Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Duck Painting

This is mostly about Greater Scaup. Before moving to Alaska, I had only ever seen one Greater Scaup because the Lesser Scaup was the predominate scaup in Arizona. In the photo above, a female Greater Scaup is being pursued by some male suitors at Spenard Crossing in Anchorage. There were nine males in all. They were practically drowning that poor female in their romantic ardor. She must have been absolutely exhausted by all the attention.
Another view of the same incident. Only the most dominate males got close to the hen. Other males kept flying in to try to displace them.
Eventually one male won the hen. He finally let her rest.
The possessive drake kept all other ducks at bay, by positioning himself between his hen and the intruder. Even this Canada Goose was herded away from the hen..
Along with a pair of Greater Scaup, my new painting includes the sleeping Mallard on the left. I shot this photo late last summer at Spenard Crossing. The little squirt in the middle of the photo is a greenwing.
This is the new 9x12" painting. No title yet. The ducks were originally more brightly colored. As an afterthought, I applied a light wash to create some atmosphere. It almost sucked the life out of the painting.
A detail of the ducks.
Even closer. The drake Lesser Scaup has heavier, dark vermiculations on it's back than this Greater Scaup. It also has a purple sheen to it's black head, instead of the greenish sheen of the Greater Scaup.
Since this is a short post, I'll include this photo of a Common Goldeneye. I like the water droplets on it's back.
I'll end this post with a nice shot of a Northern Shoveler. All of these ducks were photographed at Spenard crossing. Spenard Crossing is seperated from Westchester Lagoon by Minnesota Drive, one of Anchorage's busiest roads. There are two tunnels that allow pedestrians to cross between the two wetlands without creating a traffic hazard.
Spenard Crossing, and Westchester Lagoon are the best places that I have been to for getting close to wild waterfowl.

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