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Monday, April 28, 2014

Painting Arizona...and rescuing baby quail

'Daddy Quail'. 4x4. Pastel

This trip was about more than painting. Much more. I was expecting that. We talked about art. We talked about family. We walked and watched he night sky. We ate wonderful food...too much food. We laughed. We cried. We laughed until we cried. But we never expected we would play a part in saving a life. Let me share the story of the baby quail

'Quail Babies in the Sun'. 4x4. Pastel

I was excited to see the quail running around Denise's backyard when we arrived. I have such fond memories of the quail family that visited us last summer in Sedona. I was looking forward to getting some good photos during the week.

Like clockwork the quails visited the yard early morning and late afternoon. It was always fun to watch them scurry about. Yesterday they surprised us. Momma and Daddy quail arrived on schedule this time with two tiny newly hatched babies in tow. They were about the size of golf ball and colored with stripes so they blended perfectly with the rocks. We could hear them peep but could barely see them.

That evening we decided to eat our dinner out in the back yard. It was a beautiful evening. We had just begun eating when we heard a persistent peeping. We joked that momma quail couldn't keep her babies quiet. But the peeping started sounding frantic. Concerned, we got up from the table to see where the peeps were coming from. We were shocked to discover the baby quails in the yard......but no sign of the parents. No wonder the babies were frantic!

We couldn't leave them out in the yard overnight especially with the neighborhood cat roaming around. We decided to take them inside and keep them warm until the morning when we could hopefully reunite them with the parents. But how to keep the safe overnight?

The Nest! That would work! I had found this big beautiful nest on one of our walks. It would serve a purpose. In the morning the babies were in the nest but they were weak. It was early and too cold to put them outside. Marsha and Wanda held them under a spot light to warm them. We gave them water and tried to getting them to eat. They soon began to respond and peep. Just what was needed! It was time to take them outside.


What happened next was something special. I will never forget it. The peeps of the babies attracted the attention of mamma and daddy quail. The flew up on the wall and called out to the babies. It was time to release them. Very quickly the parents found the babies. It felt like a scene out of a movie as the baby ran to the momma. Both parents quickly herded the babies into the corner of the yard in the sun. Then they took the babies under their wings. The family was reunited.

It was an amazing experience and this has been an amazing trip. More to come,



Susan Herbst said...

Love this story! Happy the family was reunited!

And the paintings are fabulous too!

Sandi G said...

What a sweet story about the little Quail family. The artists that are in your group sound like a wonderful bunch of people to spend time with...talking art and family ,crying , laughing and saving Quail babies .
I would love to be there . Love the paintings !
I follow each post and look forward to all of them

Judy Baker said...

A wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

Carole Scureman said...

What a great story. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Love your paintings of the Quail.

Irma said...

I always enjoy your blog and the stories of your trips. Sounds like a great group of artists that were on the trip with you. Were they all pastel artists?

Elizabeth said...

I've just read your blog for the first time (was looking for advice on how to send pastels through the mail - you're tips are great). I was wondering if you use soft pastels or oil? Your paintings are beautiful.

Karen said...

Thanks Elizabeth! I use soft pastel. I hope you come back to my blog!

Karen said...

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post! It was a mix of pastel and oil painters who worked in both!