Tree Swallow Pencil Sketch p72

Tree Swallow Pencil Sketch

Tree Swallow Pencil Sketch

Work really picked up for a while, so I fell behind with posting paintings and sketches. I have a back-log of sketches to scan and write up. This is a Tree Swallow from Ottawa NWR in northern Ohio. I can really burn time watching  swallows swooping around in a seemingly effortless hunt for insects. I have a hard time not imagining them making little zooming jet engine noises to themselves as they chase down their prey. Unfortunately for my wife and kids, I often start making those noises as I’m watching them. Sorry! (Honestly, I do try to stop if other people are present.)

I always think of two things when I visit Ottawa NWR: Fox Snakes and pork. No, that isn’t a unique regional dish in Ohio, although someone may have tried it in the old days. I think of Fox Snakes because that’s one of the first places I ever saw one. I think of pork because of the opulent visitor’s center that was put in about 10 years ago. Let me tell you, no expense was spared there. If you are ever in the area, don’t miss the bathrooms. They are spectacular! When Liesl and I first visited there in the ’90s, the only publicly assessable structures were a kiosk with information on Fox Snakes and Bald Eagles and—if you were in luck—a Porta Potty. They certainly needed an upgrade from next to nothing, but someone went way overboard and no doubt got re-elected due to the income driven into the area to build the place.

I’m rolling almost 3/4 of the way through my sketchbook now. It’s looking pretty beaten up. I’ve had to duct tape the binding, and the edges are wearing through now. 

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