Friday, January 28, 2011

Bluebird in Sunlight

I have loved bluebirds since we first moved out to the country, and built a bluebird box. Very soon after, a mated pair of Mountain Bluebirds, which are solid blue with no rusty red on their chests, like the Western Bluebirds have, occupied the box, built a nest and layed three beautiful blue eggs. They raised those babies and many others over the seasons, until one tragic day when I found Mr. Bluebird laying, dead, wings spread, on a rail of the fence near the nest box. We buried him in a silk handkerchief under the box, and never saw Mrs. Bluebird again.
On the property where we live now, we have bluebirds nesting every year, and on several occasions we have been present and witness to the first flights of the daring and exhorbitantly brave little baby bluebirds.
During the winter, flocks of Western Bluebirds often visit our property, looking for water and winter food. We try and accomodate them according to their needs. My husband got some incredible shots of a small flock of Westerns taking stock of one of the bluebird boxes recently.
I'm planning a series of paintings based on these photos, which all captured in stop-action photography, the amazing aerial expertise that Bluebirds possess. Here's the first one.
Bluebird No. 1
8" x 10"
Oil on board
Framed $240.00
Unframed $195.00

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ruffled Feathers

This young male Great Horned Owl paid a visit to our hen house last November. He helped himself to an old, weak hen, but not before our rooster challenged him to a dual. It must have been quite the fight, because the rooster kept him cornered in the hen house until we came to tend them the next morning.
Turns out, the owl couldn't fly because he had lost two or three of his long flight feathers. He ended up with Wildlife Rescue and will be boarding with them until he molts and grows in some new feathers. You wouldn't think losing a couple of feathers would be considered a devastating injury, but to a predatory bird dependant on flying to make a living, it's considered a fatal injury. We hope to see him again sometime this year, and equally hope that he's lost his taste for chicken in the box!
11" x 14" oil on board