Sunday, November 19, 2017

#2022 "Kingsdive"

This was the morning of the third day of the Paint the Town Kingston in association with the International Plein Air Painters World Wide Paint Out. An American bittern joined me while I painted. The bird gradually shuffled down the dock. This was a rare encounter. Bitterns are typically very elusive. The bittern appeared to be hunting for breakfast but I never saw it lunge at anything. Perhaps this solitary bittern had become a city dweller.
This unusual boat looked a bit like a tug. Old tires were draped off its hull everywhere so it must be accustomed to bumping into things. It might have been used as a diving platform as well. I liked the colours in the morning light and that is what attracted me to this subject matter.

The bittern is streaky, brown and buff heron that can materialize among the reeds, and disappear as quickly, especially when striking a concealment pose with neck stretched and bill pointed skyward. These stealthy carnivores stand motionless amid tall marsh vegetation, or patiently stalk fish, frogs, and insects. They are at their most noticeable in spring, when the marshes resound with their odd booming calls that sounds like the gulps of a thirsty giant. They have shorter legs and thicker necks than typical herons and a slightly hunched posture. The dagger like bill is long, straight, and sharply pointed. The wings are broad but the wingtips are somewhat pointed. They tend to forage alone - like I tend to paint alone.
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