I just love these bits of serendipity! J. had to have the truck worked on this morning, and I went out to pick him up--it was somewhat earlier than we're usually up and about. We drove through the park on the way home, and I got to see the vulture tree, just FULL of the big ...birds waiting for their wings to dry enough to fly! There were already kettles of them in the sky, but I ran him on home and hurried back.
I was in luck, I got to sketch the tree pretty well laden with them...and just kept sketching till they had all dried their wings and flown. I'd lost my pencil sharpener at the Art Crawl last week and the Prismacolor black was fairly dull...I added a few more details with my Micron Pigma .01 pen, then used watercolor pencils when I got home to punch it up a bit.
I've always loved these big birds--there's a wonderful tale in Abenaki about the role they play in history--How Buzzard Got His Feathers, though there are similar tales in many tribes, including Seneca and Iroquois.* And of course, without them we'd be up to our eyebrows in carrion. (Not a pleasant thought!)