Though not much paint has gotten splashed around lately I tend to spend many hours researching and gathering reference material. I continually view the world through my camera lens searching for reference material. Yesterday Gerald and I went walking the snow filled ravine. At the top of the hill where people have put out seeds I captured these pretty birds. They make such a wonderful sound; to me its like tiny tinkling bells in the trees.
Female redpoll above, male below. Notice that the male has a reddish collar bib whereas the female doesn't. I have been trying all this month to get good shots of these birds out in the countryside, well yesterday was my day for them. It would have been nice to have gotten the male in the trees rather than on a fence, yet seeing as I only use my photos as reference for my paintings it really doesn't matter as I can paint them into any setting I so choose. Ah Creation is such an adventure.
As the river was frozen over and a path had been cleared along it we ventured out on the waterway for a different perspective. At the beaver dam air hole where the water is kept liquid I saw spots of blood on the snow amid many paw prints. I wonder if a coyote caught one of the beavers off guard. The chickadees and redpolls were quite active chuckling above in the tree tops as they continuously flitted from tree to tree searching out delicacies that hide in the tree bark and lichens. The day was gray and about -4 which was pretty nice overall but was biting cold when the wind blew down through the ravine. It was a good day for viewing birds. Aside from the many chickadees and redpolls we saw pine siskins, two sets of downy woodpeckers whom I could no way get a decent shot of as they were happily chasing each other from tree to tree with hardly a pause. Two crows flew over head cawing and one bluejay squawked by a few times; how such a beautiful bird got such a raspy voice is a wonder.
These are shots of the river bank, I love the striations of the various mixes of clays soil and rock that lies under our feet. There were a few small coal seams but that shot was too blurry, I think at that point I was getting too tired and it was time to head back for a cup of coca to warm up.