Along with berry-hunting on the hiking trails, my husband and I also did a bit of birding over the Labor Day weekend. We didn’t start off with the intention of bird-watching. Our trip to the Four Rivers Conservation Area was going to be another expedition in search of those elusive pokeberries. Once we arrived at the area, though, we were so fascinated by the herons, the egrets, and the other birds we saw that we decided we really didn’t need to look for any berries.
Of course, looking for berries in the woods at Four Rivers would have been difficult. It’s a lowland area, and most of the forest area has been flooded by the nearby rivers — the Marmaton, the Osage, Muddy Creek, and the Marais des Cygnes.
I came away with a few photos, like this one. You may already recognize it as one I’ve used in my artwork. Yes, it’s an egret in a tree, the inspiration for my homemade ink painting.
I enjoyed our excursions over Labor Day weekend, and I certainly found lots of inspiration for drawing and painting. I’m looking forward to the coming autumn season, and most likely you’ll be seeing the places we’ve visited in the oil paintings I do.
Here are a few additional scenes from Four Rivers:
I think that one bird there might be some sort of kingfisher. We’re not sure on that one, though. As soon as we got home that afternoon, I got out my bird book. Birding really is a fun hobby. I think we might start pursuing it a bit more seriously in the future.
And, for what it’s worth, Four Rivers is considered one of the best spots for bird-watching. It’s part of the Great Missouri Birding Trail and the bird listing currently shows 270 species spotted in the area.
Nature is a wondrous source of beauty and fascination, and autumn is the perfect time to enjoy them all!