8.250 x 6.000 inches
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Beverley Harper Tinsley
Painting - Watercolor And Graphite
Recently visited a vineyard in Sonoma, Viszlay as I recall, and got distracted during a wine tasting, as I spotted these adorable and very quick moving California quails darting through the vineyards. I was enchanted. I've had a hankering to paint some ever since.
The California Quail is a highly sociable bird that often gathers in small flocks known as "coveys". One of their daily communal activities is a dust bath. A group of quail will select an area where the ground has been newly turned or is soft, and using their underbellies, will burrow downward into the soil some one to two inches. They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air. They seem to prefer sunny places in which to create these dust baths. An ornithologist is able to detect the presence of quail in an area by spotting the circular indentations left behind in the soft dirt, some 7�15 cm (3-6 inches) in diameter. They are year-round residents. Although this bird coexists well at the edges of urban areas, it is declining in some areas as human populations increase. They were originally found mainly in the southwestern United States but they have been introduced into other areas including British Columbia, Hawaii, Chile, New Zealand, and to Norfolk Island and King Island in Australia. These birds forage on the ground, often scratching at the soil. They can sometimes be seen feeding at the sides of roads. Their diet consists mainly of seeds and leaves, but they also eat some berries and insects; for example, Toyon berries are a common food source. If startled, these birds explode into short rapid flight, called "flushing". Given a choice, they will normally escape on foot.
According to http://www.lahoz.us/quail.html
The quail is an animal that enjoys a rich system of symbols. In ancient cultures she is identified by heat and loving ardor. In France, for example, they use the expression " warm as a quail " to refer to sexual passion. In the wise China, a country very devoted to looking for signs proceeding from the behavior and workmanship of the animals, the quail means fire and is the symbol most known for the summer. Its connotation also is tied to the migratory character. The arrival of the swallows and of the quails announces the spring and the approximation of good times. This going and coming of migratory birds, which is cyclical, associates with the alternatives of the philosophical oriental current of the yin and the yang. In India it is a very popular Vedic myth of the liberation of the quail for the Ashvin, twin gods with horse�s heads, in which they save this bird from the jaws of the wolf, which is a symbol of the dawn. The light like that liberated of the night and the hells it is that of the Sun, but also that of the spirit. In Greek civilization, very tied to the nature, to the worship to the body and to the intellect, the quail has great symbolic wealth: Ortygia, the old name of the island of Delos on which Apollo and Artemis were born. Its name derived from ortyx, or quail, because it was said that the goddess Asteria (another name for the place) changed into a quail to escape from Zeus before falling into the sea and turning into an island. Also the quail has led Biblical passages. The meat of this bird was, together with the miraculous manna, the food most consumed by the Heb
February 6th, 2013
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