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I love the colors the earth offers us during our gray, cold and damp winters on the island; even the earth offers a mixture of enjoyable fragrances to complement the winter scene.  The grasses remain a washed out mixture of light greens, ochres  and umbers in the open fields.  Most common bushes surrounding the open fields on the island are the white winter berry and Nootka rose bushes full of rose hips and deep red wine branches at this time of the year.  From a distance these bushes contrast against the dark evergreens and other shrubs creating a striking scene.  In this painting, a group of tall alder trees are growing in the distance further behind the mass of rose bushes.  The catkins on the higher branches of the alder are slowly forming on the branches of the alder  turning  a mass of mauve.

On the same day I walked my neighborhood roads, several of the Gold Crowned Kinglets were hopping along the road picking up any speck of food they could find.  They are a very small brown bird with a yellow cap on their head, almost invisible on the ground.  They are unafraid of humans, vehicles and animals.  I can walk within a foot of them while they remain busy collecting seeds and scraps; often times, I have nearly stepped on one while it was hopping along collecting its scraps.

There is also a Red Crown Kinglet that I have never seen in our area until the same day of this walk!   It was a thrill; its crown was a brilliant bright red….oh, how I wished I had my camera since I was able to follow the bird to my driveway before it flew to the near salal bushes.  It was my treasure for the day.

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6 thoughts on “Red rose hips, bare alder branches and a Red Crowned Kinglet

  1. We live in a heavily wooded area with large lots. Cars seldom drive through the dead end road where we walk so the birds have the freedom to spread out on the road to peck and collect. The fall and winter months is when we see them the most, especially after strong winds that had blown tree debris off the limbs.

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  2. Lovely description and painting, Lois :-). I love the way you describe the colours and smells of a balmy, west-coast winter day. I’m amazed that you see so many golden crowned kinglets in your area and so close too! I rarely see them here (Calgary) and in Vancouver I sometimes see them in trees, darting quickly from branch to branch.

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  3. Thank you, Donna. I would have thought the east coast and west coast Kinglets would have similar behaviors. These are the sweetest birds; one of my favorites. One can just stand quietly and soon be surrounded by busy Kinglets pecking the ground for seeds. Their song is a continuous ‘peep, peep…

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  4. Such a lovely painting and post, SWI. Your artist’s eye finding color is a pleasure to read about, and how very exciting to have seen both kinglet species in the same day. The kinglets are such a chipper bird for greeting a winter day. Terrific post, thank you.

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