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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Great egret


Great egret, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.
I had a chance to observe and sketch this great egret in action yesterday. Luckily, it would hold a pose while searching for food!

The hunter became the hunted when a small alligator came gliding up to within 3 feet of the bird. A great flapping of wings (and what a wingspan it was!) ensued.

I held my breath as egret and alligator froze...after a very long minute, the egret majestically waded away. The small alligator seemed to consider his bad luck, and then turned and swam in the opposite direction.

I sketched as quickly as possible with the sepia pens, adding the watercolor washes later. The egret was quite tall, over 3 feet, almost four. I think the alligator was not even four feet long. I felt fortunate to witness the endless drama of nature playing out, and glad I could share it with you .

You can click on the image above to view it larger on my Flickr photostream.