Birding is the Answer – Part 2

Using the source material from my trip to California, I have been creating cards showcasing  flowers and hummingbirds in watercolor.

Watercolor of several hummingbirds and hand lettered

Originally I thought I was observing  the Rufous hummer, but Toni the gardener from the Hill House set me straight.  It seems though the Rufous & Allen’s look very similar, only the Allen’s breeds in N. California. The male also has a green back further distinguishing it from the reddish brown of the Rufous.   The newly discovered Allen’s hummingbird has filled my summer and fall sketchbooks.  I’ve mixed new watercolor combinations to capture the beauty of the golden oranges, browns, reds, & greens found on this bird.  In the past I always associated hummingbirds with summer due to their fondness for nectar, but the Allen’s colors scream AUTUMN.

I just returned from a visit to Concord, MA where I enjoyed the company of friends who I’ve missed.  While visiting Betsi & Pete, I had the opportunity to photograph nuthatches, chickadees, and cardinals at feeders in their lovely backyard. As it gets cold, plants die, and  birds are drawn to feeders for food, giving us a chance to observe them up close and personal.  I saw a couple hawks watching with interest as well. That fact reminded me of a story relayed by my mother-in-law who saw a beloved cardinal snatched by a hawk near her Michigan feeder which she kept well stocked all winter long .  Ah the food chain……  November will see me happily painting nuthatches climbing down a tree head first, my favorite position.

Happy Birding Everyone!!!

Watercolor Hummingbird Signature

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