These two White Pelicans flying low and in unison as they come in for a landing remind me of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performing in a summer air show. As a spectator, I find myself entranced by the tight formation and flying agility.
Having captured this moment in a photograph, I realized that the simple yet striking composition and blue/white color combination would translate well into an oil painting. So, I used my digital paint box to create my best rendering. What do you think?
Snowbirds from the Great Lakes region, these large White Pelicans are fun to watch, especially when they spread their wings to fly, soar over the Gulf and come in for a quiet landing on the sandbar.
It was a balmy morning on Sanibel Island, Florida today in the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Bird lovers cruised slowly in cars and on bikes, and perched themselves along the shoreline with binoculars and cameras. The highlight of the morning was when one of us would say quietly to his neighbor, “Incoming!”
This great egret wading near a mangrove tree makes a serene scene. When you take a careful look, can you see the circular bands of light reflecting up on the egret?
My favorite part of this image is the composition, in which the strong vertical lines complement the horizontal lines. In addition, the generous amount of negative space adds to the simplicity and the serenity of the image. The color palette is also simple and natural.
I was an early bird this morning, driving an hour from Naples to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to photograph the American White Pelicans. These giant snowbirds only live here in Florida from October to April each year. I enjoyed watching them in the early morning sun. Nearby white ibis, great egrets, anhinga and sandpipers waded and fed in low tide.
Early Sunday morning, they sought light, peace and community. You could call it Bird Church. This flock of unusual white pelicans mingled with the cormorants. All I can say is this: I was grateful to bear witness.
This image of these two great egrets crossing each others’ paths while feeding reminds me of the universal truth about Nature that all of life is interconnected. The food chain ties together many life forms: plants, fish and mammals. Just think of what humans eat. All life forms depend on clean air, clean water and undeveloped areas of Earth.
I photographed these egrets in a nature preserve on Sanibel Island that is named for an editorial cartoonist who was passionate about the environment and was an important early conservationist. J. N. “Ding” Darling was concerned about the pace of development and believed that urban development was suffocating the ever shrinking untouched natural environments. ” D’ing” worked in Des Moines and New York City and won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1924. He was was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as head of the U.S. Biological Survey, forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Wikipedia)
In 1976, 5200 acres on Sanibel Island, FL were set aside as a National Wildlife Refuge, and the area is known for migratory bird populations. Often large flocks of roseate spoonbills feed there. Keep an eye out for more photos in future blogs.