A Year of Birds 2022: April

April is starting out very cold, after the warm weekend at the end of March. The chickadees and cardinals still visit the feeder, but once the snow melts from the ground I will stop. I don’t want any bears visiting! On the weekend, I go out to Misery Bay, and the canals nearby. I sawContinue reading “A Year of Birds 2022: April”

A Year of Birds 2022: February

The deer come to the bird feeder, and try to finish off any seeds left over. I see them each evening at around 4:30 pm. The numbers vary, but with the long, hard cold of winter, they are desperate for food. They are also fairly tame; I can almost walk up to them and petContinue reading “A Year of Birds 2022: February”

A Year of Birds: November

The days are getting shorter and much colder. Today, on the third, it snowed! I have started feeding the birds again, on the ground (I don’t dare fill the feeder, or the bears will get it; they have not gone into hibernation yet). The juncos were the first to find the seed I put out,Continue reading “A Year of Birds: November”

A Year of Birds: October

Now the days are getting cooler at night, and shorter. In the early morning, fog can be seen over Lake Huron in a thick white blanket that rolls towards the shore. I know that the shorter days and tree color changes herald the fall migration of the birds to warmer climates. I can still seeContinue reading “A Year of Birds: October”

A Year of Birds: August

This is more of my favorite photos of Michigan birds from the past year. I went on a belted King Fisher hunt today. I spotted one overlooking the waters near Squaw Bay, and so got out and hiked through the marsh to get a better look. It was a female, with the rusty belt acrossContinue reading “A Year of Birds: August”

A Year of (Michigan) Birds: July

The gulls have taken over the point to the north of the bay. They can be seen sunning, dozens of them perched on the rocks and walking around. When I go kayaking by the point, I can see the mergansers and their babies. They have 19! The babies are so cute, and follow in theContinue reading “A Year of (Michigan) Birds: July”

A Year of Birds: April

By mid-April, the migratory birds are back, and it is a delight to both see them soaring in the air and hear their calls in the trees along the beach.  The other day as some friends and I were hiking, we came upon an amazing sight: a group of 7 cedar waxwings was perched onContinue reading “A Year of Birds: April”

A Year of Birds: February

Since I am new to living in north Michigan near Lake Huron, I was surprised to discover that the bald eagle not only stays all winter long, but juveniles can often be seen hanging out near Misery Bay and other frozen marshes next to the now frozen lakeshore. They will at times hunt together alongContinue reading “A Year of Birds: February”

Flickers on the Ground (acrylic)

I think flickers are beautiful birds. A couple of months ago, I saw some in the side yard, busily eating ants (these woodpeckers like ants from any source, including an anthill!) This was painted in acrylic with a limited palette: titanium white, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre and sap green.

A Year of Birds: January

While I often share my paintings here, I have rarely shared my personal reference photos. I will be posting some of my favorite bird photos over the next few months, organized month-by-month, as well as some thoughts on each month. First is January. When it is January in north Michigan, a blanket of snow severalContinue reading “A Year of Birds: January”

Geese taking off in late afternoon: acrylic painting

I love the birds around Lake Huron, and last week I saw this beautiful sight that I decided to paint: Canadian Geese beginning to fly just before sunset. I used the following colors for this painting: ultramarine blue, cerulean blue; cadmium red medium; titanium white; burnt umber and Lamp Black.

Egrets Flying: acrylic painting

I decided to paint some white egrets flying over the marsh in northern Michigan, since these birds are beautiful and have begun showing up in a small town I was staying at in recent years. First, the painting, then the photos I took (I also used several others out of the dozens I took forContinue reading “Egrets Flying: acrylic painting”