Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fieldwork Friday

Thursday morning our "niece dog" Scooby went back to her home pack. The next morning I was still adjusting to her absence, so decided it was time to reinstate Fieldwork Friday.

What? You've never heard of Fieldwork Friday? Perhaps it's because I've never mentioned it. In fact, I only decided to institute it a few weeks ago. Right before I didn't have any available Fridays in which to practice aforementioned field work.

As an artist whose work tends to focus on nature it's imperative that I spend time outside. That seems straightforward enough, but it can be maddening trying to decide how to make "productive" use of limited time. Do I draw? Do I walk? If I'm walking, am I doing it for exercise or inspiration or do I want to make finished drawings? Am I using binoculars? A spotting scope? A camera? A sketchbook? When I can't decide I end up packing everything and accomplishing nothing.

Despite my continuing efforts to be Wonder Woman I have to admit I just can't do it all. Not all at once, anyway. While I'm still working out the rules of engagement for Fieldwork Fridays, I've decided that at the very least these will be days in which I give myself permission to take an outing with only one goal. Okay, maybe two. But not five.

Yesterday's goals were 1) check two lakes in the northern part of the county for spring migrants and 2) practice using my new(ish) camera to take some reference shots for potential linos or woodcuts.

I am pleased to report the day was a complete success. Part way through the morning I was joined by a friend and we had a great time visiting long-neglected local haunts. I added several bird species to my 2011 list, including one that was new for me: semi-palmated plover (at 9000' elevation)! I took lots of photos, too. Most of them were schlock, of course, but I did score a couple of things with print potential.

It's satisfying to know that I gave these particular needs/desires (get out and about in the county, look at migrants, practice with the camera, and collect image reference) some quality time and didn't let the long list of additional things I "should" be doing with my precious outdoor time get in the way. So satisfying, in fact, that I'll do it again. Not THIS Friday, unfortunately. But soon.


  1. No matter what you say, I still think you're a Wonder, Woman.

    Yupper, us nature folks need to actually get out in nature every once in awhile. Since you'll miss doing so, this coming Friday, here's hugely hoping you'll be able to re-instigate Fieldwork Friday, the very next Friday. (I ya want, I'll pester and heckle you, making you feel guilty if you don't... Hey, that's what friends are for, right?)

    Anyhoo, one humongous AttaWoman for making your intial Fieldwork Friday a full success! And continued future success.

  2. Well done! I sometimes put the little camera in my pocket when I walk, but I try not to break my stride for too long.I'd be useless on the Sketchersize!'

    And I do like the cute bird with the yellow wing flash. What is it?

  3. Good for you, Sherrie! Fieldwork Friday sounds like a great idea on many different levels, and nourishing for one's spirt, I think.

    We just came back from a guided tour of edible wildflowers and plants up near Haviland Lake, and it very much sounds like FF (or FS). Just loved it!

    The birds are delightful - is the little one in the first picture a swallow? Like the ones I saw on the Arkansas River last summer on our drive through your neck of the woods?

  4. Ah... I meant to caption the birdies and I didn't. The top one is a barn swallow (gold star, Sonya!) and the wee beastie on the bottom is a yellow-rumped warbler, the Myrtle subspecies. (And a male.)

    It was a great morning, and I'm ready for another soon. Really, don't feel bad about me missing next week Eduardo.. it's because I'll be first at one of David's gigs in Manitou Springs and second because we're headed to Taos right after that. :-) A different sort of fieldwork, I guess.

  5. Nice pix! I just saw a yellow-rumped warbler for the first time last week, on an early morning guided birdwalk at our zoo. We have the Audubon's subspecies.

  6. You know, I'm so bad about not taking time off to do just what you did. You've totally inspired me to make a scheduled time to just get out! Great Idea!!

  7. Hello Sherrie I have been an admirer of your work for a while now, intorduced to it by Dinahmow.
    I love the pocket size cameras and take mine wherever possible.
    Great idea the Fieldwork Fridays.