Wednesday, January 14, 2009
St. James of Assissi? Not!
Here in Costa Rica, my studio apartment is a stone's throw from a small creek that runs through the property. Two stone's throws from a small river that turns into "Rio Grande" after one of the frequent torrential rains we have here. I open my front door to a view of two volcanoes...Turrialba and Irazu...both about 20 miles away. And rain forests all around. Costa Rica has something like 600 different varieties of birds. One third of them nest just outside my studio, mostly over the car. Another third arise in 100 decibel, jubilant celebration each morning about 3 o'clock. And the other third just flew into my apartment a few days ago.
One morning a few days ago just before the sky began turning light, there was a terrific noise outside my back door. I mean REALLY terrific noise. My back door opens into a large, high-ceiling, open-sided warehouse. I opened the door and was plastered with a wall of birds...on my head, in my ears, down my back and up my drawers. My two dogs, Pokey and Taco Belle freaked out....as did their owner. They funneled into the apartment like water out of a fire hose. I wasn't able to get an accurate count of all the birds in my kitchen, but I figure somewhere in the vicinity of 14 kazillion. They quit coming in after about a minute, but they found getting out wasn't nearly as easy as getting in. For at least an hour, I scooped up handfuls of birds and released em out the door. I had stragglers til late afternoon. I kept a couple of em for a few days inside my walk- in iguana/parrot cage. Darwin, my iguana, had no objection to them camping out on his back as you can see in the photo above. These birds are like little purple martins and they abound here, eating insects, but they have never massed an invasion before, or since. I get a chance to observe them, and the sparrows, and kiskadees and red doves, up close from the second floor window of my studio, and I keep a board of bread crumbs out for the moochers.
I painted these hungry little creatures on a 9x12 canvas with acrylics, and had a number of Giclee prints made, both of which are available for sale. Contact me if interested. I really think every mother in Texas and Florida with children at home should have a print of these open mouths hanging in their kitchen, just for spiritual support. And maybe in Louisiana, too.