I am Artist in Residence this week at Spring Island Trust in Okatie, SC, drawing and painting birds and sunlit landscapes with palmettos and broad marshes, alligators, live oaks dripping Spanish moss. Wonderful wading birds: tricolored herons, little blues, greens, yellow and black crowned night herons, great blues, great egrets, snowy egrets, wood storks, purple gallinules, and clapper rails. This morning: red-cockaded woodpeckers and Bachman’s sparrows, hopefully.
There are peculiar island squirrels here, too- fox squirrels with solid black or charcoal gray coats capped by bright white noses. The squirrels are unusually big and floppy, as though muscles weren’t fastened properly. They don’t sit up bright, alert and curious, but stand up flat-footed and meerkat-like for a slow look around. The island effect or just old-fashioned rampant inbreeding may have something to do with it.
I’m on the road from now until June 15th; unless someone disrobes and I draw them, birds will replace nude humans. Next week: Panama’s Barro Colorado Island, and maybe even a real live motmot.