Early Bird

Song birds have returned to our area after a very hard and long winter.  Ice and snow were piled up everywhere and even now sleet and freezing rain continue. 

The return of summer birds is certainly a harbinger of better weather ahead. The northern migration of birds includes robins who have always stood out as the "early bird that gets the worm." 

Worms hunted by robins help feed chicks in the nest. The nest is home for up to five eggs and is usually built fairly close to the ground. A few years ago I was lucky enough to locate a nest in a cedar tree by our path around the house and photograph them as they were laid and emerged.

One night after the chicks hatched a local house cat discovered, raided and destroyed the nest. When the mother robin attempted to rebuild the nest I removed her efforts and forced her to start over in a better location. It worked and we have enjoyed their company for many years since. This morning I noticed a robin building in exactly the same tree after all these years. The cat is long gone so it seems that it may be a good choice of site again. Now, I wonder if I should interrupt the construction before things get going.

Temporary Paint

Movement along a path can be reflected in painted images.
Neanderthal man had this figured out. Their temporary paintings on cave walls allow us to travel through thousands of years of human history.
Paint can reflect the temporary quality of objects and events. It can also reflect form.  
It is very interesting that paintings can be two things at once.

Nova Scotia Spring Picnic

Yesterday while enjoying a beautiful spring day and lunch on the top of Blomidon 
 I made a quick sketch of the area.

On this particular day the view itself is amazing. 
The sky has finally cleared after what has seemed 
like weeks of low cloud cover and fog.  
The tidal waters of the Bay of Fundy flood into
the Minas Basin to the shore of Blomidon.

Hawks and eagles soar above and song birds fill the warm air with their offerings.
Glooscap made his home and garden here and during the Seven Years War in 1755 the British military loaded Acadians onto ships and transported them to Africa and the United States from the opposite shore at Grande Pre.
While walking on our return trip we crested a hill looking 
in the opposite direction to the west over the Bay of Fundy.  

In the distance on the horizon was the silhouette of Isle Haute.
This sketch of Isle Haute was made on a different trip looking from the Town of Advocate. I knew the island was a long way off but I would not have believed that it was actually 35 miles away as a crow flies, an amazing site for sure.

Sketching Halifax Harbour

Trips to the harbour continue through the winter. 
With the aid of a car which doubles as a studio weather is not a problem although the snow banks were quite high on a few occasions.

 There is an element that I have mentioned before that continues to attract me. 
 One thing for sure is the scale of everything is gigantic and the giants move.

Gigantic boxes of steel and equipment moved by huge cranes to and from massive ships. 
Other harbour sketches can be seen at Halifax Traffic and Viewpoints as well as others like Harbour Sketches

There is Time

There was a time
before we rushed from place to place, event to event. 
Time to smell flowers, time to make drawings and paintings.
I think the time is now.

Halifax Traffic

The cold morning air of early winter calmed the harbour water just as
 a large container boat arrived at Halifax. 

Two strong tugs worked together turning the massive ship and its precious cargo. 
Working together they turn the ship and push her back to the wharf. 
I sketched the dance as quickly as possible. 
After docking the massive shore cranes take over the task of unloading and loading steel containers filled with products from around the world.

Brooks and Things

As spring takes form watching and listening to brooks took me back for a moment to a place in time when I hiked out in the woods on the other side of the lake. I carried a bag with paint and brushes and a stretched canvas with me for the walk. The air had warmed and new growth had begun to appear. No blackflies or mosquitoes were around the air was sweet.

Artists Spring relates another adventure with paint on the land.