Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Spontaneous Adventures

Marsh Wren in reeds
It has been an interesting adventure today for me and though I'm tired, I feel oddly rejuvenated. A couple of days ago I had mentioned to my friends and family that one of my goals for 2018 was to be a bit more spontaneous. I just wasn't expecting to have things happen so soon after posting the comment. While waiting for my coffee to brew, one of my best friends had contacted asking if I was up to go with her and her father to a local nature preserve. There was the sleepy side of me originally thinking "No, I just woke up and it's chilly outside" but what took over was the overwhelming thought of "Oh hell yeah! I could use some new reference shots for future project". So I let her know that I would be up for being dragged off into nature.

While charging my camera's battery, I chugged my coffee while getting dressed for the day. While I was getting ready for my outing, my dad wanders into the room to let me know that there was a Call for Artists that the Sacramento Fine Arts Center was having for their upcoming show 'Art Where Wild Things Are' show. I couldn't help but blink and be amused at the timing. The show is an annual juried show which aims to benefit ARNHA and the Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Egret fishing for food
Onward to Adventure!
My dear friend and her father swung by and picked me up before heading out to the Cosumnes River Preserve which is a nature reserve where people could come and observe marshland waterfowl, turtles, frogs and other such creatures. We are currently towards the end of Sandhill Crane season so we were keeping our fingers crossed that we might be able to spot them while we were out but since the day was overcast and grey, trying to pick out certain shape was going to be an interesting challenge. Arriving at our destination, the coos, twitters and quacks of the various birds in the flooded marshlands greeted my ears. 

Female crawdad traveling
with egg sack
Wandering along the paths, there was several flocks of Wood Ducks, Cinnamon Teals, Mallards along with an array of geese bobbing around in the water. Little Marsh Wrens and Red-Winged Black birds darting between the reeds and tree branches. With it still being winter here, the sky was grey and overcast. Of course new plant life and buds on the trees showed that Spring was just around the corner. 

Little Surprises 
During our adventure in nature, I had noticed a bit of movement in the grass near the path we were on. It had taken me a moment to realize it was actually a crawdad (crayfish). Not only was it alive but with a closer look, I realized that it was female with an egg sack tucked under her tail. We were both awed and perplexed at the unexpected discovery. How long did it take her to get all of the way where she was and why wasn't she near the water? We decided that it was best to not bother her and let her continue on her way just in case she knew something we didn't. So we continued on with our adventure. We could hear the croaks and ribbits of some Pacific Tree Frogs but they were so small that it was difficult to find them but we could hear their movements through the foliage. There were some small flowers here and there but of course I'm not very good at identifying the types of plants that they were from. 

Early Blooms

Once I returned home, I couldn't help but be delighted as I went through the images that I had taken. Looking through each one, I took the time to ponder which would make interesting painting and how I would create the image. Will I actually enter into the juried show? I haven't quite made a decision as of yet but I'm sure I will be able to make that choice before the deadline. 

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