On Friday I hung a group show featuring work of pets and animals at the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley. It features the following artists (just in the order they are on the wall): Sandy Zelasko, Mike Holder, Kelly Vela, Jeni Bate, Terry d’Chacon, Kay Levie, Diane Morgan and sculpture pieces by Janice Osborne and Alana Marston. The show will be up through June 28th.
The inspiration for this change of direction was that I hung this little unwired canvas on my ‘drying hooks’ in the studio, by its corner. The scene itself is entirely out of my head. The direction was one I followed, as you will see in later posts. It has also spawned other (as yet unrealized ideas)….
I was taking a fresh glass of water back to the studio and paused to watch a pigeon on the birdbath in the front yard. I was wondering if I needed to refill it. As I stood motionless so as not to disturb the pigeon while it was drinking, I was listening to the birdsong all around and realized that one voice was out of place. A small, high pitched intermittant peep. After a few moments I located the source, a tiny sparrow chick sitting on the ground. Waaay to young to be out of the nest. There are several active nests around my house this year so I went and rescued the child, intending to return him to the box or basket from where he’s come.
On the front porch, one nest was empty, two had very young chicks in (one had a chick and an egg) and one nest was incomplete. I knew that chicks of an almost-fledged aged were in the basket at the side of the garage, and indeed there were three matching siblings. And a lot*** of poop.
Now that I look closer, I think there are actually five chicks in there. That tallies with the six eggs I photographed when I first noticed the nest was active. Very crowded. But I put the escaped chick back in anyway. Before I’d gotten down the latter, he plopped back onto the ground under the nest. I guess he got voted out of the nest, perhaps for being the noisiest. I think the other nests would not be a good match, he’s so much older than the other chicks and as he’s pretty close to fledging anyway, I figured I’d give it a go. It will probably only take about a week to get him on his own. I knew there was a reason I kept an old hamster cage.
Must go and feed him again. Ground up bird seed, flour and honey. I know, that’s probably not the best thing out there, but it’s the closest thing I have in the house to what he might be given by his parents. I can see it now. Mama gets back to the nest. Hey, where’s Frank? And five beaks answering back… he drew the short straw…..
We sometimes get animals at art fairs. The least favorite is boy dogs attached to owners who are oblivious to the fact that we’re outdoors and even the best trained dog can make an honest error being unable to tell between a lamp post and a booth wall or even a chair or desk, and fail to monitor ‘activities’.
One of the better ones some years ago was a herd of pet llamas in the park at Yorba Linda. Fortunately the city employees with the fair explained that this was the only* bad day of the year to bring the herd to the park and the owners led them home.
Birds are ever present and can sometimes fly or walk into a booth and take a look around, but they usually leave their credit cards at home or say it really wouldn’t match the decor in the nest.
Last weekend we could see we were in gopher territory by the state of the lawn, but we were surprised to get a visit from below. I guess he was just acting like he owned the place. At one point the crowd gathered round him included a boy of about 5 and I was delighted that the youngster got to enjoy wildlife up close.