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IMG_20170803_161604_443                                                       Melissa Blue Fine Art

This painting may not be done yet, but I was eager to share it with you. It recalls a day when my daughter and I were out botanizing in extremely tough terrain. No trails here~just a wet prairie. The moraines and sloughs are like corduroy in this preserve,  with tall vegetation that obscures your footing. One minute you’re on a sandy ridge, the next you are plunging into water and black muck, with grasses sawing your skin and biting insects assaulting your senses. Makes me shudder just to think of it, and Katie and I vowed we’d never go back in there no matter what plant might be growing there! However, one of the things nature teaches us is to look up from our trials and tribulations and see what grace notes she has to offer. On this afternoon we looked up to see these fledglings lined up on a dead limb. Aren’t they cute? You birders can set me straight on what they are. Martins? Swallows?

20 thoughts on “Fledglings

  1. OOoooh! How wonderful these are! The terrain does seem tough, but coming home with this sighting, and image for a painting is most excellent!

    I don’t know which they are, but you’re on the right track with Swallows or Martins. 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you so much Deborah! It’s true, there is always a sighting or two that make the thrashing through brush worth it.

      Not to far from this spot there is a colony of cliff swallows that nest in cavities they make in a sand bank. Isn’t that cool? I love to watch them.

  2. It’s a lovely painting, and the birds are looking very content – – watching you struggling through the sawgrass and thinking, gosh, I’ve really made the right career choice, I’m so glad I can just fly over all that mucky stuff! 🙂

    1. Hahaha!!! Thank you for that, Robert. You’ve given me my day’s chuckle with your delightful comment! 🙂 They do look a little smug, don’t they?

  3. Challenges of nature! Just such terrain keeps us out of it and lets it remain wild. 🙂 So long as no one goes after it with a bulldozer…
    Sweet painting that captures the highlight of the day. 🙂

    1. It is a dedicated nature preserve, and I’d been asked to be steward. Previously it had been slated for development, and some basements had been dug. That adds to the excitement under foot.

  4. Look at those prominent concave-down branches. The terrain may have gotten you down, true, yet we endure a lot for our art.

  5. Yes it was one of the places I thought about taking you but I thought better of it. It is stuffed full of rare plants for you to have seen, but probably not worth the price of admission. I’m glad you like my down branches. I really liked that too.

  6. My guess on the birds would be swallows. It’s the way they’re lined up that makes me think that. At the marinas now, the swallows that nest under the floating docks have fledged, and they spend their days lined up on lifelines and sailboat rigging, chirping and cheeping and waiting for their parents to swoop in with another treat. They seem to prefer staying together, and even though a group may split a bit, they do look just like your birds.

    It occurs to me that the branches you show might bounce and sway just like boat rigging. The young swallows I see seem to enjoy that. It’s rather like they have their own jungle gym.

    1. You’re right, it did bounce and sway. It never occurred to me that was fun for them! I love it that you’ve watched them there on the lifelines and riggings.

  7. I love this Melissa! You really captured the moment. I love this time of year and seeing fledglings about.

    1. Thank you! I really love it, too. Since my baby trees have been growing up I’m getting more bird species, and it has been fun to see that they nest in waves.

  8. So sweet. I would have guessed swallows, but I wasn’t sure. It seems that the ones I see around here don’t sit still long enough for a good look!

    1. Yes, I think they are swallows. It was remarkable how long these little ones stayed put.

  9. So beautiful, I’m gasping here with the serenity….

  10. Why thank you, Diana! I’m touched.

  11. So cute! 🙂 What a beautiful sight! Are you sure you don’t want to go back? The grass and insects do sound vicious…

    I’ve heard about Purple Martins but never seen them. I looked them up on All About Birds. They seem to be the only martins in North America. And it looks like they are in the swallow family… so they are swallows even though they are called martins. Your swallows remind me of barn swallows (these sometimes nest under wood bridges in wetlands), but they resemble some other swallow species too.

    1. Ah, you’ve explained it! I COULD have looked it up myself…:) They are cute, aren’t they? No, I’m quite sure I never want to venture in there again. There are thousands of beautiful acres to explore here without risk of life and limb, which is lucky isn’t it?

    1. Thank you so much!

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