- Ruby-throat & Columbine
- (scroll down for description)
- 12 x 16, acrylic, 1983
Hummingbirds have a very special place in the kingdom of birds and a special place in people's affections. These finger-sized bundles of energy have the fastest wing beats and, therefore, can hover in place with complete control up, down or backwards. They also have appeal because they are the smallest of birds, and they are associated with flowers.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species found east of the Mississippi. Like the other "hummers", they build a nest of spider webs and the fine downy hair of plants. The nest is attached to a horizontal branch and covered with lichens. It resembles a little natural "knob" on the branch. It would be possible for you to have a hummingbird nest a few feet from your house and never know it. Hummingbirds prefer flowers with long tubes into which they can poke their bills to obtain nectar. The columbine is an excellent example of this type of flower. They also grow in moist, wooded places frequented by hummingbirds.
In this picture, I wanted to give the feeling of richness, intimacy and elegance. I have lit the flowers from the back to give them a transparent glow, which echoes the jewel-like quality of the bird. The little rock wall in the background serves as a relatively neutral setting permitting the main subjects to glow. The rhythm in the rocks and the curve of the grass suggests the swinging flight of the bird.