More window shopping along Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman’s, this vignette is called A Bird’s Eye View. These windows glow like jewels at night but during the day they play with the reflections of the city, creating a wintery dreamscape. Beyond all the white feathered birds here, I love the languid gesture of both the peacock’s neck and the manikin’s arm! In the final photo a woman seems to materialize from a glowing curtain of feathers!
I spent a perfect day with a white hummingbird – my new muse!
This Leucistic Hummingbird, visiting the Australian Gardens at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, may be the first sighting of its kind in Santa Cruz County! I’ve been scouring the web for more info and it seems there have been sightings in Santa Barbara as well. The Leucistic Humming bird (in this case most likely an Anna’s Hummingbird) retains some pigmentation (dark eyes, beak and legs and often there are traces of color in it’s plumage) where as a pure albino hummingbird would have a complete lack of pigmentation, it’s eyes, beak and legs appearing pink.
Seeing this hummingbird in the wild was pure magic and that’s saying something considering how impossibly beautiful a typically iridescent hummingbird is! This was like a little glowing fairy flitting in and out of the sunlight, but a fierce one who was robustly defending his territory from interlopers. I watched him ascend high in the sky to hover then dive balm the smaller Rufous and Allen’s hummers. I first spotted him in his his special perch in a spindly tree where he was perfectly camouflaged, looking like a leaf in the dappled sunlight (I could hear him singing before I saw him – which apparently is a one way of identifying an Anna’s). From here he could clearly survey his territory and would make his rounds visiting the various proteas in the garden favoring the Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” and the Hairpin and Showy Banksia but he also patrolled the conifers edging the arboretum – maybe looking for bugs and worms? Funny how this bird from the Americas is favoring the flowers from Down Under!
Out of the blue…
A spark in the dark…
Glowing in the garden…
Still fooling around with teacups!
This time I have a group of red transferware pieces with birds already adorning them, a red bird floral by Coalport, a swan with rushes, also by Coalport, and a tiny a child’s cup with a bird on the inside is (also from England). Transferware first came onto the scene by the mid 18th century as a quick (and more affordable) alternative to hand painted decoration. Blues and browns were more common but the red may have laid the frame work for the redwork embroidery that was to become so popular in the 19th century due to the introduction of floss from Turkey which was dyed with madder (roots from the rubia plant) that wouldn’t run like other dyes. Designs were embroidered onto muslin using a simple outline stitch that even children could do, decorating linens and quilt squares reaching a height in popularity early in the 20th century.
Pairing these two up was a no brainer – the bigger challenge will be to determine what kind of bird is portrayed here? The only red bird I know of is a cardinal.
Nothing blue about these bluebirds… silhouetted against a winter white you have to imagine their blue feathers and rust colored breast. Imagine the rose pepperberries, the green palm fronds, the brown acacia pods. Imagine they’ll be sun soon and a bright blue sky! Meanwhile there is a poetry in form that is revealed when color is removed from the equation.