Tag Archive: Sketching


West Virginia really is a unique place to live. It’s elevation and geographical location allows it to be the home for many different plants and animals. Birding in particular is a lot of in West Virginia. Getting up in the early morning, feeling that fresh mountain air on your face and listening to the birds sing is a really great way to start any day. If you are going to go birding in West Virginia, there are some birds that you definitely must see. After doing a little birding myself, these are my five favorite birds in West Virginia.

5. Great Blue Heron:

This bird is really pretty cool looking. It can have a wingspan of up to seven feet, which makes this a really big bird. Seeing something so big fly is really amazing to see, and so I’ve ranked the Great Blue Heron at number five. (Image by Gentry George, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

4. Indigo Bunting:

This bird is really very pretty. In summer, finding an Indigo Bunting in West Virginia is very easy to do. (Image by Barnes Dr Thomas G, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

3. Belted Kingfisher:

These birds can easily be seen and heard anywhere near a river or stream. These birds can be good indicators of how healthy a stream is because they feed on mostly small fish and other aquatic creatures. (Image by C. Schlawe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

2. Scarlet Tanager:

This is a bird that can’t be missed. It’s very distinctive crimson color is easily seen when it flies. (Image From Steve Maslowski, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

1. Red-Tailed Hawk:

The red-tailed hawk is a really cool bird to see. It is an amazing predator and its call has been used in many movies. Often times this bird’s call (or its cousin’s call, the call of the red-shouldered hawk) is used instead of a bald eagle’s call, since the bald eagle’s call doesn’t sound very good. (Image from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

All images came from public-domain-image.com or Wikipedia.com and were found in the public domain.

West Virginia Photo Op

West Virginia, in my opinion, is one of the best places to be a photographer. There is so much natural beauty here that there is always a place for a photo opportunity. There are plenty of mountains, forests, and rivers so finding wildlife is never a problem. In the spring and summer, there are literally hundreds of different species of wildflowers that bloom. On top of all that there are plenty of places to hike throughout the year to see these kinds of things.

Dolly Sods is definitely one of my favorite places to hike. A hiking trip there can last a day or even a few days. There are plenty of areas to sketch wildlife or to photograph it. In June there are plenty of wild blackberries to eat, but make sure you don’t eat anything unless you know for sure what it is!

West Virginia also has all four seasons, making it ideal for seasonal photography. In the fall, entire mountainsides can turns to various shades of reds, yellows, and oranges. In the winter, it usually snows creating a beautiful, icy landscape. The spring and summer provide a ton of different wildflowers and there are plenty of neat birds that do their spring/summer nesting in WV.

So if you don’t live in West Virginia, definitely take the chance to go see it someday. If you do live in West Virginia, than get out there and enjoy the beauty of ‘The Mountain State.’

Montani semper liberi

Missing Spring

If you live on the East coast, you’ve noticed that this weather has been very weird. One day it’s warm, the next there’s snow on the ground. It really makes me wish spring was here with its freshly blooming flowers. One of the best places to see these new flowers bloom is West Virginia. There are hundreds of varieties of wildflower to see, and that can be on just one hike! Taking a break from walking and sitting down to sketch a wildflower can be tremendously relaxing. Even if the drawings aren’t that good (I know mine are that of an amateur!), the habit can still be enjoyable. When you sketch something, you start to really see the object. You begin to notice every line and every curve of the object. This ‘true seeing’ can help you better understand, and therefore better appreciate, whatever it is you are sketching. Hopefully spring will get here soon and we can all start enjoying some spring flowers!

Influences

With blogging, and with life in general, we can use all the help we can get. I posted some links in my blogroll but I want to post them here with an explanation for why I chose these links. Feel free to check these out or if you think any other sites/blogs will be useful leave them in the comments.

Cool Green Science: This blog is all about promoting nature conservancy. One great way to share and appreciate nature is conserve it and I plan on using this blog to help further conserve nature in my area.

Digital Photography Tips: I plan on using a digital camera for my class and I’m always looking for tips. I’ll use this site to find ways to improve my skills with as well as post any good tips I come across.

Drawing/Sketching: One fun thing to try when on a hike is to sketch things you see while you’re outside. This site has plenty of sketching tips for amateur sketch artists (like myself) as well as tips for the more experienced artist.

National Geographic Photo of the Day: Since I want to photograph nature, I thought National Geographic would be good to look to for examples of style.

Nature Images from Photobucket: Similar to the photo of the day, I think these photographs will give me ideas for the style of pictures to take.

Nature Podcast: This podcast mostly talks about the science of nature. While enjoying nature from a surface level is a start, knowing a little bit about the science of nature can deepen your appreciation.

Outdoor Photographer: This site goes very in depth with outdoor photography from locations to technique. As an amateur photographer I’m also looking for ways to improve my photos.

PBS Nature: PBS, like national geographic,has a lot of experience in capturing nature on film. Looking at their examples can help me get the correct angles for when I take my pictures.

Sketching in Nature: Sketching animals can be pretty tough since you don’t always have very long to look at them (like with birds for example). With the help of someone that sketches nature I can learn what to look for and the best way to sketch the things I see.

The Luminous Landscape: This site is really neat when it comes to documenting nature. They have a ton of useful tips for photographers in their forums section. I find many of the photos on this site inspiring and may model a picture or two after one I see here.