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Draw a Bird Day: Nightingale

nightingale 1s

I follow you
into the dark crescendo
of sleepless nights

nightingale 2s

I was inspired to draw a nightingale by Rose Ausländer’s beautiful elegy, “My Nightingale”.

Once upon a time my mother was a doe.
The gold- brown eyes
the grace
stayed with her from the doe-time.

Here she was
half angel half human –
the middle was Mother.
When I asked her what she would have wanted to be
she said: a nightingale.

Now she is a nightingale.
Night after night I hear her
in the garden of my sleepless dream.
She is singing the Zion of the ancestors
she is singing the long-ago Austria
she is singing the mountains and beech
forests of Bukowina.
Cradle songs
my nightingale
sings to me night after night
in the garden of my sleepless dream.

 

Once again, Draw a Bird Day is holding the fort at memadtwo, hoping Nina will be back soon.

Asian Dwarf Kingfisher (Draw a Bird Day)

dwarf kingfisher blk s

tiny wings perch, still–
suddenly swoop downward, flash
trail of jeweled light

tiny wings
sudden swoop trails flash
jeweled light

wings flash
suddenly
jewels

It’s the 8th of the month again!  Draw a Bird Day, and Poet’s Choice for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday.  This month I’ve taken my haiku and reduced it twice.  This is a good exercise for any poem I find.

dwarf kingfisher wht 2s

I chose to draw the Asian Dwarf Kingfisher this month because of its colors.  It’s a tiny bird–5″–one of 114 species of kingfishers.  I did not realize this species was so large and varied.  All nest in burrows and hunt by swooping down from a perched position.  Many hunt fish–that was my impression of them–but may also, like the dwarf kingfisher, eat insects, earthworms, and small amphibians.

Dwarf kingfishers, like many birds, are under threat of extinction due to loss of habitat.  Their main predators are foxes, raccoons, and snakes.

dwarf kingfisher wht 1s

Nina gave me the set of brush markers that I used experimentally in doing the last 2 drawings (the one on black was done in colored pencil).  I am still trying to convince her to start posting again.  She’s been doing some painting…maybe by next Draw a Bird Day.  In the meantime, you can find me most of the time at https://kblog.blog/.

Draw a Bird Day: Seagull

seagull 3s

voices in waves
sea calling gathering in
cadenced desire

Seagulls and pigeons are the main birds I see from my window.  But I hear robins every morning, and crows have started to visit the neighboring roofs as well.

This is a multiple poem posting for both Colleen’s #TankaTuesday (poet’s choice of words) and Frank Tassone’s “#Haikai Challenge #133 (twittering).  Seagulls do not twitter, so I wrote the lines above.

seagull 1s

I’ve been wanting to try a gogyoka, so for that I put in a little twittering.

sky wakes
with birds twittering dawn
stirring clouds
scattering colors
across each uncharted day

seagull 2s

Once again I’m posting for Draw a Bird Day as a place keeper for MeMadTwo until Nina gets back.  I’m doing NaPoWriMo at https://kblog.blog/

Amabie

amabie s

pandemic
healing spirit rises
from the sea

I missed Draw-a-Bird Day in March.  Amabie is not exactly a bird, but they have a bird beak.  A Japanese Yokai spirit, Amabie has reappeared recently in fresh interpretations all over the world.  The image of the Yokai itself is supposed to act as a charm against infectious disease.

Mine is a bit more fierce than most, but I feel the ferocity is warranted.  You can read more about Amabie, and see some gentler interpretations, here and here.

Tomorrow starts NaPoWriMo!  As Nina is still on haitus, I will be posting each day at my blog https://kblog.blog/.  Join in!

Black Cockatoo (draw a bird day)

black cockatoo scan s

rain magic magnetic

I wanted to at least keep Draw-a-Bird-Day going for Nina and me, even if we’re both absent from WordPress at the moment.  This is an old drawing that I never posted, but it seemed appropriate in many ways for the way the world feels right now.

Black Cockatoos are native to Australia and the surrounding islands, and were already facing habitat loss before the fires.  They are highly social and intelligent birds, but they also have mythical and cultural associations.  Symbols of change, spiritual freedom, communication, and survival, they are traditionally called on for their rain magic.  Black birds in general hold the secrets of alchemy, mystery, and transformation.  Our earth is crying out for all these things.

earth needs rain magic
to cleanse despair’s inferno
breathe flowers like stars

I also want to note that when you google “cockatoo” most of the links are about keeping them as pets.  Confinement and separation are not a natural or desirable existence for these beautiful creatures, and they can easily become destructive, depressed, and needy without constant attention and the freedom to wander and socialize in large flocks that is their normal way of life.

