The local population is in varying degrees living in WWII and suddenly willing to draw anything from people smoking cigarettes to tanks, and other hitherto undesirable artistic subjects.
So, last month, several of us had an Artist Trading Card swap solely concerning the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, despite the fact that two-thirds of the participants had practically never drawn airplanes previously.
Mary Rose made these two ATC's:
The first shows a scene inspired by the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! (as was the entire swap) in which two pilots dubbed Merry and Pippin rush to their respective P-40's. The second illustrates by means of P-40's the Air Force Song, Off we go into the Wild Blue Yonder, which is lately exceeding popular.
I also depicted American P-40's, flying. The first is practically a field guide illustration, 'P-40 in flight, USA green morph'. The other was supposed to be reminiscent of a painting of birds, in which it was successful (Josiah axed if they were flying over Tom's Cove).
Josiah drew the P-40 pilot's-eye view; visible is the ME 109 his adversary. And he just about said, ha ha, we'll never be able to tell whether the plane is American or British, upon which we others all groaned. Second, the British P-40 on the ground. I daresay, they had more imagination in aeroplane paint.
You may conclude rightly, we had a jolly time swapping. Airplanes are surprisingly fun to draw. But.......... Hey! let's close with a nice leetle quotation from Michael Harwood's The View From Hawk Mountain.
* * * * *
"To describe what man does in his winged machines as "flying" is more than generous, compared to the hawk, man just bangs the air, slams through it."
At length did cross an albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hail'd it in God's name.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners' hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmer'd the white moonshine.
-The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, S.T. Coleridge
posted by L.
"The Parrakeetos are of a green Colour, and Orange-Colour'd half way their Head. Of these and the Allegators, there is none found to the Northward of this Province....
They visit us first, when Mulberries are
ripe, which Fruit they love extremely. They peck the Apples, to eat the
Kernels, so that the Fruit rots and perishes. They are mischievous to
Orchards. They are often taken alive, and will become familiar and tame
in two days. They have their Nests in hollow Trees, in low, swampy
Ground. They devour the Birch-Buds in April, and lie hidden when the Weather is frosty and hard."
-John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina, 1709
-posted by Lydia Grace Therese
Did you know birds migrate at night? Sane and sensible birds, like sparrows and thrushes, blackbirds, hummingbirds, ducks & geese, and especially (in my opinion) warblers. They navigate using the stars, or the magnetic field, or patterns of light at sunset, or some such obscure and romantic method.
In the thick of migration season, you can hear faint night flight calls in a quiet place. Or,when the moon gets to be full enough, which is now, get your binoculars and by staring through them at the moon, you can see night migration as tiny silhouettes flap by against its light. Not a multitude of developers in bulldozers can stop this way of seeing migration in your backyard. Thus, though the birds only look like specks most of the time, it has many advantages, and night migration is a thing to see.
Who would have guessed?
Instinct sends diurnal birds off into the dark hundreds of miles into territory that logically should be unknown. The seemingly foolhardy adventure works. It works awfully well.
What did the learned man say?
"Instinct is the animal's genius." -Jean Henri Fabre
Would you have sent a less-than-half-an-ounce bird into the night and expect it to turn up safely at an appointed location across the country?
Wouldn't you rather have then been inclined to believe those who said, 'You have sent the halfling to his death'?
In reality, year by year the halfling does complete his hopeless task, which was never hopeless at all, because Whoever gave him his peculiar instinct so gave him an animal's awesome genius.
As a consequence of these incredible facts (added to the unexplained pleasure of just plain counting birds), night birding during migration, listening to night flight calls and 'birding on the moon', is a most ridiculous, amazing, insane, purely delightful sport, and is liable to leave you sitting around outside past midnight wearing a moony kind of grin, so that everyone who sees you will think you're a lunatic.
Which is what you will be... yes, quite positively moonstruck. Go try it!
-posted by L.G.T.
pictures of the moon by Dad
On Sunday, Jonathan took me birding. We went on our bikes, and it was a fine expedition-We left everyone else home (we did have, other than our dromedaries our trusty companions the Barska and the Targus)(those are the scope and the tripod)(not the brass kind that goes with choice hekatombs, the plastic kind). I carried the Barska in my pack and Jonathan the Targus in his.
We rode 40 minutes through two quaint towns and arrived at a small park by a creek, and just about the first bird there was a very fine Osprey. Several folks were having a jolly time constructing rock monuments midstream, but we settled down elsewhere by ourselves by the creekside, I started a birdcount, we swigged water and ate a piece of cornbread each.
There were none too many birds, and the Barska and the Targus went unused, We didn't see any shorebirds, which was what we had come to look for, but it was of no matter. The Osprey kept returning and keeping us well amused. A Kingfisher flew here & there rattling, a heron stalked in a yonder field, late swallows appeared as specks and fluttered obstinately unidentifed. The chirping finches could not be found, a catbird wheezed in the brush. A single cowbird was seen, keeping to himself.
