Had you given up on me? I'm still here, plugging along. Life decided to throw us a few curve balls in January, but all one can do is keep picking oneself up and dusting oneself off again. I've only been able to grab a few minutes here and there to paint. The process may be slower that way, but it still gets done.
Waxwings, both cedar and bohemian, form huge winter flocks in our valley and are a frequent sight around town this time of year. They've been on my mind lately because I haven't seen a one this year. Rumor has it that the weather to our north, in Canada, is more inviting to them and so they are not gracing us with their usual winter visit, making this mostly bird-less winter even more so. I miss them. I miss their high pitched calls, their undulating flocks, and the way they can completely cover a bare tree with colorful, noisy life. They especially love the mountain ash trees, gorging on the berries and sometimes getting drunk on the fermented ones. When they are spooked, hundreds of birds take off at once in a great whoosh and circle around the sky a few times until they decide it is safe and return to the trees, twittering and rustling. Seeing them just lifts my heart in the middle of a long, dreary winter. But not this year.
All is not lost, however. We are now entering February and the ducks will start coming back. I am hoping that we might be able to squeeze a quick trip down to our wildlife refuge this weekend to see if the pintails have returned, or at the very least the goldeneye - we get both Barrow's and common goldeneye. So you'll have to stay tuned.