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Wild Hair
10 x 20

There's just something about watching house wrens nesting that is mesmerizing. Maybe it's the fact that these determined little birds are fearless and will often nest within very close range of human presence.

The idea for this board emerged during a very windy day when I was brushing my dog and allowing the fur to travel on the wind to the fields and trees beyond, hopefully to be of some use to a nesting bird. I remembered an expression I had heard only recently by a friend from the south; "getting a wild hair" (something to do with being impulsive - thank you Ginger Gehres!)

I've spent countless hours watching the parents of the wrens bring a bounty of invertebrates to their hungry nestlings including a plethora of spiders. I kept trying to identify every species of bug that showed up! I could stand right beside the bird house and the female would fly in, the instinct to feed crying babies was far greater than worrying about me. The male was not as brave. Coming in with food and seeing me, he would fly around chattering and singing not quite knowing what to do until I backed off about 6 feet. This seemed to be an acceptable distance to him.

This piece was not rendered from a specific photo but from a compilation of shots. I kept my technique for the grain of the cedar rail loose and relatively soft so as to not overpower the detail and lighting of the bird and hair. It's always so rewarding to be able to watch wildlife go about their business at such a close range. Foolish on their part, perhaps, or maybe they just had a wild hair that day :)