Friday, March 26, 2010

A quiet moment

Each evening, before dinner, I spend some time with the birds that visit our feeder. Okay, really what I do is try to be invisible, either in the kitchen at the window or on the front porch. The finches like me better in the house. If I dare to sit outside on the front porch they'll sit in the next-door neighbor's magnolia and chide me for interrupting their evening meal and social hour. The sparrows, towhees and mourning doves are less disturbed by my presence outdoors and will generally mill about as long as I stay quiet and don't make any sudden moves. Sketching birds involves many interruptions and a lot of waiting. The feeder is in our front yard which is about the size of a postage stamp. Every time someone walks by, or a big, noisy truck drives by, or a kid on a skateboard zooms down the street,  all of the birds scatter and I'm left waiting to see if they'll come back.

A few nights ago, while waiting for the finches to return I noticed a young white-crowned sparrow perched on one of the obsolete rungs on our telephone pole. The sun was already low enough that there were no shadows and the light was a bit orange. The sparrow stayed for what seemed like forever so I drew a couple of close-ups using my binoculars. Then, when the bird had gone and the finches still hadn't returned, I sketched out the scene.


  1. Your visual memory is fantastic, and so are these delightful birds! Most of us find it just about impossible to sketch using binoculars, but you have evidently taken the time to develop this unique ability.

  2. What a pleasant posting. A very nice way to end my day! I especially like your white-crowned sparrow.

  3. And what a wonderful quiet moment, I found myself relaxing as I read and enjoyed your drawings. Drawing birds is definitely a challenge! Your drawing skills shine, especially using ballpoint pen!