“The cranes were spectacular—thousands and thousands of them, on the shore, on distant sandbars, in flight behind me and in front of me, soaring in from all directions, filling the air with their wonderful calls.” Feb. 5, 2000
I am describing the Sandhill cranes staging at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in my first attempt to create a sketch book field journal. Over all, this little book is awkward and elementary. I didn’t know how to turn off the editor in my head and I hadn’t yet experienced my first watercolor class. But I treasure this record for its early attempts to record my experience and for the fresh excitement that is so palatable within its pages.
The Cherokee Indian Heritage and Sandhill Crane Viewing Days are around the corner, Saturday, January 19th. You won’t want to miss this. Tens of thousands of greater Sandhill Cranes are converging on the confluence of the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers to rest and feast on corn and the music of their voices fills every corner of the earth and sky.
You will also want to take in the exhibits and presentations, for there you will learn some of the fun and lesser known things about wildlife and wild places. You will especially want to hear and meet my friend, Stephen Lyn Bales, author of Natural Histories, a volume full of lyrical stories that will take you into the wonders of nature and make you feel you are there with him. Also listen to TWRA’s Kirk Miles as he presents on the incredible wildlife diversity that we enjoy in Tennessee and Dan Hicks, speaking on our elk at Royal Blue.
I will be exhibiting my art at the Birchwood School for the eighth consecutive year. This is where it all began, my first exhibit and my first art sale. Birchwood, northeast of Chattanooga, is on State Route 60 south of Dayton. Come by and say “hi” and enjoy the festivities. I look forward to meeting you!
"Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language. The quality of cranes lies, I think, in this higher gamut, as yet beyond the reach of words." -- Aldo Leopold
©2008, Vickie Henderson. Not to be reproduced without written consent of the author. All photos and art are the original work of the author.
Ocean Trail at Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, California--2015
Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park--2014
Bird-banding at Seven Islands
Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!--2014
Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John--2014
The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA--2014
Me and Denali--2012
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.