February 25, 2018 Bayou Segnette State Park, Louisiana

 

Storm Protection, Gateway to the Gulf
Storm Protection, Gateway to the Gulf

How I Long for the Desert

As I write this, I look out the fogged up window of the motorhome at the gray skies and listen to the sound of raindrops falling on the roof. It has now officially been 41 days of rain and fog, in Texas and now in Louisiana, and since arriving here, just south of New Orleans, high temperatures and humidity can be added to this miserable mix. I have, on occasion, seen a brief glimpse of the sun during this period, but those occasions have been few and far between.

This past week, during my seven day stay here at Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, temperatures have climbed into the mid 80’s and the humidity has been oppressive, definitely not my kind of weather. I had planned to head east and/or north tomorrow but the torrential rains in that direction have brought widespread flooding and I am probably going to be forced to change plans. I am seriously considering retreating west, back to the desert, though I had hoped to explore some new country up through Arkansas and Missouri.

In the last ten days, I have snapped a total of maybe ten photos, just can’t get motivated to go out in this miserable weather, so I just sit in the motorhome with the AC blasting, working on the computer or watching the boobtube. I did take a couple road trips down to the gulf following the back roads that run along the canals leading to the Gulf of Mexico ( such as the image at the top of the page ), but since it rained most of the time I was out, I had very few opportunities to take any shots.

Cardinal and Pyrrhuloxias
Cardinal and Pyrrhuloxias

So I spent my time sorting through the thousands of avian action shots I took back at Falcon Lake State Park in Texas last month. Those thousands of high resolution shots consume a lot of computer drive space so they desperately needed to be culled and discarded. But I hate to throw away perfectly good action shots that could be used for painting references some day down the road.

Pyrrhuloxia
Pyrrhuloxia

So, as I see something I feel may be a good subject for a painting …

Pyrrhuloxia
Pyrrhuloxia

… I crop that part of the image out as a 1200 x 1200 pixel image …

Female Cardinal
Female Cardinal

… as in the three images above…

Pyrrhuloxia Collage
Pyrrhuloxia Collage

…then assemble them in one 9600 x 9600 pixel collage like the one above and save it as a layered photoshop image so I can go back in at some future date and extract just the image or images I am interested in using in my painting.  I ended up with more than 20 of these collage files arranged by individual bird species, so that gives me enough painting reference materials to be able to work on until I’m about 150 years old.

Anyhow, it was a productive way to spend all the idle hours this miserable weather has produced over the last thee weeks. In the seven days here at Bayou Segnette State Park, I have only ventured out once, and that was to do some grocery shopping and pick up prescriptions at Walmart, not the way I envisioned my stay here.

So I am watching the flood warnings and weather patterns before I decide to leave tomorrow ( or it looks like I may want to extend another day or two to sit here in the rain ) for parts east, or west, or maybe north … who knows?

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