Blues' Clues

Back when I lived in Wisconsin I'd sometimes go for a drive along the Mississippi backwaters (this was years ago, when recreational driving was still affordable). Often I'd see raucous flocks of egrets roosting in the trees or wading in the shallows. Sometimes I'd see bald eagles, fishing. But only rarely would I spot a Blue Heron.

Great Blue Herons are quiet birds, solitary, fiercely territorial. A similar walk along the Willamette rarely turns up more than one at a time, so jealously do they guard their particular piece of waterfront. On the other hand, they're so widely distributed that you can spot one on almost any stretch of open water in Eugene. My first live sketch of a heron, in fact, was made at the Amazon channel not 10 yards from the back door of Holiday Market.

So it's no surprise that you'll find them distributed throughout my booth, on soup bowls, painted mugs, dinner and dessert plates and vases and serving bowls. Silent. Stalking. Attentive to the slightest move of a potential purchaser, ready to leap into their hands...