Where Have All The Songs Gone?

March 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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Into The Wind by Joan Desmond, 30" x 24" acrylic on canvas

©Joan Desmond, Into The Wind. Acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

March pushes brazenly into the canyon. Wildflowers splash with vivid abandon on the hills this year, and the customary wind cuts deep, frantically knocking winter’s junk from pine trees. Accompanying such visual and physical, seasonal flurry, is an atypical silence on the trail. The usually rich warble, chirp, and cheep of the feathered ones have almost disappeared. It’s nesting time.

Gone are the pompous displays of song and plumage from February when the dating game was in full swing. Now, birds are paired up, busy, and strangely quiet. The male raven rarely takes his seat on the telephone pole. Nor is he at the window asking for peanuts. He waddles up the driveway noiselessly, one of his feathers amiss. I like to imagine him tired from feeding his incubating mate. A single blue jay comes foraging, rather than six or ten. No juncos, mourning dove, quail, sparrow or finch forage under bushes. No owls hoot in the dark. Occasionally, a colorful, unidentified stray flies by looking lost.

Soon this interlude will spin into April with new bird, sky antics. We’ll watch lumbering young raven take-offs, and near aerial collisions as parents caw directions; shrill alarmist blue jays in training are sure to chant endlessly, unable to distinguish a ground stick from a snake; and the sweet, versatile trill of the mockingbirds will charm again from tree and shrub. The rhythm sustained.

Louder Than A Rooster

June 10, 2008 at 11:38 am | Posted in Art Studio, Mask Collage Series | Leave a comment
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Erebos Raven

He’s been rocking in the forceful wind, long claws dug into the top of the phone pole across the road for months. Black feathers rise and fall with gusts, and at times glint white in the sun. Daily, his scratchy Caw! Caw! demands Peanuts! Peanuts! Come scatter the morning peanuts! If ignored he moves onto a pine branch above the house for the thunderous effect. At night he beds in those trees.

A smaller female has joined him.  They’ll both chase and dive-bomb hawks venturing into this air space as if somehow a red-tail might steal the precious meal. Lately, their biggest competitor is a coyote who also likes goobers. Not as successful as expelling that raider, they boldly swoop and hop around him hopeful of leftovers.

In an opportune moment, the ravens stuff several peanuts in their beaks and fly off to dissect them. Only then is it quiet.

Of course there had to be a raven collage mask!

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