Catherine Taron
Vancouver Island Visual Artist

O Bluebirds, Welcome Back Again

8 x 10 watercolour on 140# Arches hot-pressed paper (SOLD)

In the Cowichan Valley, I live within the remains of fragmented Garry Oak ecosystem and threatened Western Bluebird habitat. Fortunately, a non-profit group (the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team), local naturalists, and concerned citizens are working together to reintroduce the bluebird, which disappeared from local sightings in the mid-1990s. They are now seeing some success. If you’d like more information about the Bring Back the Bluebirds program and status of bluebird returns, I’ve provided this reference as a live link.

Henry David Thoreau observed in his journal notes for April 3, 1852, that The bluebird carries the sky on his back. I thought so too and painted both sky and birds Cobalt Blue. However, I named this painting for a poem written by naturalist, John Burroughs. His Bluebird was published in Harper’s Magazine in 1903 and reads, in part: O bluebird, welcome back again; thy azure coat and ruddy vest, are hues that April loveth best... A bit dated in poetic style but relevant I thought to current efforts to better appreciate and protect bluebird populations. I donated this painting to the Cowichan Valley Naturalists, and it was auctioned in their May Bring Back the Bluebirds fundraising event.