|Veery in the Wissahickon. Watercolor Sketch by Ken Januski.|
I've written before about the simple pleasure of watching nature unfold in a more or less predictable manner. One bird follows another more or less, in returning to the area, either to stay and breed or to move further north for breeding.
The first thrush, outside of the American Robin, is the Hermit Thrush. It too can be here during the winter so it's not really the first migrant thrush. That honor generally goes to the Wood Thrush, pictured below in a pencil and watercolor sketch of a Wood Thrush seen in the last week or so.
Soon after the Wood Thrush comes the Veery, which will also breed here like the Wood Thrush. It is pictured above. I finished this pencil and watercolor sketch today based on some photos I took yesterday. The Veeries had been calling but not showing themselves for the previous 2-3 days.
|Wood Thrush in the Wissahickon. Watercolor Sketch by Ken Januski.|
Along with the predictable arrival of wildlife is the predictable arrival of wildflowers and flowering shrubs. You can bet that when you see the beautiful Pinkster Azalea in bloom that Wood Thrush and Veery will be very close by. It would make an absolutely prototypical woodland scene if I were to paint or print a Pinkster Azalea with a Wood Thrush or Veery nearby.
|Pinkster Azalea in Bloom in the Wissahickon Valley. Photo by Ken Januski.|
In the past people have experienced the opposite, flora and fauna not appearing when they should or in the numbers that they should. Occasionally this happens and it's often an unpleasant sign of something wrong in the environment. I hate to see the day when I'll live through such an experience. At the moment there are a reasons to be optimistic: Bald Eagles, Osprey and Peregrines are almost plentiful around here after drastic declines. But in grassland areas, with which I'm not that familiar, there are great declines. Only time will tell if people here and around the world will continue to care about nature and its preservation.