We started seeing these Falcons just about four years ago. The male Kestrals just happen to have two of my favorite colors. I have painted them several times and I just finished this mixed media on arches watercolor paper.
We name all the regular birdy visitors out here…….One of our favorites is Red Fred. A Red-Tailed Hawk. He was so sweet to pose for me today……
He just knows that he is cool…
Our niece, Anna asked me to do a painting of a Barn Owl for her room in her new house. I became inspired to grant her wish when I read Wesley The Owl by Stacey O”Brien. This is a book that I will always own and cherish. I gave my first copy to Annie and I will buy another to keep. It is that good. My husband Tom should really appreciate the fact that after reading about how heavenly, yet horrific it can be to raise an owl, I am not going to adopt one anytime soon. A friend just generously offered to allow me to help raise an orphaned Screech owl. Isn’t there enough screeching in this house already? Another well meaning friend has recently reminded me how much I would love an Alpaca. This is so tempting but after last week, I think I will wait til next year’s new crop. If an owlet appears on my doorstep, I think I might be in heaven, though. Just sayin’
They do not nest in Texas, so he was just spending the winter here where he could get hit by a truck…..poor pretty bird! Shoulda gone to Grandmother’s where you could get hassled by a feral cat!
Click here to read and listen to the sounds of this pretty little guy:
For the last several years, I have visited the same friends in the Texas Hill Country and I still need directions. Even so, I will inevitably make a wrong turn at the last fork in the road. My favorite friend to visit is a four year old Vulture named Buffy who was orphaned and had to be hand fed and cared for until she learned to survive on her own. Even after she learned to fly and was able to soar with the other Vultures she never needed a map to find her way back to her birthplace. Our friend Bruce has a way with birds and has rescued and rehabilitated numerous species through the years. They remind me of dogs with feathers. As much as I have read about birds, especially birds of prey, I am still clueless as to how they are able to migrate. I can’t even drive to the north side of San Antonio without a map. If you call someone a birdbrain it is supposed to be an insult, but more and more I realize how fascinating and complex birds are. Two weeks ago, Buffy and another Vulture were brought here to our ranch to be released so that they would have a safe environment free of the dangers of highways and power lines. We kept them confined to the aviary for a week and then according to plan we released them hoping that they would stay within a mile or so. Not a chance…..Yesterday, my phone rang. I did not recognize the area code or number. “Buffy is here perched on my shoulder” The call was from Dave, a neighbor of Bruce’s. My little birdbrain had flown 100 miles.
There’s no place like home……
My niece Ava loves owls. Her room has owl stencils on the walls, an owl bed spread and pillows. I am working on this sketch for her as a surprise……
This painting is exactly what I remember from our owl sighting about two years ago. I was riding Sarita and Tom was on Francie. It was not quite dark, but two Barred owls were perched together right on the fence-line to our neighbor’s property. The only other time we saw two owls together was right when we first bought the Rockin’ P ranch in 1996. I have seen a few road kill of these barred owls because of their habit of flying and hunting at a low position, perfect target for cars. Sunday night we saw one perched beside the county road and Tom saw him early this morning again. Too far away and too dark, but he was really looking for him.
I love all birds and animals, but owls are my current obsession and here is my collection……The painting above is oil on ampersand board of two eagle Owls. Some of my other paintings are listed on Etsy and you can click here to see them at Leicalady.etsy.com
We love it when we spot an owl. Seeing two was a special treat late one afternoon, trail riding in a wooded area of the ranch. We always carry our cameras with us on our saddles, but these two were long gone before we had a chance to capture them. This is a big painting in oil that I have started that reminds me of that day. If we had been lucky enough to get that shot, the depth of field would have been shallow and the image pretty much out of focus and underexposed. I will never forget the eyes, though.
I never fully understood what the true meaning of this sentence in Spanish was until I was separated from my family for too long of a period to be able to cope with it. We lost our precious brother, Russell and are grieving still….but we are all under the same moon and that gives me peace. I painted this little tribute dedicated to that thought today…..
Painted Bunting finally finished!!!!!!