Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birds in My Garden, Birds in My Art! (Part One)

Birds have influenced my life and my art since I can remember! As a child I remember setting up a laundry basket with a string tied to a stick and carefully putting a few pieces of bread out in a neat trail leading under the basket! I would quietly sit there for what seemed like hours to capture some poor unsuspecting bird. They almost always got away and if not, I would happily let them go, it was just very cool to get so close them!

Red Bellied Woodpecker 'Winter Birds' o8 Collection
Hand painted glass ornaments.

Years later, my sister brought home a pigeon for me to raise. She found him on the ground at her elementary school and knew exactly who would love to take care of him! I could write a book on my life with 'Babes'! I was inspired to draw and paint him, I created a beautiful lithograph in my high school art class, and photographed him! He was amazing and challenged my art skills as I tried to capture his wonderful personality! He followed me to college and actually introduced me to my husband! He was my companion for years!

Winter Birds '08' Collection:
Male Cardinal,Rose Breasted
Grosbeak, White Throated Sparrow

This love for Babes gave me a love for birds in general. I began learning to identify the birds around our yard and quickly realized how unique each one was. It gave me a whole new appreciation for birds.

When my husband and I moved into our home I found an injured Catbird that had flown into a window. He lived in one of our empty bedrooms until he could fly again. I set him free, but he stayed around my garden! Perched in a branch, he would call out to me to let me know he was nearby watching me work outside! He came back year after year! Eventually, people would bring me their injured birds to rehabilitate.

After having my first child I could no longer take on the responsibility of taking care of a bird 24/7. Investigating my options, I later found a wonderful place that would take in these birds called the Raptor Trust. This is an incredible place that I was so lucky to have found. I try to donate to them when I can, it's an incredible facility and provides a wonderful service! You must check them out!

With three children, I began to see that many children had little knowledge of the the plants and wildlife in their own backyards. I decided to fill that gap and became a 4H Leader. With a group of my children's friends, we began our two year journey and called ourselves the Backyard Nature Explorers !(this would make another book!) Here I introduced them to anything that one would find in their backyard. I taught them how to identify birds, make bird feeders, bird houses, dissect owl pellets and mount our finds. We learned the different owl calls and visited the Raptor Trust. The money we raised at the 4H Fair was also donated to the Raptor Trust.

Now you can start to see how my love for birds has intertwined through my life in many ways. Forgetting that I only started photographing with a digital camera several years ago I will have to scan pictures before I include them. So here are a few of my very recent items.
Sorry I can't seem to get any of my other pictures up! I'll try later. See my shop on Etsy.

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