Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Rewards of Turning Around


'No, You Go First!"              14 x 18          pastel             ©Karen Margulis
sold
The Southwest is calling.  I leave Friday for New Mexico and a mentoring workshop with Richard McKinley. Going back to one of my favorite places has me going down memory lane...or in this case US Highway 89.  I'd like to share my Raven story.

We were on the final leg of our three week tour of the Southwest.  We were driving from The North Rim of the Grand Canyon to our last stop of Sedona and dare I say we were a bit road weary. I sat in my spot in the back seat with my camera always on stand- by looking for arroyos.  I had discovered the art of looking ahead at a possible cut in the land, raising the camera and just shooting. It was hit or miss but it helped the miles go by faster.

Suddenly I saw something to shake me out of my hypnotic state. At least I thought I saw something. "Stop Holly! Turn Around!"  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a cropping of large red rocks with some black specks on top.  "I think I saw a bunch of Ravens!"  We had been on a raven watch for three weeks so this would be a find!  Holly willingly pulled over as soon as she could and turned around. As we retraced our route we all kept our eyes peeled for that rock with black spots.  Just as I started to think it had been a mirage we came upon the rock. It was actually a huge rock. And yes there were ravens perched on top.

But these were not just any ravens....they were baby ravens! And they were trying desperately to fly. We safely pulled off the road and sat in the car quietly watching. The three big fledglings took turns hopping up and down and flapping their wings. Every once in awhile one of the ravens would catch some air and hover over the rock before touching back down.

close up of the raven babies

We sat in awe for a good 30 minutes taking many photos with our super zoom cameras. It was a magical sight when one of the babies finally got the nerve to leave the rock and fly off. Soon the others followed and all was quiet once again.  We sat quiet as well. Afraid to speak lest we break the spell. "This is a moment that calls for some chocolate",  I said as I passed out the fudge I had been saving for a special time.  We got back on the highway and I once again took up my position as lookout. Always ready for the next magical sight....and always ready to turn around!

Painting Notes:  This painting is on Uart paper with Terry Ludwig and Diane Townsend pastels. There is no underpainting.

3 comments:

Julie Ford Oliver said...

Fabulous painting and fabulous story to go with it. I was transported. You made it so real. Thank you - you made my night!
Enjoy your workshop...and the Land Of Enchantment.

robertsloan2art said...

That is so awesome! I loved the painting and the story just made it richer. What a magical moment!

Enjoy your workshop!

CAROL HOPPER -- A PAINTER'S JOURNAL said...

So cool, but being road weary, not so much. Hope you enjoy NM to its fullest. The weather is perfect now.