Posted by: bluelanternstudio | June 15, 2010

Hummingbirds, rocks, shells and a crab

Today my son and I went for a long walk on the beach to see what we could see. We’re in Baja, Mexico, for 10 days, staying with my mom who has a place in the Loreto Bay ecovillage. The beach is just steps away, a luxurious change from our usual East Vancouver abode.

This morning, our main aim was to walk as far as the Big Rock, where pelicans and fishermen compete for food. Here’s a little watercolour painting I did of the rock in the early morning light (view from our roof):

As we walked along the sand, we filled our pockets with a few choice seashells. And as we got closer to the rock, we could see hundreds of tiny black fish darting around in the shallows. By the time we reached the shadow of the rock, we were in the seabird zone, with thousands of mollusks smashed open for prizes. We also weren’t walking on sand anymore, but rather large rocks of all shapes and colours, mostly dark greys and reds. We tiptoed out to where the pelicans do their diving (the pelicans left as soon as we approached, probably for the better). We saw many starfish of a variety I’ve never seen before—small, with many many arms. Some of the starfish were red with darker striped patterns, the others were more yellow and pink. We also saw little black and yellow striped fish, and one that was yellow, purple, and electric blue.

Just as we were starting to head back to home, I looked up and on a high shelf on a rock taller than me, I saw a gorgeous red and yellow crab. It’s very fragile, having been sucked dry either by some little animal or bird or just the sun, but in otherwise perfect condition. Thankfully I had a plastic bag with me (that I’d rescued out of a tree last night in my pollution reduction efforts) and was able to gingerly wrap the crab and bring it home intact. I’m in the process of drawing it and will post a picture when I’m done.

When we returned home, I spent some time finishing a drawing I started this morning of a what I think is a hummingbird’s nest that I found abandoned on the ground in a grove of cacti. I just love the shape and texture and am amazed that any creature could build something so tiny and perfect.

I wish I could bring my collections home to my studio to draw, but alas these specimens are not allowed to travel out of the country without permits. So, before we leave on Thursday, back to nature they’ll go. Meantime, I’ll try to draw as much as I can. On that note, more to come!

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