Saturday, February 23, 2019

Going On An Early Bird Hunt

Still got my usual bit of post-cold asthma cough after last weekend's cold, but it's a beautiful, quiet, and relatively warm day out there so I'm going to go see what kind of a paddle I can manage. It's still February, and I ordinarily see the first oystercatcher of Spring (robins stay in the city all year, so it's oystercatchers that are the harbinger in my book) in March, but a few years back I was with a Sebago hiking group at Jones Beach when we saw one in February. Something to watch for!

This is the unusually elaborate doodle I did after seeing an oystercatcher in the snow one March. It started out as a cartoon on a post-it but then I got a watercolor set and decided to play. Oystercatchers return well before the possibility of the last snow of the year and I always wonder if they're thinking any regretful thoughts about the tropics they just left when the northeast throws some spring snow at them. It does seem like animals handle bad weather way better than we do, but still...

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Evening update: No oystercatchers, just the usual winter mix of brants, buffleheads, and a couple of loons. Very nice paddle though, this time out to the ruined old pier that's attached to JFK airport and back, with a short pause to watch the planes take off and drink some hot tea. 13 miles again - that seems to be my favorite midrange cruise distance this winter! Photos tomorrow. 


Haralee said...

I love your illustration. I could be included too, dreaming about warmer weather and swaying palm trees!

bonnie said...

Thanks! It's terribly unscientific but I just find it so hard to imagine that these birds that were so recently in a much balmier climate have already forgotten it when the northeast throws icky northeast weather at them. :)

Rebecca Olkowski said...

Great illustration. I can only imagine it's cold on the water but I bet it's peaceful.

bonnie said...

It's cold but I'm dressed for it. Also I wouldn't go on my own if it was too cold - you add up the risks and low temperature is one that you just don't gamble with. I think it was around 40 on Saturday so with all the gear and keeping moving I was fine. SO peaceful though, it's really a treat to have the bay mostly to myself!