Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flying South for the Winter

My one-year-old is obsessed with birds. The birds I have drawn for her must number in the hundreds at this point: birds on the white board, birds on the blackboard, birds on my planner, birds on every scrap of paper she spots. At first I mindlessly drew the same old bird shape - a little sparrow or something of the sort (I'm not, despite what Olive might think, a bird expert) with a duck thrown in every once in awhile. Then, when Olive was no longer satisfied with one bird per drawing session, I had to get creative. My birds probably don't resemble any actual species, especially when I try to incorporate the scribbles with which Olive has already decorated the paper. She's usually pleased with them, but at times my drawings seem to infuriate her. She requests bird after bird and then yells, "No! Bird!" as I self-consciously present each one to her for her approval. Her limited communication skills leave me in the dark as to whether she is actually displeased with my bird drawing abilities or just desperately needs a nap.
Since our move to California, even as my husband basks in the prospect of no snow this winter, I have missed the telltale signs of fall: a dark gray sky with brilliantly colored leaves contrasted against it, particularly blustery days spreading a new layer of leaves on the ground, and, perhaps most of all, the honking of geese flying overhead as they migrate south for the winter. Northern California still has some fall color and cooler weather, but I have yet to hear the geese.

Olive's fascination with birds and my fond reminiscence of past autumns inspired me to create some more permanent bird art for her. This shirt had been sitting, unworn, in the girls' closet for a few years now. I cut off the sleeves and added a string of geese making their way across her collar.

Olive is happily making due with these birds this fall.


  1. Stunning, what beautiful geese, and what a fine and delicate design.