an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

wildlife

I’ve Moved, Please Follow Me!

Seagulls on a Mission
Seagulls on a Mission

Seagulls on a Mission

I’ve finally taken the time to move “Today” from a free site to a self-hosted site so I have more control over the template and lots of other little details. Please click over and follow me there! I’ve moved all my photos and posts to the new site and this is the last time I will post on this site.

www.bernadettestoday.com

Thanks for following me!

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“Safe”, original framed pastel

"Safe", pastel, 15" x 20", 2015 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Safe”, pastel, 15″ x 20″, 2015 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This painting is entitled “Safe”, 15″ x 20″ , done in soft pastel on Strathmore pastel paper.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This work was one of my new paintings for the 2015 Wings & Wildlife Art Show at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. It’s called “Safe”, done pastel from my photo references. It’s the two does who have visited my backyard for the past two years. They would often scurry through my woodland garden to the overgrown area between all our yards when I came outside, and though they were in plain sight of about six houses they apparently felt they were safe—and they were, really, because when I looked at the reference photo for this I wondered why I’d taken a photo of the brush at the end of the yard, and then I saw the ears.

The original is framed with a 4″ white acid-free mat and a 1.25″ white painted arched wood frame.

You can find the original in my Etsy shop along with framed and unframed prints.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping within the US is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Larger prints are shipped rolled in a mailing tube unless otherwise requested; flat shipping is an extra cost because it’s oversized.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on acid-free matte-finish natural white 100# cover using archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. Digital prints are only available up to 11″ x 17″ and some of the prints are cropped to fit standard mat and frame sizes.

Digital prints have at least 1/2″ around the edges depending on the size of the print. All are countersigned by me.

CANVAS PRINTS

Because the standard size canvas prints are not proportional to the original painting, canvas prints of this painting will have a portion cropped off.

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered because I have limited storage space. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2″ in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas mirrors the edges of the image around the sides.

FRAMED PRINTS

I do all my own framing and can custom frame a print for you. Please ask.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


September Morning on Main Street

East Main Street, early, Riley's Pour House is open with their flags out.
East Main Street, early, Riley's Pour House is open with their flags out.

East Main Street, early, Riley’s Pour House is open with their flags out.

“Around Carnegie this morning. I rode my bike to the grocery store early, but what made me think I’d be able to ride around on a beautiful summer morning without taking a few photos? Anything that was colorful and in the sun.”

Above is the photo that inspired me to post a gallery on Facebook, and one of my favorites. Below is the entire gallery; scroll over or click for title and caption.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Get Your Geese in a Row

Get Your Geese in a Row
Get Your Geese in a Row

Get Your Geese in a Row

“Getting your geese in a row. On Chartiers Creek in Carnegie.”

I had a meeting in Carnegie and walked to and fro. On the way back, about 2:00 in the afternoon with partly cloudy skies overhead. As I approached the bridge I could see geese in the water, coming out from under the bridge, first a little group, then single and evenly spaced almost in a perfect line. I got as many as my camera could get, and this time was happy for the focal distance in my smartphone as the line looks like it goes on into infinity. I used the “blue wash” filter and like the rainbow effect it put on the surface of the water.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Lunch and a Swim

Young Mallard
Young Mallard

Young Mallard

This young mallard combines both activities on a hot afternoon, wading in a shallow inlet and nibbling around in the plants growing on the bottom. I’ve been watching them grow and lately seen the little flock of seven venture farther from their mother. This was the first time they’ve been close enough for a photo.

That water looked very inviting on my way to and from the post office today.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Changes Like the Season

Just napping, lionesses at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
    Just napping, lionesses at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Just napping, lionesses at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Today, a season changes. The change is not a sudden flip from one scene to the next but a subtle change of light and the tone of the shadows, a scent in the air, and a knowledge that something has changed that will never turn back. Summer has taken a step toward autumn, when the wild and abundant growth of the season ebbs and living things prepare to harvest or be harvested. It is both the cross-quarter festival of Lugnasadh, reflecting on the death of what has grown that now gives us life and sustenance, and the Christian Feast of Lammas, or Loaf-mass, when the first loaves of bread were baked from the year’s first harvest of wheat.

We’ve mourned the loss of a member of our animal kingdom, a wild but oddly friendly lion, unique in color, tagged by us humans in a way that teaches us about him and the way his species lives. Funny, you’d think for the millennia humans have shared the Earth with lions and the myriad ideals lions symbolize in nearly all cultures around the globe we’d know all about lions. But mostly what we know about lions is how to kill them, sometimes for protection, sometimes for food, and sometimes for the need to prove we are the dominant species on this planet. Only now, in this century and the last, have we humans mounted a serious campaign to actually learn about the king of beasts and his society instead of competing with him.

