Friday, August 8, 2014

Fleeting Bales

"August Bale Study No.1"
oil pastel and pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
I always look forward to the hay bales in the valley here!  This year was very different - baling was late this summer here...usually done by the first week in July, it wasn't until the first week of August here this year.  A very positive note to this "wait" - there were far fewer ground nesting birds that suffered moralities due to early haying.
Each summer we have good numbers of Bobolinks, Sedge Wrens, Dickcissels, Meadowlarks, and other birds nesting in the pastures here.  All of these birds are grassland "obligates", meaning they require grassland habitat for their nesting and feeding - their survival. I do realize the "affect" on forage quality, the longer farmers wait to cut hay, but grassland bird populations have been dropping steadily in the past 2-3 decades and any break they can get is critical for their long term survival.
But as I've said many times in the past - I just love seeing bales out in the landscape.  There is something quite pleasing to the eye about hay bales randomly dropped here and there in a pasture it nostalgic or whatever, there is just something visually interesting about this transient introduction of geometric shapes into the environment.
I suspected that with this field work running behind schedule here, I needed to get out there as soon as they were done baling and get some images made for future reference!  Within 24 hours they were picked up and gone.  
I just did this small study in oil pastel and oil based pencils.  I think I'll be doing more as well, while the iron's hot...trying to prolong that nostalgia! 
August is here - enjoy it!