|9" x 12" Oil on Panel|
The marshes, trees, and fields near the lake are some of my favorite places to paint, or even just go for walks. Wildlife is one of the attractions there. On the day of the painting, six big white pelicans circled in a thermal not far behind me. The pelican's long black-tipped wings lent grace to their otherwise ungainly bodies and huge orange-yellow beaks. Four seagulls circled with the pelicans. I had to stop painting and watch the show. Three more seagulls joined the pelicans, then two more gulls joined in the dance. I wondered why the seagulls seemed to want to be with the pelicans. It soon became apparent, however, that the seagulls were not there for the pelicans. The gulls were there for the thermal, which the six big white showy pelicans had inadvertently advertised to them. The seagulls gained altitude faster and much higher than the pelicans, then slid off the top of the column in twos and threes heading north. The pelicans labored to gain altitude, rising maybe a hundred feet above the ground. They circled for a few minutes before heading off together southward. The show was over. I returned to painting.