The Osprey and one of a red-tail pair rode the same thermal round and round in September. It was quite
Being right next to the water it was exciting when old Fishy (as we called him or her) hovered over it right in front of us. The Osprey dived once and there was a stupendous splash! But it came up again empty-handed and flew off along the water crying "Death to the fishes! I will catch you little fishy for my dinner!" (It was for the time an idle boast; old Fishy departed hungry). I had never heard an Osprey call before.
Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Gray Catbird-1 (Heard Only)
Great Blue Heron-1
Red-bellied Woodpecker-1 (Heard Only)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow-2 (1 and another that was probably one)
Song Sparrow-1 (Heard Only)
Downy/Hairy Woodpecker-1 (H/O)
House Finch-2 (H/O)
Carolina Wren-1 (H/O)
Blue Jay-1 (H/O)
Tufted Titmouse-1 (H/O)
Total: 22 species + 2 other taxa
There was also seen one single Monarch butterfly.The reason I post this whole list is because that is what birders do on their blogs, and sometimes I like to imagine this is a bird blog and that I am a Real Birder (At other times, I think the Real Birders are a set of absolute goons.).
Old Fishy was the highlight of the count.
A Great Egret was seen afterwards, and a pair of fishermen (on two legs, with rods) came to fish, and we left. Jonathan and I eventually came to another quaint town and rode down Main Street and came home by a different way and met Dad on his bike. Thus we returned to our own development and came in by the way we call 'Hobbiton Across the Water'.
Posted by Lydia G.T.
Here goes for my pictures. Do you know what? They are ALL of birds. HAHAHAhaha! Foiled again! You thought I'd do a post not about birds (probably you had a sneaking suspicion it would be about birds).
(When I show folks like Josiah and Anna bird pictures they're like, 'Oh birds' and 'Can't you show me any people?' )
Here is a 2008 rendition of the Numenorean Kirinki. They are mentioned in A Description of the Island of Numenor in Unfinished Tales by JRR Tolkien. A classic example of how natural extinction can occur when a species exists only in one location and is confronted by a natural disaster. Well, it wasn't exactly natural, but close enough.
A 2009 Nature Journal/Sketchbook page features astoundingly un-astute remarks on identifying Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks! Before I'd heard of using their flight style and wingbeats and head size to tell them apart! To think I had such a terrible time...
2010 was also the year of The Owl Box. I used to watch Molly the Owl all the day long and half the night and drew barn owls daily. Those were the days. This is a pastel of Wesley, youngest owlet of the first clutch. She was the last left in the box when everyone else fledged.
Undated studies of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in watercolour. The top right one looks really weird. But the bottom one was a successful depiction of how the bird frequently flicks its wings as it forages.
Unhatched eggs make great pillows and props to hold up one's heavy head.
A page from my sketchbook- birds labeled with their Latin names written in elvish letters. A great pastime for LotR-minded birders.
March 2012: An American Robin on Heather. A commission. There could be several explanations for why an American bird is on an Over-the-Pond plant. Heather has been introduced I-don't-remember-where in this country. Or it could be a vagrant robin flown over the sea, in which case all the birdwatchers of England are probably hiding in the heather with their spotting scopes gaping at it with delight.
Here's an ATC from May depicting baby Whooping Cranes!!! They're drawn from pictures on Operation Migration. It has actually turned out, though, that #9-12 was dropped from the class.
Another ATC in graphite of the great and famous Konrad Lorenz with his long string of goslings. They think he's their ma. 'Quag geggeggeggeg' et cet'ra.
Just the other day I carved a rubber stamp of a fledgeling robin. It is mildly alarming to see rows of the same bird with their mouths wide open begging. I need to make a worm stamp to feed them all.
THE END. Are you tired of bird art? Don't worry, Anna's post shd. bring a change.
I'm joining Elisa for a Nature Walk.
Yesterday I began in the yard...
The bluebirds have fledged and it was the most strange and dismal fledge-day I've ever known, but at any rate, here is one of the babies hiding and looking sweet.
I checked on the Tree Swallows' six eggs, almost due to hatch.
I next went across the street to look for more baby blues. Late spring is full of the songs of the summer birds. Orioles and Buntings and Towhees were singing. And crows were hard at work building a nest; I ended up sitting for several hours on a hill of dirt watching birds and other things.
Last weekend a couple of us made a 'monument' in one of the empty lots, a small tower of stones. So it turns out, it is excellent for attracting butterflies. Here is a Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis).
The bluebirds did have another baby hidden in a honeysuckle bush, into which they would frequently fly, arousing the dim clamor of a hungry fledgeling. They then would return to their favorite bug-hunting perch and look at me.
-Everybody take advantage & look at the difference between the Buteo hawk (Red-tail) and the Accipiter (Cooper's)! The Buteo is short and stout. The Accipiter is long and thin.-
Presently out came a happy little family of greedy groundhogs. The mother caught sight of me over a big leaf and sent the little ones packing. They appeared again eventually though and had a large luncheon.
I also saw Indigo Buntings, Yellowthroats, a Palm Warbler, catbirds aplenty, a Green Heron, Field Sparrows, etc. It is the time of year here when every other bird is a catbird, but every other bird could be anything (Empty lots are really something).
Thanks to the hostess of the day!
Posted by Lydia