Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Twilight Greeting
8.5" x 11''
Last May, I learned about several webcams that showed nesting storks in Poland and Germany through one of my genealogy groups. We had some discussions, and some of us were fascinated as we watched these graceful birds, night and day. Not only did I learn new things, but I became interested in doing quick sketches of the birds as they went about the business of nesting and raising their new families. Their emotions seemed to come through the camera to the screen, and, sometimes, it even seemed as if they would pose for me as I drew.
We went through joy as the eggs hatched and the babies appeared, and suffered loss when the babies didn't make it. One whole nest of babies didn't survive. It was terrible to watch the babies pant and struggle to breathe, before they died. One last baby from that nest was taken away, in hopes they could save it, but it, too, died shortly. How sad it was to see that empty nest, and to watch the parents as they left, then returned to the empty nest.
One bird, possibly the male (I never could tell them apart), returned to the nest and looked lost. As winds picked up, he jumped in the air, flapping his wings and looking like he was really angry.
Babies in the other nests grew, tested their wings, flying some, walking around some, and in a short time, were ready for their first migration to Africa.
Now, when I go to those websites, they are empty. Someone on the list explained that the baby birds left early for their winter migration this year. This might indicate that there will be an early, cold winter.
I've been thinking that we might also have a cold, early winter this year, here in Texas. The cats' fur has turned darker, and it's longer and thicker. Since we have had so much rain, and lower temperatures, maybe we will have a real winter this year. And, since we had rain on the first day of school, the year might also be wet.
The birds gave us so much pleasure, that I'm going to really miss being able to watch them. I hope that they will have a safe trip, and winter, and will return to the nests in the spring.
As I searched the sites today, and looked at blank pictures, empty nests, or even words that I can't read, ( I don't read Polish or German), I thought it might be nice to share some of the sketches I did. I like the way they came out, rather loose and free.
The above picture, "Twilight Greeting", shows one couple, as they greeted each other. One had just returned to the nest while the other sat on the eggs. From what I have read, they don't have voices, as we know them, but they do "talk" by throwing their heads back, and clattering their bills together, while making noises back deep in their throats.
I'm going to add some links to the sidebar of my page. These are some of the places that I have been enjoying the storks, and I thought that, while the birds are now gone, there are still pictures in the galleries and information available. When the birds return next spring, the links will be there for visitors to enjoy. These will be listed under Stork Sites.
My youngest grandson has been enjoying the stork sites with me and he, obviously, noticed that I was drawing, and talking about, storks. He came into my room one day, telling me that he saw a stork in a tree on the street behind us. He was excited and drew a picture of it. He thought it was a black stork, but I told him that I don't think we have storks in this area. It might have been a crane, or a heron. He said it was in a tree. Another day, he saw it walking in the street. He did a nice drawing, I thought.
Also look for a new section on my blog called Eye Sites, with links to some websites that have information about Macular Degeneration.
Thank you for reading and sharing. I do welcome inquiries and comments

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