Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring... Full Swing!

April crept in surreptitiously... cunningly and with vengeance in her heart. I awoke on the morning of April 1st to discover fourteen inches of wet heavy snow on our deck. The birds at our feeders and I shared immediate disbelief... total disorientation and deflated spirits... knowing full well that the day ahead would be filled with challenges and interruptions to our spring day plans.

Feeder frenzy begins...

I cannot remember shoveling snow that heavy... nor will I... ever again! It is unhealthy for anyone to try and manhandle that heavy burden at any age. I cleared the deck first and freed my winged buddies from their worries... and their gratitude was immediate. Many came to the feeders even while I shovelled away the last of that heavy *@#%&. That lifted my spirits... a little.

We went to Kingston to do some chores... and returned to find a great deal of the dump "disappeared" or honey-combed by a very warm wind and sunlight. Hallelujah! What was to follow on the next day was mind boggling for me really. I pay very close attention to my natural surroundings... and honestly feel that I live mostly in tune and with understanding of the workings of my world about me. What transpired on the morning of April 2nd was as much an April Fool prank to my mind... and as much an anomaly as the fourteen inch April 1st overnight snow deposit.

The feeders and our front yard were filled with new arrivals and voices... each species displaying territorial and courtship behaviours in their varied voices and actions. It was tumultuous... and at the same time awe inspiring. Spring had sprung! But this enigmatic display and event did not end here. Out on the River itself... the skies at every level suddenly flooded with more bird species... simultaneously on their migrating journeys back to summering locations.

Peer through the latticework of branches.... that erratic... undulating necklace of white beads are indisputably "wavies"... or north bound snow geese. No "V" formations characteristic of Canada Geese... rather knots that undulate earning them their Inuit name.... "wavies." These geese are a diet staple for the Inuit of the North and their hunters decoy them to within gun range by waving white sheets on the ground.

 Skeins of excited and seemingly endless honking Canada geese flocks of hundreds pushed through all morning... joined in their high stratosphere planes by undulating ribbons of snow geese... strung out like dental floss across a cloudless blue sky. At water level... endless squadrons of small shorebirds that I believed were willets or sandpipers crested the diamond encrusted calm waters at a dazzling clip. And in the middle space pockets of sea gulls of more than one genre winged their way eastward. Right on the water are vast resting and feeding rafts of varied waterfowl and geese... all displaying their bright spring mating plumage and doing their highly individual and ritualistic courtship dances. Soon they will be gone... lifting en mass to extend their annual spring odyssey northward.

I have never in all my years born witness to such a spring revival event of this magnitude... in a single moment. It was likely a once-in-a-life time fluke... or was it. I wonder???....

 My birding journal required some extra attention over the past few days... with sightings of more eagles, a snowy owl, turkey vultures song sparrows and American gold finches... just to name a few. It has been a wonderful spring tonic and booster shot for me - a break from the winter works water colour duties in our basement studio. That time and energy consuming project is coming along really well. I am "in the flow" and I am approaching the end off my first batch of chores. What a relief that is! I am pleased with what I have produced... but that is a story for another day.

I will sign off today with the mention of the spring arrival of another "migrator". My brother Don has arrived from Victoria BC and will be spending two weeks with us here at "Islesview".  All three of us are overjoyed to share this opportunity to "be family" after three years of separation...except by weekly back n' forth telephone calls. We are busy trippin' about daily to childhood haunts and enjoying great food and "Happy Hours"... that run into the evening late.

Here... I am joined by a Canadian dignitary... both excited for Donnie to arrive from Victoria. Patience laddies!

Don's in the middle part of the escalator travellers. Donnie is looking away almost embarrassed... and the first man is smiling at me... can't figure why????

Maybe it was my welcome sign I was holding! HA HA!!! Pay back Sib!....

Call it again.... a "Resurrection" of the spirit. I can only speak for my Self...  in that  I feel enriched... uplifted... and yes, at moments transcending today into a state of full mirth and Happiness! Spring... and Hope reigns Eternal in my heart... and the land about "Me"!

Thrusting tulips this morning newly emerged after the overnight rain

Joined by these anxious to escape skyward daffies!

First boat past Rockport... off to work in the islands... an early start.

Captain Eugene Johnston will have to settle for second on the water recognition this year.... but he really did try to retain his coveted win from last season. Ten stubborn inches of ice astern kept him from repeating this season. 

This sight at St Brendan's Cemetery across the Parkway greets me at the halfway point on my nightly walkabout. I always pause to give thanks for the blessings of my life and the gifts of my Creator. The depiction of Christ's Crucifixion... with the empty crypt behind indelibly transfix the frailty and brevity of human life. I am reminded that Christ's sacrifice was offered to insure a  promise of life beyond earthly existence. Whether one chooses to believe in that ... in my mind is based upon personal choice and conviction and is driven by simple Hope.

