This can be a real fun time of year, and bitter sweet in some ways. We had to say goodbye to many of our summer friends, like the Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, the Wrens, Chipping and Song Sparrows, Eastern Kingbirds, Dickcissels and the Hummingbirds.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to properly time their departure? Ha! Just put out a new jar of grape jelly and the Orioles leave...just mix a new batch of sugar water and the Hummingbirds leave! It's crazy, oh well...
|Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the Viburnum - photo - © Bruce A. Morrison |
I've been welcoming the new arrivals the past few days. Lot of Harris's, Lincoln's and White-throated Sparrows; a few warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. The Harris's and White-throated Sparrow lyrics have been the new morning staple out here on the acreage...very pleasant music to start the day with.
And I've been trying to get photos but there are so many distractions in the studio and outside. Apples to pick, seed to harvest in the pastures, chain saw work in the groves - still left over from the last derecho 2 months back (final small cleanup work).
Also been trying to get back into some artwork! Much has been left for summer work and now maybe can be picked up once more. I had a Dickcissel idea last spring and it keeps evolving/changing...maybe it'll be next??? Also have a larger painting on the easel that got started too late in the spring...waiting for summer and fall to end.
|"Eastern Kingbird - Portrait" - color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison|
I had a friend stop by a couple months back mention Eastern Kingbirds...I joked how they seem to move in the opposite direction - fence post by fence post whenever I have my camera with me! Funny but true. I did manage to find some fair poses in my image files that made a nice iconic Eastern Kingbird pose for a small color pencil portrait.
|"Red-breasted Nuthatch - Portrait" - color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison|
Getting the pencils out brought on more image ideas that had been pent up all summer. I haven't caught up with all those ideas but I've done a few. Here's a Red-breasted Nuthatch...one showed up a couple weeks ago and it makes an appearance every now and then. Hope it sticks around!
|"Sharp-shinned Hawk - Portrait" - color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison|
I've had some raptors in the yard this summer...mostly Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks and an occasional Red-tail. This bird, a Sharp-shinned adult gave me such a great pose a few years back...I knew I had to save the idea for a drawing. With it now being Autumn and our colors so poor this year, I decided to give it a colorful background to set it off. I try and do all these bird "portraits" life size. Sharpies are only about Blue Jay size or slightly larger, so this is not the biggest drawing - but then, in comparison the that Red-breasted Nuthatch it sure looks big!
Now I need to catch up on framing! Always something!
We've got another dry Fall here on the acreage...our third severe (listed) drought in a row. We seem to be in a "finger" stretching up from the southwest; travel 10-20 miles north and its not as bad...travel 20-30 miles east...again not so bad. Further south seems to get rain as well...it is what it is.
Really the only issues we have here are the gardens being poor producers, the orchards were insect and bird damaged, and the pastures had poor seed production, stunted growth and many plants gone dormant, again. We've found out the hard way that the American Viburnum we've planted are not "consecutive year" drought tolerant...holes are being punched into the 20 year yard planting here.
Weather all over the world seems to be in the news...Hurricane now hitting Florida, drought out west, and the NE...flooding in so many locations worldwide. We'll just be grateful for what we have and do the best we can for those in need.
Its a crazy world out there - be kind to one another!