Saturday, January 28, 2017

Winter Musing

"Baltimore Oriole (male)"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison
I haven't blogged personally for quite some time - what's with that?!   Well, you know that old saying about "life" catching up with you...that's about the best I can do.
Its been a mixed winter here at the studio...started out with snow, snow melted, got cold for "a" day (27 below zero with 30 mph winds), then moderated, got nice, had freezing rains, moderated, had 10 inches of snow...and now here we are!  
Not a typical NW Iowa winter at all.  I do remember winters of my youth where we'd occasionally get a January thaw - that we got.  Otherwise very mixed up.  We did follow last year's trend where the final weeks of autumn were much warmer than usual, so when winter started it was not very typical.

Enough weather dissertation.  What does one do when the days are short and the temps chilly?  Take their mind off it and think Spring!  

I've been working on some more small bird portraits in color pencil...actually they are nearly life size, but these birds are small "in hand".  I'd been meaning to do a Baltimore Oriole male; these incredibly brightly colored birds are never tiresome to watch through mid spring and summer - their voices every bit as bright and arresting!

They usually arrive "here" in early May and stay through much of September.  We look for their hanging basket nest around the yard and often find them very near the house, where we can sit and watch their brood rearing each day.  If we can't locate the nests (which was the case this past summer), they always show up after the leaves fall.

These are fun birds to watch at the bird feeders - they love grape jelly!  Many people think they need an orange to attract oriole but really a plain plastic orange colored bowl and a good helping of grape jelly is all that's needed. They do like drinking out of the hummingbird feeders too.

I don't want to wish the weeks away but I am looking forward to May and the oriole's return!