Wednesday, May 7, 2008

THE DRAWING . . . details & notes

Camouflaged was inspired when a Killdeer laid her eggs near the edge of my driveway last spring. I was closing the gate one afternoon and saw the Killdeer doing her injured bird act and decided she must have a nest nearby. Little did I know it was right at my feet until I looked down! Her nest was so well camouflaged that when I looked away and then looked back down again I had to really search the area to find it.

I immediately took several pictures of her nest and watched and waited anxiously for the day they would hatch in hopes of catching a few pictures of those little birds on the run. We had a brief cold spell last spring that brought with it sleet and snow but the Killdeer and her eggs made it through fine and I worried for nothing. I did miss the hatching though, much to my sadness. I was glad though once I saw they had hatched I didn’t have to tip toe around the area of the nest and gate for fear of crushing them.

Killdeer don’t make much of a nest – just a little indention in the ground with a twig or two and a few pebbles to spruce up the place. I observed both the male and female birds sitting on the eggs. Once they hatch and their down dries the little Killdeer are off and running catching their food and following mom around learning Killdeer things.

An interesting bit I noted when doing this drawing is if you squint your eyes and look at the surrounding rocks and pebbles you can see why the markings are the way they are on the eggs and why they are so well camouflaged. The dark markings resemble the dark negative spaces between the rocks and pebbles making it hard for predators to spot them. God certainly knew what He was doing when He created the Killdeer and gave them the wonderful ability to camouflage their nests. Amazing!
The original drawing is available at this writing. Limited Edition prints are available too. It is 10” x 14”. One of the things I especially like about this drawing is the way the edges of the drawing are “outside the box” and spill over on to the border of the paper giving it a really natural feel. If you are interested in purchasing the original or a Limited Edition print, more information may be found on my website.

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