Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 69: Hide-and-Seek

Bussey Hill, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, MA, 7:10am-7:40am
cold, clear, breezy

Did a lot of following this morning.

The sun was already peeking above a narrow sliver of clouds at the horizon when I got to Bussey Hill - I could see rosy splashes of light on the upper branches and tree-tops.

There were lots of trees screening the horizon, so I made haste to follow the glowing spaces in hopes of clearer views (logic: if the sunlight can make it through to this spot, I should be able to see the sun from this spot).

It was pretty quiet on the hill, and I decided to follow the one chickadee in the area. He took me from tree to tree to tree to tree! He didn't want to stay still, especially when a human with recording device kept creeping closer.

Unfortunately, my creeping is recorded too in today's clip!

Later I also followed a cardinal and a quasi-cardinal (crowned but only partially red in head, the rest brownish) into some bushes where we played hide-and-seek. Once again I marveled at Nature's ability to hide her own. Peeping through a latticework of branches and pine-like needles, I could not pick out the bird at all - he was perfectly camouflaged. However, when I stayed very still, I could discern some motion and figure out where he was.

It was not possible to glimpse more than a slight variation of color, though. The darkness of the inner bush, and the layers of criss-crossed branches made it impossible to see more.

I was impressed by the camouflage, and sketched a piece that emulates the busy latticework with a barely visible bird (melody) hidden in it.


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