“The forests are getting silent”
–Hanna Mounce, Maui Forest Bird Recovery
always more words, less
vast human wasteland
Eight birds from the Hawaiian Islands were on the official extinction list released by wildlife officials last week. Honeycreepers, descended from finches, are only found in Hawaii and have been losing species ever since explorers started bringing in invasive animals and diseases and destroying habitat in order to profit from the land.
Almost all the remaining honeycreepers are endangered. Besides their visual beauty, they pollinate native plants and keep insect populations under control.
Mosquitos, which are not native to the islands and arrived in the early 1800s, are one of the biggest dangers. They are hard to control and impossible to eliminate. The Avian Malaria and Avian Pox they brought has decimated the lower forest dwelling birds. As honeycreepers have retreated to higher elevations, climate change has followed them, raising the temperatures of the upper forests to levels that mosquitos can tolerate. The Maui Forest Recovery Project is working to save forest habitats and the plants and animals that live in its unique ecosystem.
I’ve written a shadorma this week for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice.
keeper and creator
measuring magic by the moon
For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice and for Draw a Bird Day, a didactic cinquian.
The Egyptian god Thoth was often represented as an ibis, or an ibis-headed man. Like the sacred ibis bird, he was associated with knowledge, wisdom and the moon, but also much more. Scribe to the gods, he taught men to write. He was the reckoner of time, “he who balances”, a scientist and magician.
Millions of ibis birds were mummified in Ancient Egypt as offerings to Thoth. The sacred ibis is now regionally extinct in Egypt, although it is still found in other Sub-Saharan African lands.
One species of ibis found in eastern American coastal regions is the glossy ibis. From a distance it appears to be a mostly uniform dark color, but close up its feathers become an iridescent rainbow.
Today is #WorldMigratoryBirdDay. The glossy ibis flocks that breed along the NE coast migrate to the Gulf of Mexico for wintering. As with all shore dependent migratory birds, saving our natural shorelines are one key to their survival.
Also linking to earthweal open link weekend.
This one doesn’t exactly look right. The iPhone camera is great but the light has to be perfect. I edit them because it’s fun. Sometimes it gets lost in translation.
I’m not sure if this one is done but I kind of like it. The orange spidery things were drips from another painting.
I took a shot of four in progress just for kicks.
Happy to see the schoolchildren back at the school across from my house. I’m hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel. Nina
flashes of yellow
Last fall my daughter and I were sitting on Columbia’s campus, talking and drinking coffee and tea, when we noticed a tiny yellowish bird looking for insects in a tree nearby. It looked a lot like the wood warbler I’ve drawn, above.
We didn’t see it well enough to positively identify it, but a birder friend suggested from my description that it was a warbler. Many species migrate through the area, in addition to common local residents like the yellow warbler.
The Blackburnian Warbler can also be found in New York, but I haven’t been lucky enough to see one. I would like to watch the intricate aerial dances they perform when protecting their territories.
I first drew the yellow warbler by itself, and scanned it, as backgrounds are always a problem for me. I’m still not sure about this one, although I like the colors.
I started this one a few weeks ago. It’s good that I’m trying to post some art every Monday because it makes me sit down and work. This one has the three figures in it but they were put in intentionally.
I wasn’t feeling inspired much. Took a walk with my husband and found this little bird wing. I’m hoping it’s just a piece from the bird and that the bird is still okay. It was a beautiful little find so I had to do a drawing.
Lovely weather here in New Jersey. I hope everyone has a good week. Nina
tiny wings perch, still–
suddenly swoop downward, flash
trail of jeweled light
sudden swoop trails flash
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.
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.
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/.
I consulted with the Oracle about this tiny (3″) Mexican hummingbird, one of many of the endangered bird species of the world. Less than 1000 are estimated to exist.
I did my first sketch, above, in colored pencil, but felt the colors lacked enough vibrancy, so I painted the top one with my metallic watercolors.
Flowers grow feathered
wings humming bird poetry
air breathes spiritsong
Not to brag but I think this might be one of my best portraits. This caught something of my friend Kerfe. Like I’ve said before Kerfe is aging very well. She still looks like the knit designer I met at Fairtex Mills all those many years ago.
I guess it’s her good bone structure.
Kerfe, I hope you like this one.
Portrait of Kerfe from our lunch a few weeks ago.
Emily and me on a merry-go-round in France. I enjoy working from old photos that I find. This is probably from the early nineties.