Starlings at the feeder

Spring is in the air and the birds are actively pursuing their mating rituals. The wren outside my window has been singing his heart out, the tufted titmouse, the cardinal and the song sparrow join in the chorus. They are particularly active in the mornings. With my window open the sounds and smells of spring waft in.

This morning was all about the European starlings…I watched four of them at the feeder, their comical frenzy vying for the choice spots, ousting each other from perch to perch… tiny feeder, big bird – makes for quite some tom foolery!

Starlings whilst feeding constantly scan the air for predators making them skittish; unlike finches or song sparrows that are comfortable even when they see movement at the window. Sketching starlings requires more stealth and dexterity almost on a machiavellian level. Remaining partly hidden behind the blinds, with a narrow field of view and hardly any movement on my part, the sketches are a bit stiff, but we’re still fun to do and a few minutes of sketching certainly is meditative and relaxing.
Here are today’s sketches done in between reading and organizing. Did you try sketching today?

Talking about reading, Mary Oliver comes to mind- you can always count on her for great visual imagery… this here is an excerpt from one of her poems, if you have the time I highly recommend reading the full poem…

Starlings in Winter

by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,

but with stars in their black feathers,

they spring from the telephone wire

and instantly

they are acrobats

in the freezing wind.

And now, in the theater of air,

they swing over buildings, […

…] I feel my boots

trying to leave the ground,

I feel my heart

pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.

I want to be light and frolicsome.

I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings.

Today I read some of Mary Oliver words. What were your reading blocks today?

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