Tag Archive | drawing

Stellar’s Jay (Draw a Bird Day)

hawk’s cry
hungry birds scatter
blue wings appear
a raucous throng
feasting

A gogyohka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

I’ve been hearing blue jays everywhere I go for the last month. Since I’ve already featured blue jays, I decided to draw and paint its West Coast relative, the Stellar’s Jay. Like all jays, they are excellent mimics, and imitate hawks to scare other birds away from food they want to eat. They also pretend to be dogs, cats, squirrels and chickens.

Stellar Jays prefer dense coniferous wooded habitats, but being scavengers and opportunists, have adjusted well to the encroachment of humans.

Loggerhead Shrike: Draw a Bird Day

butcherbird–
we find your habits
distasteful–
twisting necks,
impaling your prey on thorns–
killing to survive

preferring
our own destructive
impulses–
too often
disconnected from earth–
we pull life apart

The Loggerhead Shrike, also known as butcherbird or thornbird, is a medium sized songbird that acts like a raptor.  With a short hooked beak, but lacking the talons of a true bird of prey, it hunts in similar ways, diving from an elevated perch or hovering and flushing its victims.  It then impales its food on thorns or barbed wire.  It can kill prey larger than itself by spearing the head or neck and twisting at a very high speed.  Sounds gruesome, no?  And many of the reference photos I looked at showed it either consuming or impaling its next meal–amphibians, insects, lizards, small mammals, small birds.

But it’s part of the food chain.  And that’s how it obtains it’s food.

Loggerhead Shrikes, like many birds, have become endangered as their North American habitats shrink or are destroyed.  Climate change and pesticides have also caused populations to decline.

How did I post this?  Several people suggested going into the WP Administration page where you can do a normal post without dealing with the blocks.  I looked at the block again briefly, but without success.

Still in the midst of moving, but should be back posting (as long as I can do it this way) in a couple weeks.

shell

conch 1 2

well, first the wayward wind—grey—if you tried to hold it, your hands remained empty–

the song of the sirens, spilled into a traverse of stone and sea—perhaps some dragon’s breath—a shape becoming uncovered, a shape turning into a wheel that reminds itself to spiral—

the beach is hungry, but in a subtle way—do not conclude that it can be ignored–

gaping portals
azure shimmering
meeting places

postcard shell 1

 

Stream of consciousness for Grace at dVerse.  I’ve been doing a lot of this because of a recent prompt I saw that incorporated this technique, where you took a treasured object and wrote a bunch of unedited stories about it.  This was from my origin story.

whelk 1 2015 comp

The original writing for this haibun took up a whole page–I just selected a few parts and made a kind of haiku by removing words from one “sentence”.  The drawings are once again taken from my archives.  I’ve spent a lot of time drawing shells.

shell tattoo close up s

Draw a Bird Day: Carolina Wren

carolina wren 3s

wren magnetic

The Carolina wren is common throughout the eastern United States, but it is more often seen than heard.  Ground dwellers who prefer the undergrowth near forests, they live in pairs, and are believed to mate for life.  The male is the most vocal, but they can also be heard in duet.  Although shy of humans, these small brown birds are active and inquisitive.

carolina wren 1s

deep rivers wander
tree to earthstone,
listening–
brown birdsong grows wild,
seeding wind with ancient light

carolina wren 2s

A gogyohka from the Oracle for Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

water music

water music s

sea reaches
toward land
waves form patterns
mermaid songs rising falling
on currents of air

I used the photo supplied by Sally Cronin, above, for Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday gogyohka.  The colored pencil drawing is one of water currents I did earlier this year.  I meant to do more of these, but it requires a focus I just don’t have right now.

Also posting on dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Mish.

Draw a Bird Day: Mallard

collage mallard a

we decoy ducks–turn
them into sitting targets
for the play of guns,

cartoon them with characters
that ignore their balanced grace

mallard f watercolor s

I did a lot of drawings and paintings of ducks and found them to be a challenge.  Often they ended up looking more like decoys than something alive.  I was interested to discover that the expression “sitting duck” came from how easy ducks are for hunters to shoot and kill–less sport than slaughter.

2 mallards s

I also did not know that they spend 2 weeks in late summer or early fall molting, replacing all of their feathers.  During that time they can’t fly.

 

ducklings drawing s

Mallards are good parents, and prefer shallow freshwater wetlands to raise their families.  They are one of the most recognizable and abundant duck species in the world, and ancestor to most strains of domesticated ducks.

For Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.  I’ve written a tanka.

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/

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.