Birds and Boulders: new drawings

Chestnut-sided warblers, a feast for the eyes. These two males were dueling over a prime patch of scrub and mud at the edge of a field. Warbler duels involve singing, plumage flaunting and chasing with occasional ugly physical scuffles.

I’ve been hearing complaints that this hasn’t been a great migrant year (unless you happened to be in Central Park this spring- they had a splendid run) but to my  eyes, it’s been glorious. An hour each morning with binoculars and sketchbooks, drawing little jewels with feathers as they zip through tree tops and shrubbery? A piquant mix of frustration and delight. A blackburnian warbler’s torchy orangeness gets the blood pumping and the mind clear faster than a double espresso with an extra shot. Many new sketches are now uploaded to this page, and there’s even a side-page just for warblers, which have been awesome around here, in my warbler-impoverished westerner’s opinion.

Single-boulder quarry, circa 19th century sometime early, I'd guess. Harvard Forest.

This week we’ve had a string of fine days. Even the mosquitoes are tapering off  (the deer flies and ticks have surged in to fill the gap). Lots of new sites to draw, but the other day I revisited a hand-quarried boulder I had drawn many times on my last visit to Harvard Forest in 2008. The huge slabs still lay akimbo, unchanged but for three year’s growth of overhanging hemlock. It was very much like meeting with a dear old friend, one who has spent the intervening years not doing much except growing out her hair.

The drawing, graphite and pastel on Rives BFK.
Same place, three years ago and a little earlier in the spring.

4 thoughts on “Birds and Boulders: new drawings

  1. Mindful Drawing says:

    A real drawing adventure!
    We didn’t see less birds (in the Netherlands) this spring, but I’ve heard there were less common swifts.
    Isn’t it wonderful when a warbler duel involves singing?

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