What is this in the road? It’s a critter,
And although I slow down, I still hit her,
As she crumples in pain,
“She’s a bag!” cries my brain,
So I snatch her and then ride off wit’ her.
Strong winds were carrying all sorts of rubbish across the North River Causeway today, and from a distance, I mistook a trio of low-flying grocery bags for a herd of small animals. The first two got away, but I managed to catch the third one with my bike.
If you have not seen this short “mockumentary,” it is one of my all-time favorite videos on the internet, documenting the life cycle and habitat of plastic bags:
There are critical foods that I lack,
So I pedal with trailer and pack,
To buy berries and greens,
And some snappy fresh beans,
And it’s only 12 miles, out and back.
I admit, I ate a few of the strawberries while I was making the drawing below. I bet Cezanne and Caraveggio were sometimes tempted to eat the stuff they were painting, too. You can find thousands of beautiful fruit still-lifes on Google Images.
Now that I’ve completed over 100 illustrations for my book, I’ve decided to start adding pen-and-ink drawings to the blog, too. I hope you enjoy these new “doodles!” ~1meps
With temperatures in the low 30s, the folks of St. Marys stayed inside today. They even closed the schools, just in case there was ice on the roads (there wasn’t). So when I set off on my bicycle this morning, there were more animals than people.
A chorus of birds serenaded me from the trees as I headed north from the boatyard. Then I turned west on the North River Causeway, pedaling across a small bridge and through golden marshes at high tide. Across the river, the Spanish moss-draped trees were full of big white blobs — egrets, huddled against the cold. To the south, a single great blue heron skimmed the surface of the water.
Farther along, I heard the distinctive chattering call of a kingfisher. I looked up just as he ended with a loud “SQUAWK!” A hawk had swooped down out of the trees, intent on attacking the small, noisy kingfisher. He failed, and the kingfisher zoomed past me, announcing to the world that he would live another day. The hawk circled back into the trees, disappointed.
The rest of the animals on my route were silent; even the dogs who usually charge their fences to bark at me were affected by the cold. I hardly recognized the one who is usually the most vociferous — he just looked at me and wagged his tail in cold, silent solidarity. The rest of the canines, the lucky ones, were inside their owners’ warm homes.
I passed a house with a sign that said, “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me,” and a few doors down, two tiny feral kittens sat on the sidewalk. They were poor and needy creatures, too cold and hungry to even run away.
By the time I arrived at the library, I was thoroughly chilled. I was glad to spend the entire day in that quiet place of refuge, writing and drawing. Silent, like the kittens, but sheltered and grateful.