All of a sudden my bird feeder is full of Redpolls and there’s not a chickadee or a nuthatch in sight! Being irratic migrators, you never know for sure when they’ll show up, but they come in flocks when they do! The subject of my painting is a little female, since she lacks the rosy colouring the males sport on their breast. Now the only problem is to keep Possum from turning them into hors d’oeuvres.
Since we went from summer to winter around here, with our first frost being mid October and a blizzard a week later!!!….everybody is a bit confused as to what to do. These geese should probably get out of Dodge, but they’re still hanging about…literally. They’re looking for open spots in the river ice so they can land in the water. Now honestly, if I had wings and half a (bird) brain, I’d be at about 5000 feet and headed straight south!
It’s that time of year; the crows seem to have moved on, the magpies never leave, and the Blue Jays are passing through (I don’t mean our local baseball team either). They hang around the bird feeder, shrieking at everyone else and gobbling up way more than their share. But they’re so colourful and comical, who would ever mind?
Today’s painting is in honour of one of the most beautiful animals on the prairie and a wish for them that the winter be gentle, the grass abundant, and the interferences of human habitation, as minimal as possible. SOLD
Well today’s painting is meaningful to me on several levels. It is inspired by the sculpture in front of the Whyte Museum which I so admired in Banff last week. And then the news about the 2 grizzly cubs killed by trains this week really knocked me sideways. Add to that the changing climate and what the effect that’s having on our polar bears, and you could say I’m bear-ly thinking about anything but bears.
Time to take a moment to acknowledge the Spirit of the Bear.
I shot photos of this (I think) immature Redtailed Hawk on my trip down the Cowboy Trail last week.
Probably the most common hawk in North America and one of our biggest birds, he is truly a beauty. This pale phase is typical of a youngster; he has at least 2 other colour phases including the famous dark-to-sandy phase with the namesake barred and fan shaped red tail. Identifying them can be tricky.
It’s always a thrill to see them, but I thought he looked particularly spectacular in this landscape.
The Meadowlarks have been disappointingly quiet this summer, after a lot of racket this spring. However, this weekend at Maple Creek, I could hear them singing at the edge of town. They’ll be gathering up the brood and getting ready to head south…all too soon to suit me.
This is from a photo I took down at Writing-on-Stone this spring.
Having spent time this week with Charlie Russell’s watercolours and his recording of the vast herds of antelope, deer and bison, I really appreciated seeing Porter’s buffalo on the sagebrush flat near Walsh today on my way to Maple Creek. They look so congruent in this landscape, and loving native grasslands and wildlife as I do, this sight totally made my day.