Julie Gowing Hayes

Woodland Redhead, 2019
12 x 9 in
I have always been an avid birdwatcher, but as COVID-19 began shutting the world down, it seemed the birds stepped up to the challenge of offering amazing backyard entertainment to provide the much-needed diversion away from the negativity of the news outlets. It was peak migration season and I spent hours watching and photographing, not just the usual visitors. Still breeds that only pass-through for a brief time that usually go unnoticed because of normal everyday busyness. It also gave me a reason to get up and out early as it was a challenge to keep the feeders full every day. Social media provided an outlet to connect with like-minded people to share the beauty by providing photos and information exchange about the birds - a much-needed break from the negativity of the news. While this time of isolation has caused great strife for many, I am thankful to be in a place that provided me a sanctuary in which to reflect on the beauty of creation, what is important in my life, and to realize how blessed I am.