Last evening, the same as a year ago we were treated to a wonderful, exciting, colouful display of foreworks ;One photo of which is shown above. The red explosion to the left was taken one year ago.: This neighbourly display is an annual event.
But then, with the early morning light of another cold, below freezing dawn, while reviewing my photos taken yesterday through my window I started to see the explosion of colour I had been searching for. Not the kind that lights up the night sky in an explosive display of immediacy, to then fade to nothingness. But, within my photos I found the enduring kind, the kind of colour that shares and spreads its beauty throughout the year, sometimes changing its hues and patterns with the seasons while adjusting to the intricate cycles and demands of nature. I was taken by surprise when I noticed an American Goldfinch displaying such a strong intensity of yellow among the trees. Goldfinch display a variety of shades and hues, changes being brought about by their stages of breeding and non-breeding cycles and their maturity being a factor influencing their appearance also, but this golden one yesterday seemed to be shouting of spring and optimism with what appeared to me to be a flamboyance of colour. Have you ever really looked at an American Tree Sparrow in detail? We are fortunate to have these little northern sparrows winter in our region and I find them an absolute visual delight to study. They have two distinctive markings which separate them easily from other sparrows. Their bill is bi coloured and they have a dark little spot centered on their breast. If you are at all inclined to sketching or painting these little sparrows just seem to urge one to get out your art supplies. The unusual pose of the photo below reminds me of a positioning Audubon might have used for one of his watercolours.
The contrast of black and white patterns are always striking and in winter they are especially so, standing out against the winter white landscape. I find much beauty in the winter plumage of a Starling and the Wood- peckers that frequent our feeders are fascinating to study in their detailed patterning. The additional red on the back of the head of a male Hairy or Downy Woodpecker is an added flair to a bird already feathered with much beauty.This photo above of this Downy Woodpecker might at first appear confusing but I have enlarged a portion of its side view and the red dash on its head. Look at all the possibilities for stitching or sketching or just doodling with a sketch pad and pencil!
Well, there you have it; my explosive greeting to the New Year!! Isn't it all so wonderful!! What ever the shapes, the sizes, the colours, the patterns ..... its out there, waiting to be discovered. Happy New Year everyone.
If you keep a green bough in your heart,
the singing bird will come... an ancient Chinese proverb"