5 second sketches…

bird common merganser fem

If one is into recording observations from nature mostly as drawings vs. words, is there a difference between art and journaling? The sketches that fill my countless nature journals tend to take between 5 and 45 seconds, most closer to 5 like this one. I heard a song lyric yesterday that said something like, “You always build it better the second time…” So I wonder if the value of a sketch increases if you take the time to draw it again. For example, I realize now that maybe the water line around this common merganser female should not curl around behind her but go straight out behind her to better indicate her forward movement. And should she have an eyeball? And should I get out my color pencils or watercolors to share her dark red head and foggy gray body with you? And will I ever get over thinking that sketches that take a half hour or more are much better than my usual quickies? Does it matter?… aka. who cares?

Quoth the fish crow…

Fish crow

“Quoth the fish crow… Never more!” Such an Edgar Allen Poe Sunday! Could barely see or hear anything in the dense fog! No ravens in this area. Not even many American crows. But fish crows love to congregate and harass eagles, red shouldered hawks or anyone else of interest here on the Potomac.

Sun flying north!

Left photo shows sun setting at Indian Head on December 21, 2017, at the Winter Solstice. In same photo, you can see Crainy Island, a tiny spot in the Potomac River to the right of the sun. The right-hand photo shows sun setting directly behind Crainy Island on January 25, 2018. Next major stop in my visual sun progression markings is at High Point in VA. That should happen in roughly 6 weeks. Must look it up. Major visual point after that is at Hallowing Point, VA. Sun will reach Hallowing Point around March 21, 2018.  I normally use the first house on Hallowing Point as my special marker, rather than the tip of Hallowing Point because the sun sets just about at that house on my daughter’s birthday, 3/24 and then on its return trip south near my son’s birthday, 9/17.

Sunset 10-22-17

If you can enlarge this photo, Indian Head, Crainy Island, High Point and Hallowing Point can be found.

Tundra swan requires a runway.

Bird tundra swan takeoff

Juvenile tundra swan required a runway to take off from the pond!  I am so used to ducks popping up from the pond like corks that I was holding my camera in wrong position to capture the takeoff.  You can tell it’s a juvenile because the head is gray.

bird tundra swan 2

Swan was paddling around on the pond, totally unaware that I was sneaking up on it with all the stealth a senior citizen can muster.

These shots show the bird continuing to climb. To me the most interesting thing to observe here is the black edge at the end of the tail feathers. Those are the swan’s enormous black feet!