Spring is here; everyday is different. I can't keep up. Last week, the deciduous trees were just pinking with colour and the dogwoods were bleeding red. All of nature was decked out in candy colours.
There is a field a few minutes walk from my home that is a haven to wildlife, though sadly much abused by ATV's and other motorized vehicles. While it is scarred by ever increasing circles of dust, there is still much beauty to behold. The contrast of the red and leafless dogwood with crayon green grass was the first thing to catch my eye. The second was the bobolink. Although it was distant, it was easilly identified as it was changed from all black, to mostly white as it turned its back to me. It sang a song that seemed to spill through the air like water, and that song had a great influence on the mood of my image. While I was thrilled with seeing a bobolink for the first time in my life (even if I had to squinch my eyes up and curse myself for not bringing binoculars), we were not yet done with beautiful things. I found a lively little grass snake sunning itself by the trail; it was feisty too, and made like a cobra when I my dog got too close. There was a pile of painted turtles that plopped back into their pond, two Canada geese perched on a half-submerged abandoned car, hundreds of trilliums in bloom, three big blue darners in mating flight (hmmm), and a cliff swallow buzzed overhead so close I could see the blue iridescence of its head. Closer to home, as in, just across the street from my house, a male osprey landed on a hydro pole to perch and eat a fish! Grackles cruised the sky, and walked the wires waiting for left-overs. I had my binoculars handy this time and had a full fifteen minutes to watch him dine. I could paint and draw for weeks on these sightings alone, but I'll likely be moving on to other things. Life moves fast.
PS. For local birders, you can probably see the bobolink if you drive to the 9th Line water tower, north of Bloomington Road and South of Musselmans Lake. Walk along the south perimeter of the big field and look north for the islands of dogwood and other lonely shrubs. I saw him in the same spot on separate occasions (the 2nd time with binoculars in hand) and heard another.