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.
We see these Falcons hovering over our pastures and diving down at awesome speeds, doing flips and dives attacking their prey. They are flashy and beautiful and fun to watch. I am working on this pan pastel painting to add to a series of Falcon paintings that will be part of a fund raiser for Last ChanceForever a rescue operation for all birds of prey…To purchase this painting or any other paintings please click here: leicalady.etsy.com Thank-you!
“What in the world is she doing in there?” The horses are looking through the window into my studio wondering why their breakfast is late……it’s not that they NEED to be fed. It’s just comfort food to compliment their gourmet pasture salad that they were bred to thrive on. A carrot or two and a scoop of sweet feed is what keeps them spoiled…..So, in the meantime I’m trying to complete at least one pastel painting a day to get ready for an art show/benefit that we are planning for our friends at Last Chance Forever the birds of prey rescue and rehabilitation center in San Antonio……
They are always watchful of their babies and very protective. The coyotes and other predators hardly have a chance with the way that these Mamas aggressively guard their babies. We love to see the Egrets around the cattle and they are as beneficial as they are beautiful to watch. They follow the cows and eat the insects that are disturbed by the footsteps of the livestock.They especially love grasshoppers. The head honchos of the pecking order have the prime spot closet to the cows. They will even pick ticks off of them which is a big help in eliminating tick borne diseases in cattle.