Monday, June 17, 2019

Of Tulips and Kinglets

Original Oil on Belgian Linen - 12 x 24 inches

This is somewhat of a different painting for me. For over a year, I’ve wanted to do a larger, colorful work, so I put two of my favorite spring things together: tulips and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. The tulips were in bloom along the Wolf River Sturgeon Trail in Wisconsin and the Ruby-crowned Kinglet stems from a lovely experience I had in my Minnesota woods on April 24th.

I knew the kinglets had arrived because I could hear their soft pretty calls in the conifers, and the spring migration was in its early stages. For those who love birds, the spring migration is freakin' awesome. For me, it kind of compares to warm chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Or, I could also say it's a little bit of a mind blowing, more than extraordinary, rather larger than life, hard to comprehend kind of experience that reminds me of hot tamales and firecrackers.

So, of course, I put on my coat and went into the woods to investigate. It wasn't long before I realized I was standing amongst a dozen or so Ruby-crowned Kinglets, all flitting about. I had never seen so many. The longer I stood, the closer they flew. Two separate times, I thought a kinglet was going to land on me. Yeah, I realize this is geek-dom at its finest, but for me it was pretty cool. I stayed there for a long time.

I also know each year is a little bit different when it comes to which birds I might see. So my dreamy, Ruby-crowned Kinglet experience, coupled with one and a half weeks of Cape May warblers eating from my feeders in May made up for not seeing or hearing a single Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, or Baltimore Oriole this spring at my home. Sort of. I mean, I really missed those birds a lot.

Below are some coarse photos I took of the painting's progress (not for color accuracy, mind you). I hope you are enjoying some of the last days of spring and the birds that came with it in your neck of the woods.

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