Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Every morning, I begin my walk with a sense of adventure, wondering what I'll see as I wander about. Although there are days when not much seems to be happening, most of the time there's a least one thing that inspires me to draw or to ask questions or both. Some days there's so much going on that it's hard to contain myself! That's how it was one day in September, when there seemed to be excited activity wherever I walked. Joining in the spirit of things, I had a blast sketching birds as they moved about the edge of the woods gathering food. First year birds chased each other wildly through the trees. A pair of young juncos flew so close that I could hear their wings beat as the sped past me. A Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) spent a good ten minutes demolishing an oak apple gall (Andricus californicus) to eat the larvae inside. Chickadees (Poecile rufescens) traveled through the treetops in search of insects to eat and a lovely but unfamiliar song led me to my first female Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana), a shy dingy yellow bird who I never would've found without hearing her first.