Birds of Texas
by Cindy Morawski
Tweet! From our moving car, I watched the birds perched on grasses and utility wires along the highway and flying across the big Texas sky. I was mesmerized. One of my first stops on my recent road trip--Caprock State Park in the Texas Panhandle--involved a hike and then a plein air painting session. After a late start, I felt the hot sun beating down on me. I decided to paint under the protection of a picnic pavilion. An angry bird made itself known immediately. Chirp! Cheep! I looked up to see tiny, fluffy heads of baby birds in a corner nest under the roof ~~trying to get Mama Bird's attention. The swallow swooped over me and then out. Oops! I didn't want to disturb lunch for these little ones. I moved on.
Driving across the Panhandle, I couldn't help but notice the endless fields of wheat. Some areas were being harvested by combines the size of a city block. Nearby, I spotted the blackbirds, seed-eaters who take advantage of the fallen wheat. After photographing them, I decided to later paint them in my studio on my return. The red-winged blackbirds reminded me of my childhood. I grew up on a farm in Western Pennsylvania, and I'd see them every summer near our pasture and wetlands. I always liked their calls and bright flashes of red when they flew by.
The Montezuma Quail is a West Texas bird, I noticed it on our return from Albuquerque. We drove through Van Horn, Fort Davis, and Marfa. Lots of territory for birds of every kind! These particular quail only weigh about 6 ounces and are the smallest quail in North America. They really stand out though due to their white-spotted wing feathers. I thought they were beautiful and aptly named. Real Royalty!
My bird paintings will be on sale at an upcoming event. The Randolph Metrocom Rotary Club Art Auction will take place on Saturday evening, July 20, 2013. Here's the address:
Garden Ridge Community Center, 9500 Municipal Parkway, Garden Ridge, TX. There's more information online through the Rotarty Club's website and through Facebook. Hope you'll join me!
Mockingbird Studio: (210)522-0706