Saturday, February 4, 2017

Being Still

Be still and surprising things will happen all around you.

Though it's still bitter cold, I went to the pond this morning. I have never been there on a Saturday. Only two people strolled by and they weren't as friendly as the weekday people. Perhaps they had a bad work week and now they had to exercise on the weekend to boot. I understand. I rather liked having MY pond to myself.

I "flew" around my laps, keeping to my promise of no sketching till the exercise is done. I was just so eager to get to sketching all the birds I kept seeing at the edge of the water.

Now here is one of the benefits of documenting one place. Finally I got to sit and I saw two Cedar Waxwings perched above my head; WAY EARLY for them to be showing their masked faces. But what a gift to me. Waxwings stand for gentleness and courtesy, something we all need to foster within ourselves these days.

I teach a class on how to draw birds, so my work this morning will be a good example of what to do in the field. Birds rarely sit still for you. You need to work fast - start by just observing them; are they rounded, long tail or short, thick bill or thin. Then lay in some basic shapes and a line for positioning. Now these sketches may not look like much to you, but I am now able to use them for reference to do an accurate drawing of that bird.

But back to the topic of this post. People are always in a rush. Keeping a nature journal forces you to slow down, relax and be in the moment. But you don't need to be an artist to enjoy nature. If you want to truly experience Mother Nature, you have to just sit and be still.

You will be surprised at how soon nature will resume and forget you are there. This little Yellow-rump Warbler got so used to me this morning he spent many minutes at my feet, poking through the grasses!

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