red-winged blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are apparently “one of the most abundant birds across North America” but Saturday was the first time I’ve observed any. They hang out in wet places, and we don’t have very many of them around here! The males are so handsome and showy, with their bright orange epaulettes which they puff up as they call.

Sketched from a photo by Ashok Khosla.

nicholas flat

While painting this, I could hear a group of young kids delightedly catching lizards. I was torn between ‘free range parent’ and ‘state park docent’ as I wondered if I should fondly recall the joys of childhood or admonish them not to hurt or take the animals. I said nothing, but I had all the feels.