Flying a Kite in a Storm

On this hot sticky day, with a tornado watch posted, I have a half-finished acrylic of a Mississippi kite placed against a storm cloud of biblical proportions. This cloud was part of a mountainous thunderstorm that piled up to our west and cruised past us like a tall ship with all sails spread wide, close enough to admire its majesty but far enough to enjoy the view without anxiety.

The kite was part of a family that nests on our property. Although we’ve never seen a nest they certainly use our airspace every summer, especially use the snag of a tall post oak emerging from the woods out back. It’s the highest point of the property, an extended gnarled branch, and birds vie to use it. Cardinals , indigo and painted buntings all sing from the tip of it, red-shouldered hawks scream from it, and from June onward, kites occupy it, sometimes five of them at a time. The young ones practice flying and adults launch off to capture flying cicadas from the post oak branch, peeling wings and legs from the buzzing insect one-fisted in the air until the buzzing stops and they can eat in peace, still on the wing.

The kite I sketched from the deck last summer- they haven’t returned from the south just yet-it isn’t summer until the kites come back. And the tornado watch has just turned to a warning.

One thought on “Flying a Kite in a Storm

  1. Anonymous says:

    I came to your site through coffeetalk news,your paintings are just awesome, there is so much feeling in them. They are a real Joy to look at!
    Thanks for a little added beauty!
    Sincerely Aimee

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