It is barely light as I ease myself out of the door of our chalet and step into the cool dawn. Red-winged and Pied Starlings call from the tree outside and I hear the chatter of weaver finches nearby. Walking down to the headland overlooking the water, canaries sing in the trees as I pass and across the dam, distant calls of Hadeda Ibis.
High up, cirrus clouds glow in the morning sun, a faint pink etched against the blue - the sun has yet to crest the hill to the East. Fiscal Shrikes are already active and in the reedbeds, Long-tailed Wydowbirds (the males still in Winter plumage) flutter to and fro. The air is full of bird calls and as I gaze across the distant landscape, a lone Blesbok lopes away. Up on the ridge nearby, I spot 3 Ostrich - two males and a female - they would soon join us below! A cool breeze called for a jacket this morning but as the sun rises, it soon warms up. By now I have reached the hillside overlooking the water and the view is magnificent. A White-breasted Cormorant flies along the shoreline heading for deeper water and close in are hundreds of Red-knobbed Coots. The surrounding landscape is simply stunning - more so when coloured by the rays of the sun as it crests the ridge. I am already planning paintings in my mind and am almost overwhelmed by choice. Yet another spectacular morning in Africa.
Painting above - Wattled Crane, watercolor on Arches paper, 12" x 9" (30cm x 23cm). Notes above from my Qwantani diary. Photos: (1) Looking across Sterkfontein Dam, (2) Pied Starling and (3) Red-winged Starling (both these species along with Black-eyed BulBuls, weavers etc were hoping to join me for breakfast).
I am an artist living and working near Washington DC in the USA. I was born in the UK but have lived abroad most of my life. I paint mostly landscapes and birds but have many interests so you never know what will turn up. Most of the paintings shown here are for sale so please contact me at jeremypearse (at) gmail.com if interested. Thanks for visiting!