Two Against the World, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy
These two fledglings were huddled together in the grass at a local park a few weeks ago. They were looking around for their parents, not moving from their spot. A rousing game of frisbee was going on nearby, which may have kept mom and dad away. As I sat and watched my husband and friends play frisbee, I kept an eye on these two.
They had all their feathers and were nearly grown. Everything I've ever read about finding fledglings says to leave them be, the parents are feeding them and are probably watching from a distance. The way they were huddled together in the grass of this huge park, taking comfort from each other, so aware of their vulnerability, was very touching to me. I knew I had to paint them.
These feelings of empathy resurfaced strongly yesterday as I was painting, and made me ponder the root of them... I know that fledglings are killed by predators all the time - it's part of nature. Predators have to eat, too. I don't think that was it. I think it stirred up memories of the times I got lost as a child, or the time my mom was late picking me up from little league. Times when you feel like you're alone in the world. Things like that which we can all relate to.
And when I finished, I was deeply humbled by the realization that even if these two didn't make it, if say, a fox found them, they now live forever in this painting. That means a lot to me.
I sure hope they did. We were all rooting for them...