I haven’t posted much recently, partially because I’ve been trying to get out and sketch more when the weather had been nice, which means less time online. It’s funny how the internet exerts such a siren call, enticing me to spend time online, but when I just get outside and start sketching, I feel free of that pull and immerse myself more in the present moment. Here are a few sketches of some such recent “present moments,” some alone and some with Stephen.
Looking downriver from Shadows restaurant during Stephen’s birthday dinner
The trees may not have leaves yet, but spring really is finally arriving here in New York. Two days ago I went to Bowdoin Park, sat in the warm sun overlooking the Hudson River, and played with my paints. I love the varied colors of the land all year, and I especially like the more subtle melange of colors in an early spring landscape, when grasses are starting to green up and shrubs are just barely gaining a hint of color from buds swelling with the promise of vibrant color to come.
After watching the
wind whip up the river and a cloudburst obscure the downriver view for a
while, Stephen and I were strolling along the Newburgh waterfront on August 7th, when I stopped
to sketch a friendly duck, who was following people along the sidewalk.
While I was sketching her, Stephen asked me what some birds were down
by the water’s edge. I turned to see two striking black and white birds of a kind I had never seen before perched on rocks on the river’s edge.
The name “Avocet” immediately came to mind, but having never seen an Avocet or even a suspicion of one, I really wasn’t familiar with them. I did a couple of quick sketches,
along with some notes to help with identification, then ran to the car where I keep a
field guide and checked– they were indeed American Avocets! We went back to watch them
for a few more minutes, until they flew off low over the water, headed
down river, in the direction of Beacon or Cold Spring.
The American Avocet is not typically seen this far north along the east coast, so this is considered a rare bird sighting for our area, all the more special for us, as we were out on a dinner date for our anniversary. American Avocet Species Range Map