A handsome Blue Heron moved into the pond by our home last spring. He’s quiet, elegant and very polite. A sterling example of the perfect neighbor.
This summer he allowed me to get fairly close and shoot a few of his dashing poses.
It was about 100 degrees and his beak was open. So I just assumed he was panting. After a little research I learned that I was close in my theory, but technically wrong.
Please pause for your random wild animal fact for the day: This open mouth display is actually called gular fluttering and is a response to heat-stress which helps the bird regulate his body temperature. In case you’re wildly curious – cormorants, pelicans, owls and nighthawks similarly indulge in this cooling behavior.
Back to our Heron. He took a break from sunning (or roasting?) to leisurely wade in the cool water.
His long legs and regal posture mesmerized me. It seemed every pose was perfect, almost like a graceful Adagio. I couldn’t help but think about all of the art that has been inspired by these statuesque coastal birds and others in the Ardeidae family.
This piece is by the unforgettable artist, Walton Ford. He has created many masterful works of every imaginable creature in the animal kingdom. Check out his story here. NY Mag described his soulful bird watercolors as Audubon-on-Viagra…a remarkably accurate depiction.
Bird art truly is lovely.
I love how nature inspires art.
For those of you who are thinking about adding classic bird-inspired art in your home, you can do it pretty affordably. Try snagging a vintage book filled with bird prints. Or comb the flea markets for bird sketches and prints and frame them and hang on a single wall in interesting frames.
Here’s one treasure I JUST found on ebay right here. It’s a vintage collection of Audubon books and bird prints. Wow! Someone is going to seriously score there. Let me know if you end up getting it, as it looks like quite a find!
Thanks to our neighborly Heron for today’s inspiration.
Is there any particular animal or creature that has inspired your art collection or design projects?