Why does the death of Cecil touch us so? Why him instead of all the other deaths of imperiled species and domestic animals and our pets and people too? In part because of its heinous nature, the trickery involved, Cecil’s suffering, the unfairness of how and why he was killed, and the absolute stupidity of trophy hunting itself—killing an animal just to prove you could kill it and taking its outer identity as a prize, even though the “hunt” was staged at little risk to the “hunter”. No doubt it’s also partly because in his way he reached out to us, and we felt free to reach back to him, and now we’ve lost a social link with a species we fear and hardly know and we may never have that link again.

Perhaps the calls for punishment for his death and an end to the practice of trophy hunting is a reflection of our regret for that loss, and while it seems to be centered on Cecil, it really extends to all the wild animals among whom we’ve lived in our time on earth but about whom we also know little but how to kill. Perhaps now we feel we can leave behind our fear of these animals and we feel safe enough to live in peace with them. Possibly some of us actually do.

But change comes slowly, like the seasons, leaf by leaf, grain by grain, moment by moment, day by day, until one day we notice the leaves are changing color and the fields are a sea of warm and waving amber and a new season is upon us and there is no turning back. Pets had always been considered expendable in evacuations but ten years ago people refused to leave their pets behind in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. That wasn’t the first time people had refused, it was one of a growing number of times, but it became a tipping point after which pets became part of the emergency plan. Cecil was a tipping point, many unjust animal deaths led up to the outcry against his killing, and we’ve taken a step or two farther in really, honestly, protecting wild species and in respect for the other living things on this planet and possibly finally learning about them. Everyone isn’t moving along at the same pace, but the standards have changed and there is no turning back.


This was first published on The Creative Cat. Read more Essays on The Creative Cat.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


 

© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME

 


I Can Dream, Can’t I?

I Can Dream, Can't I?
I Can Dream, Can't I?

I Can Dream, Can’t I?

I just happened to see this bunny contemplating the neighbor’s well-fenced garden on my walk home from the store tonight.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“Morning on the Creek”

"Morning on the Creek", pastel, 22" x 29", 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
    "Morning on the Creek", pastel, 22" x 29", 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Morning on the Creek”, pastel, 22″ x 29″, 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A placid morning canoe trip on Chartiers Creek as the sun spills over the top of the hill, and a goose and goslings head upstream. Of course, I couldn’t paint this while paddling, but I kept it in mind for later. I wear a small digital camera around my neck while canoeing and probably spend more time taking photos than paddling, and I’ve tipped the canoe more than once while swinging around trying to focus on a heron flying overhead. It’ s a good thing Chartiers Creek averages about 1o inches deep most of the year.

detail of landscape painting

Morning on the Creek, detail top left.

This scene is in June somewhere near Peters Township and Upper St. Clair where the creek’s channel is still winding in its traditional channel of oxbows and hairpin turns with high banks and deeper pools and rocky ledges in many places, alive with the calls and flight of herons, wood thrushes and kingfishers as well as the more common cardinals, jays and sparrows, and the occasional fish jumping out of the water. It’s difficult to believe you are paddling past back yards and the parking lots of industry, under the interstate and through a golf course.

detail of landscape painting

Morning on the Creek, detail top right

I did a small study of the top section of this image several years ago in preparation for this painting, which is sold but I have prints of this one as well. I have a series of photos from this canoe trip and many others, which are all worthy of artwork, but this spill of sunbeams broken by the tree trunks, touching the leaves with bright gold and shining a spotlight on the surface of the water is simply so descriptive of the summer creek, the one that I remember from my childhood when it was still fairly wild and overgrown all up and down its corridor, that I kept returning to it.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

“Sunbeams”, pastel, 6″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

I had originally intended to paint just the creek and its banks, but when I looked closer at my photos I found the little family of Canada geese floating along in the shadows. Even though Canada Geese are not native to the watershed, and are, in fact, invasive in some areas, they are such a common sight that I still welcome their entry on the scene.

goose and goslings

A goose and goslings.

This piece was the signature painting at my second annual poetry reading and fine art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, “Winter Twilight”; those long nights of midwinter can inspire some very deep thoughts. Even though this piece depicts summer, I painted it during a series of those longs nights, remembering the sweet and mild June morning, full of life and sound. Visit my website to see more artwork and read the poetry from that reading.

This painting is an original pastel on acid-free two-ply natural white drawing board to which I applied Art Spectrum Colourfix fine pastel ground tinted light green.

