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Souvenir's of the Day

"My paintings often contain souvenir's of the day - a song I heard, a bird I saw - which I then put on paper."

Ultimate Fisherman

This painting has a story.

I can sometimes be pretty clueless about something until it hits me in the face, or in this case, hits me in front of my windshield.. Now, I don't remember Great Blue Herons being in our neighborhood when I was growing up. "Neighborhood" being any waterway I traveled. But I remember the first time I experienced this beautiful bird. It was several years after Hurricane Katrina and her destruction. The area was fairly cleaned up and starting to come back. I was about a mile from my house on a road I traveled to and from work every day. I was kind of on "auto-pilot" as I drove home, when all of a sudden, out of the sky, a giant flies right in front of my windshield. I promise, I thought it was some kind of prehistoric bird...the wing span covered the entire windshield, the legs were at least two feet long, and it was carrying a long snake like object from its beak!

I slammed on brakes and stopped traffic!

I started looking in the direction that the bird had flown. There, in a friends large field, with a swampy pond, and large aging cypress trees, were two Great Blue Herons. They were on the top of a cypress, apparently building a nest!

As time went by, I would go down that road, to and from work every day. Every time I went by, I would watch to see if they were there. There was always at least one of them at the nest. I was fascinated by their beauty and their dedication to their creation. Several months went by and I again was driving down the same road, expecting to look up to see them in the Cypress tree. To my surprise, about a block before the expected sighting, I looked over to the side of the road, and right next to my car, was one of those beautiful birds. It was walking through the ditch at the side of the road. Close enough that I could have reached out and touched it. Graceful! Beautiful! I grabbed my camera! Again, I stopped traffic!

The Heron numbers have increased over the years. I now see them on all the waterways; the sand beaches, the banks of the bayous, the inlets. They stand there perfectly still, posing as if a model in a figure drawing class, or a high-end photo magazine. There beauty is like a ballet dancer holding a pose on stage...still, elegant, quiet. Then flight! Their grace in movement!

This past year was one of our worst years for hurricanes. We prepared for five named storms. The last one, Hurricane Zeta, was the one that had the highest winds. After, during the clean up period, I was again driving the same road. I again looked up to the cypress trees. To my dismay, the nests had pretty much been destroyed by the winds. I was still seeing the Herons on those waterways, but I wasn't sure they would build their nests back in those Cypress trees.

Then in early February, I was driving down that same road, about a mile from my house, and that huge, prehistoric, graceful beauty flew in front of my windshield, again. It carried a long reed of snake like grass in it's beak. Again, I stopped traffic, looked up, and there they were. They had all come back. They were building their nests back. Oh happy day!

I named this painting Ultimate Fisherman because a true fisherman will go where the fish are, even a ditch on the side of the road, if that is where they will catch fish. A true fisherman will look unknowingly elegant, where ever it happens to find the catch.

These beautiful birds are living the life they are born to live. To quote the poet Robert Lund..."In order to see the birds it is necessary to become part of the silence."

Wishing everyone the beauty of the connection of the silence.

Thanks for connecting,


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