Friday, March 18, 2011

Other Gifts

Watercolor and WC Pencil on recycled paper with
Gel Ink for the text
4" x 6"

I went otter hunting again yesterday.

I didn't find any. I'm not sure if I expected to see one or not.

I was extremely fortunate to have seen the otter last Saturday. After doing a little research on them, I found they can have a territory range of up to 50 miles! He may also be a little put off from this particular location as well since he was so annoyed at me for disturbing him. Not likely, but possible. This particular area is a riddle of creeks, rivers, ponds, and puddles so he has much to choose from.

However, other gifts were waiting.

I went to the otter's creek early yesterday morning and as I stood watching, I heard something hit the water. As I turned my head to see what it was I caught a flash of something speeding towards the top of the tallest pine tree just north of the creek. Try as I might, I could not make out a distinct ID.

I had the long lens on the camera and I tried to focus in on the bird, but there were too many branches fluttering in the breeze and the I couldn't bring anything into focus.

Time was running short as I was meeting a friend for a day-long outing so I abandoned the watch and headed out.
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Late in the afternoon, I decided to go back by the otter hole and see if maybe, just maybe, that sweet whiskered face would show itself.

No luck.

However, there was the sweetest breeze blowing, bees buzzed and butterflies floated by, a peaceful symphony reigned....a gift in itself to just stand there and take in the beautiful "silence."

The water was dappled with sun...I watched as seemingly lazy fish would swim in and out of the sun spots until they spotted some bug hitting on the surface of the water. They would shoot up like a rocket, leaving nothing more than a rolling of water as they swam back to the bottom. Silent ripples spread across the water.

Once again, a flash caught my attention.

Looking in the direction of the flash.....nothing.

Just as I started to turn away, another flash....maybe 6 or 7 feet above the water and no more than 10 feet away from me, almost at eye level, then straight up, fast as a bullet....again to the tallest pine, this time on the south side.

Ah, but this time I had a positive ID, a male Belted Kingfisher!!

I stayed south-facing and within 4 or 5 minutes, I saw him leave his perch and high above me, fly north, for parts unknown.

Nature seldom disappoints if we are open to receiving the gifts offered rather than the ones we came seeking.....

13 comments:

  1. Nature gives us the best gifts! And you gave us a great gift with this sketch! Thanks.

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  2. What a fun find. Lovely sketch of it too. Did you do it on the spot or later? I know Elva, went to the duck pond one day looking for snow on the back of geese but found an Otter instead.. something that isnt always around here. You do have to be open to suprises.

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  3. It was great fun going along with you on your outing. Kingfishers are amazing how they can dive into shallow water. Great sketch.

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  4. ...such beautiful moments you capture in your sketchbook. Kingfisher is most handsome and much different to those seen on Australia's east coast. Your sketch is fabulous!

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  5. Nice picture. I wish I'd had my camera ready the other morning when a crow perched on the goatpen gate. Jimmy Muffin didn't like it and wanted to butt the crow but couldn't figure out how to reach him so just kept showing like he was butting and dangerous. As soon as I stepped outside the crow flew off. Drawing the scene from memory escapes me. I think you did an excellent job!

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  6. Wonderful Laure. I can almost breath in the stillness of your spot ... and the interuption by the kingfisher. ... and you've captured the kingfisher's cocky attitude.

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  7. Yes, Teri, Nature's pretty generous!

    Cris, that bird was a bullet! There wasn't time to even get a pencil out before he was gone!

    It was an awesome day, Grace!

    Thanks, Lisa, glad you enjoyed it.

    Carole, do you have those gorgeous iridescent blue green beauties?

    Timaree, give it a go! You've nothing to lose and you might surprise yourself. You have the gate so you can sketch that without problem. Then add the crow.

    Thanks, Elva, it was a treat!

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  8. What a beautiful post, and wonderful painting. I'm glad you got to see the bird again and identify him this time!

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  9. Wonderful, Laure! I feel like I was there with you. Great page.

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  10. I love looking for otters and enjoy watching them. We've seen them in Myakka State Park...lots of them. Haven't seen a kingfisher tho.

    your drawing is wonderful, I love the composition in addition to the drawing of the birds. Wonderful

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  11. Thanks, KJ, me too!

    Thank you, Pam!

    Mim, I'll have to get down to Myakka! I haven't been there in years. The kingfishers are shy—this is the third one I've seen in all my years of looking for them here in Florida.

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  12. I agree with you about Nature's gifts. You only have to be there to receive them. This is a wonderful sketch of a Kingfisher. I have seen them before and yes, they are fast.
    The otter most likely has decided that this neighborhood is too "trashy" for him and moved on.

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