The image size 22″ x 29″, painted in 2008. I framed it in a custom plain matte black moulding with a 4″ acid-free white mat. Framed size is 30″ x 37″, and you can find it in my Etsy shop along with a variety of digital prints, giclee prints and canvas prints:

  • Original, framed or
  • Painting only
  • 11″ x 14″ Digital
  • 22″ x 29″ Giclee
  • 11″ x 14″ Giclee
  • 24 x 18 Canvas
  • 20 x 16 Canvas
  • 14 x 11 Canvas

For local friends, this painting is on display at Wesbanco in Carnegie, 100 Broadway Avenue, Carnegie 15106.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

“Sunbeams”, pastel, 6″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

“Sunbeams”

Incidentally, the preliminary sketch for this painting, “Sunbeams”, included above, is also available as prints. While I love the detailed finish of the original in that top area I love the loose quality and contrasts in the sketch. Find it in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Moving Along

Geese 1
Geese 1

Geese 1

The Canada geese took their daily tour of the creek around the bridge. Though I was caught with a very overcast day and only my smartphone for a camera which would make the photos dark with saturated shadows and likely a little soft, I photographed away. I can always do something with them using filters and so I did.

The goslings are getting pretty big—just a month ago they took their first swimming lesson—but still keeping close to mom and dad and the side of the creek. I liked the photos of them emerging into the light and the interesting patterns made by reflections and shadows.

Geese 2

Geese 2

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Date Night for the Goldfinches

Date Night for the Goldfinches

Date Night for the Goldfinches

After a long day of nest building, socializing and flying around just being darned cute, Mr. and Mrs. Goldfinch enjoy an intimate dinner and light conversation at The Thistle Sack. Children will come later in the season and they’ll be much too busy then.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


A Visitor

Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.
Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.

Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.

When all the cats gathered at the windows and door and grew suddenly quiet, I knew we had an important visitor. And because the light was so special I got a number of really nice photos through the windows. I was focused on his reflection because the angle and the light were so good for that, and if it hadn’t been for the whirlybirds in the water I would have gotten a really nice one. Still nice photos though, with all the green coming through.

Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.

Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.

Squirrel at attention.

Squirrel at attention.

Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.

Squirrel having a drink at the birdbath.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


When We Courted At Evening

Just being together.
He waits.

He waits.

I remember when we courted, when I would sneak down to the tracks by the creek right after dinner, just around the bend from where my parents were settling down for the night, and wait for you.

She arrives.

She arrives.

My heart would skip a beat when I saw you there, waiting for me, I almost flew to your side but thought I should be careful, not knowing you all that well, yet each time I saw your silhouette my love was stronger and I knew you were the one.

They meet.

They meet.

And what silly things did we do but talk about the weather, and what we’d done that day, and what our siblings were doing, and circle around each other and peck at the gravel as if the world hadn’t suddenly stopped turning because we were together.

Talking.

Talking.

Just a few minutes, we never wanted to draw attention, but when I saw the shadows creeping farther and farther across the tracks I knew I had to start back for home to be back by dusk.

Into infinity.

Into infinity.

Who would think, all these years and all these children, and I still carry these memories of you walking to see me in the warm evening light.

Just being together.

Just being together.

. . . . . . .

Five Sentence Fiction: Memories

I took this series of photos walking on Main Street one spring evening recently, where the tracks cross the street and run along the creek where I walk nearly every day, and yet at the right angle they look completely isolated from civilization. I saw the one goose, then a female came to meet him—at a distance I can only tell them from one another by size when male and female are side by side—and they looked and acted so much like a couple of awkward teenagers. I used my 70-300mm zoom lens so I could focus on them and give a little blur to the surroundings; unfortunately in the light it was difficult to see if I was focusing on the geese and in some photos I was focusing on the tracks just in front of them. No matter, I saw a story right away and knew I could even use those photos. The evening light gave the scene an antique look. Then I waited for the keyword that would work for them.

NewFSFBadge-1

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Swimming Lessons

In a line.
In a line.

In a line.

Canada goose mother and father at front and back of a line of six new goslings learning to navigate the creek this morning.

I dropped my car off to be inspected this morning then walked through town to the post office to mail a few packages. There had been fog and while I was hoping for a nice fog image I was out of luck, and worst the fog subdued all the animals along the creek. But on my way back the fog had thinned and the day brightened so I spent nearly an hour following a family of Canada geese as they gracefully navigated a section of Chartiers Creek.

Safely crossing the street.

Safely crossing the street.

They began swimming with the current along the bank about 100 yards from where their nests are, then turned around and began paddling against the current.