Hope is nothing but a word... a field of unfulfilled dreams... unless it is accompanied by direct actions and purpose to bring it into reality. I feel blessed that our Hopes have been kindled and given sustenance by mutual effort and definite plans to lead us into summer.

This watercolour sketch symbolizes one small action in my plan to extend beyond merely hoping. Enjoy!

I will be away from posting... until the dust settles and visiting is past and our Gallery is ready for summer visitors once again. I want to take this time to wish all of you...

Good Painting!... a Happy Spring and Happy Easter!


  1. Have a wonderful time visiting with your brother, time together becomes more precious the older we get.

  2. Hi Diana!... I am doing just that... as we speak! Time is the coin of my realm... and I do spend it carefully and only with family...special people and my work.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Good painting!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Gosh Bruce! I thrill to your watercolors - all of them! I don't think we've had snow in a couple of weeks, but still no buds of anything! I take that back...I did see what looked like rows of grass in one farmer's field so not sure if it is grass or a crop that just sprouted.

    I had to laugh at your !@#$%. Why? Because I wondered if that was what made you feel better...? Then I realized it was probably the birds feeding while you shoveled the finale. LOL

  4. Hi there Sherry!... Glad that the watercolour pleased you. Doing it did me as well!

    "Every day... row on row... Come and watch our gardens grow"! HA HA!! THat's the eway it is coming... and I look forward to discovering new changes as they emerge! My own private April Easter Egg Hunt! HA HA!

    The !@#$% was truly meant to describe my feelings... and I think my bird pals took pity on me!

    Thanks for dropping by! Talk to you again in a few weeks... when the world everywhere will most likely... and HOPE-fully be greener and more looking towards summer!

    Happy Easter top you and your Family Sherry! Keep up the great work at school,... I'm proud of you!

    Good Painting... and studying HA HA!
    Warmest regards,

  5. I loved hearing about the wild life, the deep snow then it starting to melt, then a visit from your brother, what an eventful day! I hope you have a lovely family time together and a great Easter too. Looking forward to better weather, here we had a fine sunny day and I held a flower painting class while the sunshine bathed our workshop room, just lovely to be amid flowers and sunshine!

  6. Hi there Caroline!... Thanks for dropping by and for your comments and sharings.

    We have certainly been enjoying being together and the wonderful intervals of warm sun shiny spring weather that have recently arrived in Rockport!

    Glad to hear that your classes are going smoothly. Flowers are a great spring theme to fire up Spring spirits.

    Good Painting and Happy Easter!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Hi Bruce, isn't nature wonderful, and always full of surprises.

    I hope you have a great time with Donnie.

    All the best,

  8. Good Morning Keith... An over-the-top... beautiful spring morning here in Rockport this morning!

    The river is almost totally free of ice... saw my first river freighter headin' up river and revel at the sights and signs of bird sightings on my travels with brother Don!

    I miss my daily water colour painting routine... but the three weeks will pass quickly and it will be quite some time before we can share each other's company again! Family first!... Then back to my painting projects! Lots of good things to look forward to!

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

    Good Painting and Happy Spring to you and yours Keith!
    Warmest regards,

  9. I hope all is well, Bruce? I haven't seen a post in quite awhile and just want to make sure you are ok. Hopefully just busy getting your shop ready to open!

  10. HI there Sherry!... Thanks for your concern! No worries.... just living a couple of weeks of joy and mirth with my bro' Don visiting from Victoria, BC! He heads back on Saturday... Back to the painting business and my easel on Sunday! Lots to do to get ready for the summer here in Rockport!

    Talk to you again soon!

    Happy Easter Sherry!
    Warmest regards,

  11. Thanks for another wonderful post, my friend!
    Loved your fowl language about the geese..Lol. I'm a big fan of birds and waterfowl and this post has been a special treat learning about from the North country.
    Enjoy the visit with your brother!
    Blessings (and a belated Happy Easter)

  12. Good evening Dean!... Always a treat to share thoughts... paintings and local "flavours"... with you Dean... fowl or not! HA HA!!!

    We all had a really wonderful visit and I will post soon to show some of our wanderings... they were all special!

    Many Rich Blessings... and Happy Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  13. pretty nice blog, following :)

  14. Thanks for the visit and compliment SS ! Glad to have you aboard!

    Warm regards,

  15. Hi Bruce, glad to hear you had a wonderful visit and we miss and look forward to you post. All the best to you and Deb.
    Happy Spring!

  16. Hi Joan!... Glad to be in touch again. I really did enjoy my visit with brother Don. I hope to post this week early to share some of our shananigans and adventures.

    I have needed to put my head down to unfininished yard work and preparations for
    opening the gallery here soon in May. Life getting in the way! HA HA!

    Good Painting!... and Happy Spring to you!
    Warmest regards,