Friday, September 7, 2007

Storks After Loss

Looking For Family

8.5" x 11"


There was a time during the summer, when, as we watched the storks in Poland via webcams, in one nest, the babies began to die, and one remaining egg didn't hatch. The last surviving baby was removed in an effort to save it, but, it, too, died shortly. There was a fungus that was the culprit, so the nest was treated.

The parents flew away, and it was not known if the storks would return.

Eventually, one lone stork returned. He (I just assume it was the male, since I can't tell them apart), let himself down onto the nest and looked around as if wondering, "Where is my family?"

The other stork did return after a while, although there were no more babies to care for. Like the other nests, the adults did leave on their migration to winter in Africa.

Too Much Wind
8.5" x 11"
The lone stork, possibly the Papa, appeared to be feeling the loss of his family. For a while, he just stood in the nest, pacing a little, as if looking for any signs of the other adult stork and the babies. After all, he had spent quite a few nights, braving the wind and the rain, standing on one foot for long periods of time, turning the eggs, and all the other duties that storks have to do. Now, where had the others gone?
One night, he returned to the nest, looked around it, and the wind picked up. He spread his wings out and jumped up and down, as if letting all his anger loose at the wind. "Too much wind!" It seemed as if he might shout it, if he could. But, having no voice to shout, or words to say, all he could do was to just jump up and down and face that wind, clatter his beak at it, and try to make it stop. He seemed to have had about all the difficulties that he could take and was about ready to explode.
As I observed the storks, they seemed to be not only graceful and strong, but also they exhibited emotions and expressions. I could see joy, love, sorrow, grief, anger, desperation, tiredness, energy in their faces and in their actions.
And, as I drew them, for once, my animal drawings didn't come out to look like cartoon characters. I was pleased with that, and with the studies I was able to do as quick sketches.
Sometimes, thebirds seemed to stay still, holding a pose, and looking at me, as if to say, "Draw me like this." Other times, they were quite active but showed very interesting poses.
I probably did more drawings from this particular nest because it wasn't a site where I could save a picture, if I found the pose interesting. Also, there was such amazment that those thin birds, could withstand the wind, rain, cold and hot temperatures, perched way up high-even standing on one leg, at times in what appeared to be high wind. And, in this nest, there was such anxiety and sadness over the illness and loss of the babies that we had all waited for.
While such may be the ways of nature, it is still sad to see those things happen to living things. When the birds would pant in their nests, I felt so bad that I couldn't do anything for them.
I couldn't do anything for them, but I could draw them and other people can now observe what I saw. And, maybe, that will increase some awareness and efforts at preservation.
I just read a news item today about the possibility that there will be no more polar bears in the years to come. I love to watch polar bears, too. They remind me of Olde English Sheepdogs, which are also a lot of fun to watch. I hope that they can survive, along with many other species, and make a comeback like alligators and wolves are doing. We must leave them space and care for even the smallest of creatures. Just look at those little faces, and bodies. How could we not want to help them!
You can enjoy more about storks on the sidebar of my page under Stork Sites. While some of the webcams have shut down, for now, as the storks are going to winter in Africa, or just have a drawing or sign where a live picture used to be, there are still some sites that have photos, galleries, forums, and information about storks. There is even one that has tracking information on some storks. And, next spring, when the storks return, the links to the webcams should be working, and you can find the links to them in one place on my blog. Then you, too, can watch a stork family grow. I feel like I have learned quite a bit, and have been somewhat productive in making these drawings. I plan to do more.
The webcams that I have been watching are in Poland and Germany.
Be sure and check out the other sites I have on the sidebar of my page. There are Artists and Authors, Interesting Sites, and Eye Sites, besides the Stork Sites section.
Thank you for reading and for your comments and support. I do welcome inquiries. Please share my sites with anyone who you think might be interested.

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