Paddling in shallow water.

Paddling in shallow water.

Every 20 feet or so they would pull up to the bank and the little ones would get out and walk around a bit and peck on things while vigilant parents kept watch.

A little break on land.

A little break on land.

Even while paddling the parents constantly kept an eye on me and all else.

Alert.

Alert.

Then off they would go again, though one little one was curious and kept getting caught up in little side investigations.

The little one gets left behind!

The little one gets left behind!

Five other geese came downstream and three followed the little family at a distance along the edge for a while. The parents didn’t seem concerned—possibly those were last year’s goslings of their own family learning a little more about raising baby geese. I thought they might be a crew of bachelor geese who were kidding each other about parenthood.

The bachelors.

The bachelors.


Five are perfectly lined up.

Five are perfectly lined up.

On the edge.

On the edge.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Well Camouflaged

Well Camouflaged
Well Camouflaged

Well Camouflaged

A goldfinch landed just for a moment in the river birch as the sun shone through all the new leaves on everything. The photo is taken through a double pane window at an angle into the sun, I’m shocked I could focus at all and glad I caught this little guy.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Squirrely

Squirrely
Squirrely

Squirrely

I have plenty of photos of squirrels, but I like the background colors in this one, and the contrast between cool and warm. All that soft blue and green is actually my neighbor’s recycling bin and garbage bags and car. You just never know how things will turn out.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Isolated

isolated
isolated

Isolated

“I watch the water thundering past, so loud it drowns my thoughts and memories. I can rest my head, my heart, for just a while. The floodwaters have carried away my mate, my home, my children, my world, all is gone, I am alone and isolated, and I don’t know what to do. Once these waters were nurturing, I felt complete floating on their surface, graceful and beautiful, awkward on my feet on land. I only wish it had taken me too.”

She watches the creek.

She watches the creek.

I really did notice this single female Canada goose standing on the top of the bank of the creek one early evening, standing completely still, and alone. Her stillness was strange, but not so much as her aloneness, geese are social animals, this is nesting and mating season, and wherever I see geese I never see only one. I know this flock, I walk through them all the time. Something was so forlorn at the way she stood so calm and still, and stared at the creek thundering by.

. . . . . . .

A part of Five Sentence Fiction:Isolated.

NewFSFBadge-1

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Sing Your Song

Sing Your Song
Sing Your Song

Sing Your Song

The wren may be the size of your thumb but she fills the morning.

I have been trying to get this photo for years, the wren standing up with her head thrown back and her mouth open, especially in the morning light. They flit around so fast and I’m often photographing through my window so I can’t follow their flight. But I heard a sudden burst of wren song and looked out to see this little one on the deck railing. I focused and caught one-two-three photos as she hopped a step or two between each verse and looked to see…that I had forgotten to change the filter on my camera from incandescent to average balance, so the three photos were tinted very blue. I can remove that, but I also noticed that the plastic bag I’d used to line a hanging basket on the edge of the deck railing (the cocoa shell liner is seen at the right edge) had been pulled up by either one of the squirrels or one of the birds, and it just wasn’t something I wanted in this lovely photo. I had one more chance before she hopped behind the post and flew off, and this was that one chance.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Playing Hide and Seek

Natural Background With Two Deer.
Natural Background With Two Deer.

Natural Background With Two Deer.

The two does were piecing their way through the debris of winter in our back yards on a sunny morning. Many trees stand at the end of my yard and all the adjoining yards, and tiny twigs and early leaves act as foils and decorations to the photos of these two. I like to get nice clear everyday photos of wildlife, but I also like to treat them as other subjects too, as if floating in a different reality, for instance, among unknown natural forms. Below the two are making a decision on something.

Making decisions.

Making decisions.

Here is the older one, standing tall in her cut-through spot next to my neighbor’s shed. She likes to sun herself there in the afternoon.

The doe in her favorite afternoon spot.

The doe in her favorite afternoon spot.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Going Downhill

Buddy digging in the ivy branches for goodies.
Buddy digging in the ivy branches for goodies.

Buddy digging in the ivy branches for goodies.

Yes, Buddy the squirrel really is climbing down the tree headfirst, and digging between the ivy branches for something that must be awfully tasty.

Where to next?

Where to next?

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Make it Stop

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

This is a little tufted titmouse I photographed over the weekend when it was snowing and icy…again. The little guy got his wish! Today was in the 40s, and it’s getting warmer.

Photographed through my window.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Cardinal Fun

"Now I've got to watch the kids!"
"Now I've got to watch the kids!"

