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Happy Birthday, Mr. Audubon!

A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.

As I grew up I was fervently desirous of becoming acquainted with Nature.

But hopes are Shy Birds flying at a great distance seldom reached by the best of Guns. —John James Audubon

Happy birthday to one of the most intriguing figures of history, the French-American ornithologist, conservationist, naturalist, and painter. John James Audubon — a man whose influence is keenly felt to this day — documented countless American birds in his gorgeous and brilliant drawings. His masterpiece — the enormous (-sized) color-plate book, The Birds of America (1827–1839), is widely considered to be the finest ornithological and artistic works ever created.

Thank you, sir, and happy birthday!

Audubon, Great Egret, 1821

Audubon, Great Egret, 1821

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, Florida Wetlands

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, Florida Wetlands

Audubon, Louisiana Heron (Tricolored Heron)

Audubon, Louisiana Heron (Tricolored Heron)

Tricolored (Louisiana) Heron, Florida Wetlands

Tricolored (Louisiana) Heron, Florida Wetlands

Visit Florida Rambler to learn about his beautiful Key West home, where he stayed in 1832… Discovering 18 new species (well, to the Western world at least).

National Audubon Society Logo — The Great Egret in Flight (Courtesy of The National Audubon Society)

National Audubon Society Logo — The Great Egret in Flight (Courtesy of The National Audubon Society)

56 Comments Post a comment
  1. Fey Girl, this is a truly beautiful post! Your photos and the Audubon drawings are almost identically interchangeable.

    April 26, 2013
    • Ah, thanks so VERY much! You’re incredibly kind… It’s funny to see them in similar poses, heh. I’m sure I have a Tricolored in that exact pose somewhere on my computer, too…. 🙂

      April 26, 2013
  2. With your photos, you are carrying on in the tradition of Audubon—an artistic voice for nature! Nice post, as always.

    April 26, 2013
    • How very nice of you to say… So kind, thank you!! With as much as Audubon did for conservation and the world of art, he definitely deserves to be honored.

      April 26, 2013
  3. Loving your post – great captures – big lover of birds and photographing birds:) Happy Friday!

    April 26, 2013
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed! Always good to honor such an incredible man and talent…

      Happy Friday to you, hoorah!!!

      April 26, 2013
      • Sunday Morning just had a piece on the man and his talents

        April 26, 2013
      • Ah, wonderful… It’s so great that his life and work are being highlighted so much!!

        April 27, 2013
  4. Fun, fun, fun. Loved the way you juxtaposed your photos with Audubon’s paintings. And I agree with Denise. Keep up the good/beautiful work.

    April 26, 2013
    • My gosh! I knew you seemed familiar! This is where I’ve seen you. It’s the interwebs as small town!

      April 27, 2013
      • And indeed it is. (grin) I’ve been following FeyGirl for quite some time. I share her environmental perspective and love her photos.

        April 27, 2013
    • Thanks so very much!! All of your wonderful and kind words mean an incredible amount to me. It was a last-minute thought… I figured, duh… I have countless images of these birds Audubon highlights in his paintings! 🙂

      April 27, 2013
  5. Awesome photos!

    Everyone who reads this needs to check out the other pages. The herons are incredible! Don’t miss “Great Blue Heron Pair, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida”

    Thanks for posting all your photos. I really enjoyed them.

    April 26, 2013
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the images – and I hope to keep up a bit better with them, that’s for sure.

      Ah, I love that GBH pair. Perfect timing there. 🙂

      April 27, 2013
  6. Great idea to match up the paintings with your photos! Looked great!

    April 26, 2013
    • Thanks so very much – a last-minute addition, and one that was so easy to integrate, what with all the images I have on file of these guys. 🙂

      April 27, 2013
  7. Excellent post! Have you had a chance to see the travelling exhibition of Audubon’s works? It was at our museum last winter, including one of his original books of paintings.

    April 26, 2013
    • Thanks so much!

      You know, I was visiting up north, and tried DESPERATELY to get into NYC to see it. I’d love to see the works in person, but I missed it…again! Argh!

      April 27, 2013
  8. narhvalur #

    Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.

    April 26, 2013
    • Thanks so much for the share! 🙂

      April 27, 2013
  9. That’s amazing, you were able to duplicate Audubon’s work without even realizing it. I’ve enjoyed some of the originals at the National Gallery of Art.

    April 26, 2013
    • Thanks so much… It was a last-minute thing, I was like…DER! I have all these photos of this very bird! In the hundreds! Hahahah!

      When I was up north recently, I tried soooo hard to get up to NYC to see his works in the traveling exhibition, but I wasn’t able to get there. Bummer, bummer, bummer. I’d love to see them in person too.

