an old book by Konstantin Paustovsky called Stories and Tales About Forests.  The stories are short, meaningful and sincere;  filled with long descriptions of the morning dew in the forest, first snow or pine trees scent.  The stories have this utopian idealism, kindness, sensitivity and and unity with the world which can be found in some soviet movies, ideas and literature.  I wish I could translate some stories into English but the only one I found is in Russian.  It is called A Farewell to Summer and it is about going to sleep, waking up and finding all the world covered in snow out of the window. 

design squish blog
To read a full text version of A Farewell to Summer in Russian:


more →

December 23, 2008


design squish blog

Above: Monk Parakeets in the Snow

Brooklyn parrots are wild Monk Parakeets (or Quaker Parrots) native to the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries.  The Monk Parakeet is globally very common as a pet.
There are many theories about why these parrots live in Brooklyn - from sinking ships, overturned trucks;  Hurricane Gloria in the mid-1980s.  The theory with the greatest credence among ornithologists is that a shipment of parrots destined for sale at New York area pet shops was accidentally released at Kennedy Airport in the late 1960’s . Anyway, there are lots of Quaker Parrots living in Brooklyn and for some strange reason they love it here. Maybe because the pizza crumbs are so good.  Or the art scene.  Actually, the reason these tropical parrots can survive cold winters in New York City is because they build giant commune nests in which about 10 - 15 parrots can fit in and warm each other during these winter months. 
There is a blog dedicated to Brooklyn Parrots: brooklynparrots.com illustrating parrot life. You can even take a free Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari in Brooklyn College.
Steve, the founder of Brooklyn Parrots website and blog, believes that Brooklyn parrots are not an evil “invasive species” but a welcome replacement for the Carolina Parakeet, hunted to extinction almost a century ago.  ” The last wild specimen of Carolina Parakeet was killed in Okeechobee County in Florida in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918” -wiki. I agree with him Steve .
design squish blog
* Above: extinct Carolina Parakeet

December 17, 2008


cornell library of ornithology bird nest illustration
macaluay library

Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell Library of Ornithology is surrounded by Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary that is teaming with birds and plants.  More than four miles of trails wind through a variety of habitats used by birds and other wildlife. The library itself has one of the world’s largest repository of wildlife sound recordings, contains over 160,000 individual recordings representing more than 50% of the world’s bird species. When you walk into the library you see giant books of beautiful old life-size illustrations of birds, photographs of birds and long aisles on books about birds.  Cornell Library of Ornithology is an amazing place to visit.

December 14, 2008


I love short stories by russian author Sergei Kozlov.  This story is called Good Elephant (I am sorry about translation. It was translated through Babelfish). On snow covered cold February,  Hedgehog has been trying to heat the furnace for days and nevertheless he could not get up in the morning -  it was that cold in the house. “Is this a punishment? “- muttered hedgehog, putting paws into the felt boots and getting up from the bed. - Another week and I will burn all the firewood I have and freeze! ” Hedgehog shuffled burned wood, moved aside shutter and started new fire. Hedgehog started thinking about his disastrous position. “Forest is completely covered with snow”- he thought - “All the small trees are under the snow and I cannot cut down a big tree. “It would be nice if Bear came over.  He has a sharp saw and special sleds to carry firewood.  Donkey and Bear would come and say:“Hedgehog, probably you have no more firewood? Let’s go collect more! ” Hedgehog thought:  I would make them tea.. But now… Bear is probably asleep and does not even think about me… ” Hedgehog became so sad, that he tossed up two additional firewood and began to look at the flame without thinking. Furnace was burning, the house became very warm, and hedgehog no longer believed that firewood can end and that he might freeze. ” Hedgehog started dreaming: “Firewood will end and I will begin to freeze.  The elephant in the zoo will find out about this and he will come running into the forest, find my house, insert his trunk into the chimney and instantly it will become warmer from his breath. I will say: ” Thanks, elephant for giving me your heat.  Now go warm up my friend Bear - he probably also has no more firewood… Elephant will run away from the zoo each night and breathe into my chimney, and my friend Bear’s too, so we would not freeze”.  While Hedgehog was dreaming of this, the frost, wind and cold grew harsher. Hedgehog’s firewood soon entirely ended. For the last time he warmed up the house very well, piled up all the blankets on his bed, put on a wool coat and felt boots. Then, he climbed under his blanket mountain and began to wait. First it was hot, and then, when furnace cooled, it became very cold. With each hour it became increasingly colder. ” I w-w-wiish elephant would come here f-f-f-aster-r-r ! - whispered Hedgehog, rolled as a bagel under his blankets. Frozen Hedgehog could not even whisper anymore because of cold but the elephant still did not come… - Elephant-t-t! - called Hedgehog. - I am f-f—freezing… ar-r-rive, p-p-p-lease, elephant! Hedgehog called elephant three days and two nights. But on third night he became warmer. So warm that he even took off his wool coat and felt boots. This is because the cold finally started leaving. To Hedgehog, it seemed as though an enormous elephant has been walking between pine trees and breathing into his chimney.

designsquishblog, design squish blog, hedgehog

December 11, 2008


vase by yeni

design squish blog, siameese bird vase

Yeni Mao is an artist currently living and working in New York City. He works in painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. Yeni created ceramic vase that is two siamese birds with no heads.  This is a weird and extremely beautiful object that changes meaning when flowers are put into the vase. 

December 08, 2008

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