Birds and Boats ~Waiting for their ship to come in!

Maritime art and Aviary art don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Birds and boats go together like ham and eggs, much to many boaters’ chagrin.  Boaters constantly have to clean up after them.  Many docks have pointed tops on their pilings, so the birds won’t land on them.  Boaters put canvas covers on their boats to help keep them clean.  

In my quest to always find new material to paint, I keep coming across scenes where both bird and boat share the stage.  I thought I’d share some photographic images I’ve taken while hanging around the docks!  ☺

"I'm a really good driver!"

"I'm a really good driver!"

"Ready when you are Captain!"

"Ready when you are Captain!"

"Something smells fishy in there!"

"Something smells fishy in there!"

"They aren't leaving without us!"

"They aren't leaving without us!"

Barn Swallow chirping out orders!

Barn Swallow chirping out orders!

Barn Swallow watching the winds!

Barn Swallow watching the winds!

Boat Watching!

Boat Watching!

Heron hiding behind the jib!

Heron hiding behind the jib!

Juvenile Osprey putting a few holes in the mainsail!

Juvenile Osprey putting a few holes in the mainsail!

The Kingfisher Weatherbird!

The Kingfisher Weatherbird!

Waiting for his ship to come in!

Waiting for his ship to come in!

Waiting for the next haul!

Waiting for the next haul!

Walking the plank!

Walking the plank!

We can’t all wait around for our ship to come in.  I’ve got to get back to work!  ☺

Thank you, as always, for your interest in my journal and my art!


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next?  Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe

Funny Outtakes from the Virginia Living Museum!

Being ready for the right moment is sometimes tricky when photographing birds.  They can move unexpectedly or too quickly to capture them in just the right pose.  I’ve had many missed opportunities in my short time as a birder.  I kick myself when I didn’t set the right setting on the camera or when I was unprepared for a unique moment.

Occasionally funny moments take place.  I’m usually laughing out loud when it happens and I’m praying that the photo turns out.  Here are a few unexpected bird moments that I managed to catch on camera.  I hope you get as much of a kick out of them as I did!

To read the first post about my visit to the VLM click here.

Yikes~look at my feathers!

Yikes~look at my feathers!

A bad itch on a bad hair day!!!

A bad itch on a bad hair day!!!

Don't shoot~I give up!!!

Don't shoot~I give up!!!

Well hello there....how about a little snack???

Well hello there....how about a little snack???

The Blue hair special!

The Blue hair special!

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

Log roll~ I bet you can't do this!

Log roll~ I bet you can't do this!

Whoa... was that a snake???

Whoa... was that a snake???

Say what????

Say what????


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next?  Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe

Funny Bird Moments ~ The Sequel!

In my blog entitled Funny Moments – This is for the birds, I shared with you some photos of beautiful birds caught in awkward moments. I post some of these humorous pictures along with captions on Facebook hoping to make someone smile.  I enjoyed putting them all together last time in blog form, so I thought I’d produce the sequel.  

Some of these awkward, funny and human-like moments many of us can relate to!

So here goes!  One day on a walk I discovered a Cormorant with ADHD on a stump in the middle of some nearby wetlands.  His head was bobbing and weaving like a prize fighter, turning side to side and looking in all directions.  His wings were flapping and fanning out to dry.  He’d go swimming, fishing, and he took over the pond like he was the Rodney Dangerfield of birds!  ☺  

El Cormoranto singing O Sole Mio!

El Cormoranto singing O Sole Mio!

Left Winger    The politician on the Stump!

Left Winger

The politician on the Stump!

Down the Hatch~Gone fishing!     Just a little appetizer before dinner! I just love seafood! Heads I win, tails you lose! :)

Down the Hatch~Gone fishing!

Just a little appetizer before dinner! I just love seafood! Heads I win, tails you lose! :)

I was on a mission one morning looking for a Great Blue Heron known by the locals as Big Blue, who usually owns the pond that El Cormoranto had taken over, but he was nowhere to be seen.  As I was walking around a bend heading back to my car, I spotted him out of the corner of my eye.  There he was in a small swampy area, in the rain, all by himself, looking down and out.  The Cormorant had taken over his territory and he looked terribly misplaced.

Homeless Bird     Living out in the rain in the swamps is hard on this old bird's feathers!

Homeless Bird

Living out in the rain in the swamps is hard on this old bird's feathers!

On an afternoon ferry ride across the James River headed to Smithfield, VA, I took this shot of some seagulls.  One gull seemed to be taking over as the tourist guide for the group and was informing the group that they had a long flight ahead of them!

The Rest Station     It's going to be a long flight, so if anyone has to go I suggest you go now!

The Rest Station

It's going to be a long flight, so if anyone has to go I suggest you go now!