      April 27, 2013
  10. Reblogged this on Walking in Sonoma County…mostly and commented:
    From the other side of the country – but the birds are familiar and beautiful. Thanks to Fey Girl at Serenity Spell.

    April 26, 2013
    • Thanks so very much for the kind words and share!! 😉

      April 27, 2013
      • No, thank you – for the reminder and all the great work you do.

        April 28, 2013
      • ♥✿♥✿♥!!

        April 30, 2013
  11. Excellent post! I just wanted to add that Google offers a free Audubon ebook at their play store.

    April 27, 2013
    • Thanks very much! Ah, and thanks for the information…. It’s wonderful to know that his work is being highlighted!!

      April 27, 2013
  12. Wow – beautiful beautiful!

    April 27, 2013
  13. Great idea to post these Great White Egret’s images and the Louisiana Heron’s Audubon’s illustrations commemorating his birthday. Great post!

    April 27, 2013
    • Thanks so much!

      It was honestly a last-minute thought, after I added his beautiful illustrations… I have these photos! LOTS of them, hahah! 🙂

      April 27, 2013
  14. I’ve always enjoyed Audubon’s work. I was astonished a couple of years ago to learn that one reason for the utterly life-like appearance of his birds is that he combined science with art, dissecting birds in order to learn about and portray the way they are constructed “from the inside out”.

    One of the great truths is that this kind of intimate knowledge is what makes art alive, whether it’s Audubon’s physical immersion in the bird itself or your immersion into their environment. There’s the key for the obvious relationship of your photos to his art – you both know the heart of the birds, rather than their surface alone.

    April 27, 2013
    • Ah yes…. I learned about his dissections a long time ago, as well. I had to get over that bit. 🙂 I even read a piece of historical fiction recently that went into vivid detail with it. Fascinating.

      But as always you state it oh-so-elegantly. It’s the immersion into the environment, an intimate knowledge of the animals and their habitat, that creates the best art – an emotion behind the art. You’re incredibly kind to raise that association – BEYOND-the-moon kind!!

      April 27, 2013
  15. This was a really nice birthday tribute! We owe him a lot. Wonderful photographs!

    April 27, 2013
    • He was such a fascinating man…. What he did for the world of art and conservation.

      Thanks so much – old photos, but there are so many that could potentially match his work. 🙂

      April 27, 2013
  16. Oh, I love J.J.! (Our park in New Orleans is named for him – Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo, no less.) I’m going to do a heron cross-stitch for my living room in honor of him. It will probably take months, but I’ll post it when I’m done. ❤

    April 28, 2013
    • OH how wonderful!!!

      I can’t wait to see your completed picture / post! I adore herons (obviously!!), and I used to cross-stitch eons ago. 🙂

      April 30, 2013
  17. Yes, Happy Birthday to him indeed. Wonderful work he has done and I have always loved his quote about “borrowing from our children”.

    April 29, 2013
    • He was such an amazing force, a driven individual… Thank goodness he was on the side of Nature. 🙂

      April 30, 2013
  18. I love the painting. It really captured the essence of the bird. It is amazing what a little bit of paint can do

    April 29, 2013
    • He was an AMAZING artist… I can’t imagine seeing these enormous, brilliant works in person. I’ve come so close….

      April 30, 2013
    • Let me know if you’d any Audubon images. You can download the images at http://thebirdsofamerica.com Just do a right click and save as.

      April 30, 2013
      • You’re so very kind — THANK you!

        And likewise, if there’s anything that you need / I can do, please don’t hesitate to holler across the Web! -Christina

        May 3, 2013
  19. I think you goes in Mr Audubon “shoes” … And that you manage his ornithological interest in the absolute best way !
    // Maria

    April 29, 2013
    • What a lovely compliment! I certainly share his love of the wilds… But if I had a shred of that talent? Oh, sigh…! 🙂

      April 30, 2013
  20. Lovely photos. There is definitely something about birds that makes them very photogenic!
    Thanks for continuing to like the posts on my blog
    Dorinda

    May 12, 2013
    • You’re so kind — thanks very much!

      And, most definitely…. I adore your blog, it’s so beautiful and informative! You make me want to visit this lovely land.

      May 13, 2013
  21. This is beautiful.. thank you for sharing it.

    May 19, 2013
    • Thanks very much! He deserves so much more, but I tried to do a bit to honor his most amazing life and work. 🙂

      May 20, 2013
  22. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Bloggers Award.
    To find out more about this award, visit http://www.youawesomehuman.com

    May 22, 2013
    • Thanks so very much for the nomination! You’re very kind… I just adore your blog and its intentions. I’m over-the-moon thrilled to have connected with you!

      May 22, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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