Friday, September 7, 2007
It's a lovely sunny day, with patches of sunlight dappling rocks and gravel bars as I walk up Newhalem Creek. I choose a spot farther up than last time, with intricate spills, and set up to paint.
A dipper comes to visit. In my mind, I like to call them water ouzels, their other common name, but no one (including me) seems to know how to pronounce that, so aloud, I say "dipper." I take many photos, trying to catch that curious plie' that they do all the time. I'm told that it's a way of improving depth perception, a tricky business when your food is caddis fly larvae underwater. They also have nictating membranes that can cover their eyes. I've seen them walk and even fly (swim with their wings) underwater. This one seems content to dip his head, hopping from one rock to another with a hop, plie', plie', hop.
I'm deep into my painting, trying to catch the water patterns, when it starts to rain. Where did that come from? Interesting what can sneak up on you when you're concentrating on a narrow focus. I pack up quickly, camera first, and head for the shelter of the woods. By the time I reach the Visitors' Center, the sun is out again.