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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/.

 

Draw a Bird Day: Grackle

grackle photo s

Every beach vacation comes with its own bird. One year it was mockingbirds, one year a very vocal cardinal.  One year, crows.

This year we were accompanied by grackles. They would sit on the railing of the beach house speaking in their rusty tongue, lined up like soldiers. If one turned, all turned.  Once they saw someone was paying attention they would vocalize a bit more and suddenly disappear.

On the beach they appeared ahead of my walking path and waited for me, foraging in the waves. As soon as I caught up, they flew off ahead again.

Although it’s natural to see their iridescent strutting as a variation on crows, grackles are actually part of the lark family, related also to blackbirds and orioles.

But they do have a connection to crows—all back birds are said to know magic, to live on the borders of the possible unknown.

standing on the edge
between water and shoreline,
feathers glittering,

you pause, watch me watching you–
our eyes meet through layered light

grackle close up s

For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words, a haibun.

Draw-a-Bird Day is placeholding here at method two madness each month until Nina returns.  You can find me at https://kblog.blog/ in the meantime.

I’ve also linked to dVerse Open Link night.

Draw-a-Bird Day: Blue Jay

blue jay oak leaves s

you woke me not with
singing, but with squawks—crowlike,
insistent and loud—

a flash of blue amid oak leaves,
glittering with morning sun

I read online that bands of blue jays making a racket are often harassing a predator–must have been a hawk about the other morning.

I will continue to do draw-a-bird day here, but I’ve been posting at kblog while Nina is taking an extended break.  Once she returns, I’ll be back at MeMadTwo regularly again.  In the meantime, visit me at my other site!

 

Draw-a-Bird Day: short crested coquette

short crested coquette paint s

hummingbird magnetic

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.

short crested coquette pencil s

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