 

Crested Caracara (draw a bird day)

crested caracara combo s

appearances tell
stories, actions shout, defy
classification

I bought a bird book at a library sale intending to use the photos for collage.  Looking through, I was drawn to the same bird in two different sections of the book: the crested caracara.  The Cornell Bird Lab says it “looks like a hawk, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a falcon”.  Hence my senryu, for Colleen’s weekly challenge with poet’s choice of words.  Apply to humans as needed.

 

crested caracara wax paper s

Crested Caracaras live from the Southern United States down through Central and South America.  They are also known as the Mexican eagle, and are the subject of folklore throughout the region.  The only falcon that collects material to build a nest, caracaras are carnivorous scavengers, who will also hunt for small prey by running on or digging in the ground if necessary.

crested caracara 2s

I painted my image first on wax paper using acrylic, intending to do a monoprint, which did not work–the paint was not dense or thick enough.  I then painted it on rice paper, also using acrylic.  This made the paper shrink in places, but worked better than I expected.  I photographed both images, then superimposed the wax paper over the rice paper–strangely they fit together well, considering I did no pencil drawing for either, but just painted each.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m hoping she’ll be back in soon.  In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

crested caracara close up s

Cedar Waxwing (Draw-a-Bird Day)

cedar waxwing s

masked harlequin, air
dancer, choreographer
of parallel flight–

what secrets hold the patterns
of your synchronicity?

I chose the cedar waxwing for my bird this month because of its beautiful and varied coloration.  I wanted to do some drawing with my neocolors, blending difference shades to create multicolored effects.

I drew the bird paired, because waxwings are social birds, and often exhibit food-sharing behavior, as well as other complex rituals including the synchronized flight of large flocks.  They are native to North and Central America, and migrate in unpredictable patterns that follow berries and other sweet fruit, their main dietary source.  They like sugar so much they can get drunk from gorging on plentiful supplies of fruit.  They also eat insects.

Although the information I read said they are not often seen alone, I did come across a single waxwing on a tree by the path where I was walking near my brother’s house in North Carolina a few years ago.  They are distinctive and beautiful birds.

I also wanted to note that I have 3 pieces of art in The Raw Art Review Summer 2019.  You can see it here; the reblog would not work.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m hoping she’ll be back in 2020.  In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

 

Draw a Bird Day: Short-eared Owl

flying owl photo s

following behind–
owl-shadow, like a prism
scattering the dark

I did a few of these brush-painted flying owls and all of them looked very fishlike to me.  I usually think of owls as catlike, but in air they swim.  Short-eared owls in flight are described as “moth-like”.

pencil owl photo s

Short-eared owls have wide distribution, occurring on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.  The map I saw for North America showed wide declines in coastal populations due to loss of habitat, although those in the center of the United States and Canada seemed stable.

owl color photo s

They eat mainly rodents, and are in turn food for raptors and larger mammals because they nest on the ground.  Most active from dusk through dawn, they fly low over fields looking for prey.

Also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice of words.  It’s becoming a regular for Draw-a-Bird Day.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break.  I’m missing her, aren’t you?

In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

 

Draw-a-Bird Day: Pileated Woodpecker

pileated woodpecker s

Can you hear it? Earth’s
heartbeat chants in rhythm with
the drumming of birds.

I’ve been meaning to draw a woodpecker for awhile.  I painted this without a sketch, so the proportions are a little off, but I think it captures the essence–the colors and the crest and long beak.  I also put white on white lines for trees in the background.  Pileated Woodpeckers prefer to live in old growth forests, nesting in dead trees, and their numbers declined as forests were cleared in the 19th century.  But their numbers seem to be increasing again, as they adapt to new environments.

At my last residence I would see and hear red-headed woodpeckers. I haven’t seen any here, but on many weekends the African drummers are in residence at the historic mansion around the corner.  Both man and bird connecting to earth’s rhythms.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break.  Come back soon Nina, and bring some birds!

In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

Draw a Bird Day: Golden Winged Warbler

golden warbler 2s

tiny wanderer–
shrinking woodlands, flash of gold–
following your voice

The golden winged warbler is a tiny (5″) bird that is among the most endangered on a long list of endangered birds.  The population has been reduced by 2/3 in the last 50 years, mostly due to habitat loss in both breeding grounds (the largest population breeds in Michigan) and wintering habitat (in Central and South America–a long migration away).  They are shy, but vocal.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break.  Come back soon Nina!

In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.