Friday, February 24, 2017

What do you do in a Blizzard?

"American Robin (male) - Portrait"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

What do you do in a blizzard?  Well, plow the acreage, shovel the walks and access to the feeders, have a nice bowl of Pazole (hope I spelled that right?) and then take a nap!  Then realize you haven't posted your latest drawings on your blog!

"American Robin (female) - Portrait"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

 I had been working on these small life-size color pencil portraits for some time - trying to get them done before the first robins showed for the year...but they beat me to it last week; oh well.  Never-the-less they were fun working on...I especially got a kick out of doing the scruffy immature bird!

"American Robin (immature) - Portrait"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

These are birds that just about everyone can identify with; probably our most familiar bird of the yard and lawns.  Most people probably don't wonder what kind of habitat this bird favored before we messed up the landscape and introduced lawns.

I have an audio recording I did many years ago of an American Robin in the north woods of Ontario, Canada, along a wilderness river. The familiar song of an American Robin takes on a whole new meaning reverberating down the pine and spruce corridors of the Canadian Shield!  Talk about "Wild"!  It was ghostly and beautiful; its a good bet our tame(ish) lawn birds were not so social before we came along...did we make couch potatoes out of our birds?  OK, that's taking it a bit far but we certainly did have an influence on the natural balance of things.  

Thinking about spring and these so familiar birds, as well as the wildness that still exists in them and their brethren - I guess that's what I do in a blizzard (after all the work is done anyway!).   

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Getting Closer!

 "American Robin - male"
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison

It's beginning to get kind of exciting here - our first flock of robins showed this past week and the air has been full of Canada Geese and today, Snow Geese.  As I type - small groups and pairs of Bald Eagles are catching updrafts over the acreage and valley.  Huge flocks of Red-wing Blackbirds are noisily accosting the valley as well, sending White-tail Deer running here and there, being disrupted from their sunny afternoon naps.
"Rose-breasted Grosbeak - female"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

I'm also still working on the birds that I'm longing to see here again in a few weeks...this sketch being a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  This is one bird I really admire up close, for they are a pretty unassuming songbird that seem to really like our bird feeders each spring and summer.  She was a pretty lady and was a fun challenge to capture it's subtle tonality and personality...not easy!

Spring - it's Getting closer! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Groundhog Day!

pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

It's Groundhog Day!  Wow did that ever get here fast!  I'd go for an early spring, but it feels really like early February here this a.m., around 10 degrees Fahrenheit out there - the sun is shining bright so I guess it'll see its shadow and we're out of luck!  Oh well, business as usual.

 "Brown Thrasher - Portrait"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

I'm still working on small Bird portraits, just finishing one that was a bit trickier for me...too much small work! But I'm still happy with how it came out - a Brown of our first larger songbirds returning in the spring! These are low nesters (usually in low thick brush or bushes) and found in our yard and grove all spring and summer - Great Singers! One of the Mimic-Thrushes (from the family Mimidae)...very fun to listen too all spring and summer long! 

Keep your spirits up - enjoy the winter days and look forward to spring and all it brings.  That old Woodchuck will just have to go back to bed - see him in March!