- Hour of the Egret
- (scroll down for description)
- 1991, acrylic, 18 x 24
After a long day, I generally take an evening walk. It was on one such stroll a few years ago that I came across the old Venice [FL] train station, abandoned and derelict. Its grandiose Romanesque arches are now defaced with graffiti and a superhighway roars overhead, but I like to imagine it in its heyday in the 1920's when trains were the only sensible way to travel long distances.
Egrets regularly feed in a canal that runs nearby, and I recalled that these birds were once as endangered as the passenger train is today. In the nineteenth century, they were brutally hunted for their plumes, which were much coveted for fashionable ladies' hats. Sometimes the hunters would rip the plumes out of a living bird and leave it to a slow and agonizing death. In fact, the creation of the Audubon Society was spurred by a group of blue-blooded Boston ladies who were outraged by this barbaric practice. Thus the egret in my painting of the train station faces north, toward Boston, the birthplace of one of the great forces for wildlife conservation in North America.