“So what do you think of the service at this feeder?”

Female cardinals are truly unique in the avian world. Unlike most other female songbirds, female cardinals sing, and sometimes a longer and more complex song than their mates, and they converse as well while she sits on the nest. Though they may seem drab in comparison to their brilliant scarlet mates, she guards the nest while the males distract predators away from the nest. You’ll often see the male and female perching together, and they engage in mate feeding especially in spring but also through the year. For birds they really seem to be equal in their division of duties.

Among animal symbols cardinals tell us to be individuals, sing our song, be proud of ourselves and graciously accept praise and rewards, something to remember on this International Women’s Day.

They are also characters at the feeder, as this female cardinal inspired some captions to the photos I took of her yesterday morning.

"Okay, who's going to get that peanut?"

“Okay, who’s going to get that peanut?”

"Who invited you?!"

“Who invited you?!”

Having lunch with friends.

Having lunch with friends.

"What's up with her?"

“What’s up with her?”

"Now I've got to watch the kids!"

“Now I’ve got to watch the kids!”

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


It’s A Bird Bath, Not…

three doves on birdbath
three doves on birdbath

Buttwarmer

…a Buttwarmer! I put hot water in the bird’s winter water bowls each morning, and some birds use it for other purposes than drinking and bathing. The birds were very amusing today, almost as if one more snowfall made them as crazy as the rest of us.

Another dove came up to the three warming their butts and asked to use the facilities.

four doves

Do you suppose I can fit in there?

Guess not!

four doves

Guess not!

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Making Tracks

Making Tracks
Making Tracks

Making Tracks

That’s quite the busy throughway for bunnies and deer and birds and cats and possible even the raccoon I saw just the other night. All animal tracks, not one human track, out in the back yard (with a little more magic in this photo too).

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Valentine’s Day, a Photo and Poem

two cardinals
two cardinals

Two cardinals on Valentine’s Day.

What bird matches the colors of Valentine’s Day more than the Northern Cardinal, especially that bright red male cardinal? The female is a browner shade and it might seem unfair that the male gets to be so showy while she is somewhat drab, but the female sits on the eggs while the male flies around as a distraction to predators, literally risking his life to make sure his lady and the next generation are safe.

On several occasions each spring I see a male cardinal run off to the feeder to get a sunflower seed and bring it back to his lady, offering it with a bow. One of these occasions happened to be Valentine’s Day a few years ago. Honestly, I’m not anthropomorphizing (interpreting animal activity by human traits), because I later read in an article about birds that this is a ritual that cardinal couples undertake during courting.

All birds are pairing off already, as these couples of cardinals demonstrate. This usually begins soon after February 2, that magic day when winter changes over to spring and all the creatures feel the stirring of the cycle, including the groundhog. The young cardinals have been showing off with spectacular aeronautics through the trees and all over the backyard, which is lower than my house so I get to see them flying right past the windows and from the top with the sun shining full on their feathers.

two cardinals

Valentine’s Day Breakfast for the Lovers

On the morning above the male cardinal let the female eat first after what seemed some courteous encouragement on his part, then before I could photograph all birds disappeared as the Cooper’s Hawk landed in the maple tree. So much for the annual Valentine’s Day cardinal photo. The photo above is from 2012; I let PhotoShop combine the two photos I had taken of the cardinals because I couldn’t fit them into one shot. I’m not sure what it did with the missing tree branches, but at least the cardinals are positioned as they were, the male carefully considering which seed he would pull from the seed block in the feeder, his Valentine’s Day date eagerly awaiting above.

Perhaps the two below are on a honeymoon since this was taken in summer.

two cardinals feeding each other

The Kissing Cardinals

I wrote a poem about it after reading the explanation. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day

He doesn’t have to give this gift to her
and she doesn’t have to receive it
as she could easily feed herself
but she perches on a branch
while he flies to the feeder
grasps a sunflower seed
and flies back to perch next to her;
they tilt their heads as if to kiss
as she accepts this seed of his love,
the bright red cardinal’s first act of courtship
to his dark red mate
on Valentine’s Day.

“Valentine’s Day” © 2008 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I read this poem as part of my 2008 annual poetry reading and art exhibit, “Winter Twilight”.

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked, or read about it immediately below.

For more information about these wonderful birds, start here and here, and to read about their habit of “mate feeding” read here.

My Backyard Wildlife Habitat is filled with color in winter and summer and cardinals nest in my 70-foot spruce every summer—to see more photos of Northern Cardinals here on my photo blog Today, click here, and read about the annual Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend.


poetry book

Paths I Have Walked, collected poems.

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two
poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.