Archives for category: animals

Riding my bike along the shallow muddy river I saw something beautiful. Three small, beautiful ducks swimming swiftly. They seemed very shy; they noticed me on the opposite side of the river looking at them and with furtive glances swam quickly away. The iridescent green stripe on their face was visible, then hidden, then visible again as they swam at different angles. Bright buff colored feathers under their tail, green iridescence contrasting with rusty brown on their face, delicate grey feathered pattern of their back and their shy behavior all made me excited to see this beautiful bird. The Green-winged Teal, Anas Crecca. This duck is common in our North East Winters, but I haven’t seen many. My phone was out of juice and I had no sketching materials so I could only record what I saw in my mind.

I came home and took out my art materials. No Green-winged Teal to be seen, I sketched a grey squirrel leaping and searching among the oak leaves. Blue-grey and rusty brown fur, dark eye circled by a cream colored line… was this furry being intrinsically less beautiful or exciting then the duck I had seen? I thought about our species’ search for the exotic. Maybe this search has helped us survive as a species. Does it still serve a purpose? Maybe, but we also lose something in the search by dismissing what is around us all the time. Is there any way to change this human trait? Maybe by just looking deeply at what is right here now. I think if we really look, we will always see beauty in nature, right now, right here where we are.

“The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”

― John Burroughs

pastel drawing by Rebecca Arnoldi

Eider duck sits by gulls. Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

Eider duck sits by gulls. Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

Black backed Gull eats remains of seal carcass

Black backed Gull eats remains of seal carcass

I went to photograph and paint seals. The sea was rough, and I got only quick glimpses of the seals.  I photographed gulls instead. Following the gulls, I saw an eider…Watching the Eider, it walked over to a Black-backed Gull eating the remains of a seal carcass.The tide came up and my art supplies, camera and I almost got washed away. On our way out,

eider walks among gulls, Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

eider walks among gulls,
Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

my dog led us to a leatherback turtle carcass. No photo; my camera battery ran out. But I do have something else to remember the turtle by…my dog got a quick roll in…we have a smell souvenir.

Brant in flight over water

Brant in flight over water. Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

Movement is our Home: We animals differ from plants in our ability to move. Plants move, but most move very slowly. Animals can move quickly, at a whim. We not only can move, but our bodies need movement to function well. Good circulation and a healthy lymph system, good digestion and good lung capacity  is cultivated by movement.  When we stifle our innate need for movement, we can develop physical and emotional imbalances. And for those injured or ill, or not free to move at their own will, even when we are still, there is a continuous movement of fluids and breath inside of us. For us animals, movement is home…