Backstroke – Osprey
Limited Edition of 200, 24″ x 20″ – $150.00
Open Edition 10″ x 8″ – $30.00
The osprey is not a hawk, but a diurnal raptor feeding during the daytime. Similar to hawks, it snatches and seizes its prey by plummeting downwards into lakes and rivers to catch fish. Entry at the water’s surface is feet first – never head first – as it catches its prey with its feet, not its beak. Successful on ninety percent of its dives, the osprey, unlike hawks, feeds almost exclusively on fish; hence, the osprey is given the name “fish hawk.”
In the composition, “Backstroke,” the osprey, with the distinct crook of the wings at the wrist, the long legs, the little scale spikes under the fleshy part of the feet and the round curved and sharp talons, displays its fishing arsenal. Flying into a westerly breeze, the sound of the osprey’s powerful backstrokes with tail spread provides delight for the senses. The sunlight penetrating storm clouds in the background and the horizontal dead tree limb in the foreground are both framed by rock ledges high on the mountain. The stage is set for a dramatic landing. All wings and talons, the landing creates a magic moment, and the osprey is protected from the windy ravages of the storm. Later, when the storm passes, the “fish hawk” will choose a perch with an unobstructed view of open water in search of prey. From the lookout and with a watchful gaze, it will miss little.
The light in the dark background symbolizes the hope of an enlightened future instead of an abusive past. New laws and sound conservation practices now protect this species. With this wisdom, ospreys will continue to grace the skies over clean waters. They are not as likely to become endangered.