On another outing we were walking down a dock and we had the feeling that someone was looking at us.   The sun was shining on this Yellow-Crowned Night Heron who was popping right out of a bush, frozen still as if he was trying to blend into the scenery and go undetected.  

Bird in the Bush!    A bird in the bush is better than none in the bush!

Bird in the Bush!

A bird in the bush is better than none in the bush!

I love how this Tri-colored Heron was hiding behind the rolled up jib of a sailboat, trying to go unnoticed!   He reminds me of Kato in the Pink Panther movies, waiting to pounce on Inspector Clouseau!  ☺

KATO !    If I stand really still I don’t think anyone can see me!

KATO

If I stand really still I don’t think anyone can see me!

This juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron appears almost naked and cold with his new feathers.  I think he was embarrassed to be spotted and photographed.

OUT ON A LIMB!     Has anybody seen my feathers? 

OUT ON A LIMB! 

Has anybody seen my feathers? 

Did you see Miley on the VMA Music awards show?

This black-headed Seagull was doing her best Miley Cyrus impression!  ☺

This black-headed Seagull was doing her best Miley Cyrus impression!  ☺

Finally, this Tri-colored Heron perked up and is ready for take-off in this picture.  Like a racer or swimmer on his mark, this bird is getting a slight head start by stretching over the starting line!

ON YOUR MARK.....    I think he’s going to win by a neck!

ON YOUR MARK..... 

I think he’s going to win by a neck!

Trying to analyze the actions of these birds can lead one to wonder just what are they thinking?  Sometimes, projecting human behavior on them provides some comedy relief.  I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the more unusual photos I’ve taken.  To view my bird paintings click here.

My future birdlife paintings will show the birds in a more flattering light.  Thanks for following my art, even though I have gone to the birds!!!

Funny Moments ~ This is for the birds!

As I set out to paint serious paintings of a wide variety of birds, I’ve spent a good bit of time watching them in their natural habitats.  With each photographic outing I hope to capture something different, interesting or unique.  Occasionally, the birds provide me with material I never expected!

I thought it would be fun to put together a compilation of humorous bird pictures that I’ve taken while looking for painting material.  Some of these I’ve posted on Facebook, but never before have they all been posted together as a body of work!  ☺

One of my favorites is a photo I entitled Bad Hair Day.  This Great Blue Heron flew by the ferry we were on and landed on a concrete piling with a real windblown look about him!  I had never seen anything like it and I found it most amusing.

Bad Hair Day!  

Bad Hair Day! 

Another bad hair day was this shot of a Night Heron.  He was posing nicely on a post when all of a sudden he shook himself into a static state!  ☺

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!  

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! 

The same bird decided that standing around on a post for too long was making his bird legs cramp up, so he unexpectedly started stretching.  Here is a photo I call S-T-R-E-T-C-H!  ☺

S-T-R-E-T-C-H!!!  

S-T-R-E-T-C-H!!! 

This next Night Heron had a lot on his mind.  I call him The Thinker!

The Thinker! 

The Thinker! 

One the most beautiful birds I unexpectedly came upon was a Tri-colored Heron.  He went through a series of poses on a piling that had me snapping away at rapid speed.  After I downloaded and analyzed my photos I realized there were a number of humorous poses.

 This bird with its ruffled rufous neck feathers appears to have quite the attitude!

ATTITUDE!!!!!!

ATTITUDE!!!!!!

The one below I call The Navel Aviator.  It was such an odd position I thought the play on words was appropriate!  ☺

The Navel Aviator!  

The Navel Aviator! 

The Scream really caught me off guard.  This Night Heron went from a cute little fellow to an alien in a split second!  ☺

The Scream! 

The Scream! 

This shy, somewhat ashamed Night Heron must have been thinking ~ I Swear It Wasn’t Me!  ☺

What a mess~I swear I didn't do it!   

What a mess~I swear I didn't do it! 

This proud mallard drake decided he wanted to get some attention!  ☺

Hey Look at Me!  

Hey Look at Me! 


This Tri-colored Heron gave me a funny look before he decided to fly away. 

Say what???  

Say what??? 

Many of the birds end up staring at me and sizing me up.  Some fly away quickly and others find me harmless and decide to pose.  I love it when they realize I’m not a threat and they go about their business.  Just today I watched up close a Night Heron stalk, strike and devour a couple of small crabs.  I also witnessed a Great Blue Heron get all worked up over two Night Herons that were trespassing upon his territory.  The GBH squawked loudly several times and angrily flew off to a nearby spot where he could have his me time. 

What I’ve learned about these birds is that they each have a lot of personality.  The same bird can have many different looks.  For an artist this creates endless possibilities for compositions.  Choosing which to paint will be difficult but I can’t wait to start painting!

Shy bird!  

Shy bird!