Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Painting - The Passenger Pigeon

Is it possible to see something that doesn't exist, a bird that is extinct, a bird that has not been seen since 1914? Call me crazy, but I saw this bird on my birdbath one morning in June. I walked out into the back yard to look at it, thinking it was a dove. What I saw was a very unusual bird, one with an iridescent coloring on its neck shining in the sunlight. Beautiful red, crimson, emerald green, gold. It didn't move, even after I walked by it several times. I got a funny feeling as I stood there and looked at it, and it just stared at me with those bright orange eyes. I thought I should go get my camera, but I didn't. I just figured it would be back again since we have so much bird traffic in our back yard.

Several days later I thought I'd do a painting of a mourning dove and started going through some photographs and books. When I opened the "Eastern Birds" birdbook by Roger Tory Peterson to the dove section, there he was! The bird I saw! The picture was a small inset, "passenger pigeon", extinct. I couldn't believe it. I did some research on the internet and found out the last known passenger pigeon died on September 1, 1914 in Ohio. It was stuffed, given the name of "Martha" after Martha Washington and is now in the Smithsonian Museum archives.

I watch each day, hoping for it's return, and who knows, maybe I WILL see him again.


amy said...

Mom, this is such a great post. I have this feeling that you were sent something very special...a metaphysical message perhaps, a mystery to interpret. I think you have had a lot of these moments, and whenever I have one I always think it may be Pappy saying hello.

Donna Longenecker said...

Amy, I feel the same way. It stayed with me for weeks and I just couldn't get it out of my mind. I too feel it may have been Mom or Dad. To this day, I am still watching. I hope he comes back.

Holly Woods said...

Overwhelmed, you two!!

Baby Vagabond said...

Just found this post! How very cool! I do believe you saw something very special!

Hubby and I thought we saw an ivory bill woodpecker in our woods. That's our story and we're sticking to it!

Hold on to the vision :-)