Tag Archives: Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary

A map of Barry’s trips to all the Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries where he has created art

We are really excited for this post. I’ve recently created a map of all of the Wildlife Sanctuaries that Barry has visited. When you click on each indigo bunting icon, the name of the sanctuary, date of his visit, and link to the blog post will appear. Click on the link for each post to follow Barry as he sketches and paints at different Mass Audubon Sanctuaries in the state. ENJOY!!!!

Warbler Wave

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Mid-May, 2015
By the middle of May in Massachusetts, large numbers of migrant wood warblers are streaming through the state on their way to breeding grounds here or further north.  It all happens so quickly, and I experience a manic urge to try and get it all down while it lasts. So many birds, so little time!  Instead of trying to do a finished watercolor with a full background of each of the species I encounter, I take a different approach.

Stillman and Birn Sketchbooks

I purchase several 9”x12” sketchbooks loaded with heavy watercolor paper made by Stillman and Birn.  My logic is that I can use these in field or studio to do quicker bird portraits with minimal background elements or no background at all. The heavy, archival stock will give me the option to remove and frame some of the pages later. Here is a selection from the Mass Audubon properties I visited through May.

Nashville Warbler, Wachusett Meadow - at 72 dpi

Nashville Warbler, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 9″ x 12″

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Wachusett Meadow - at 72 dpi

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 9″ x 12″

Blackburnian Warbler study, High Ledges - large at 72 dpi

Blackburnian Warbler, High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary, 5.5″ x 8″

Yellow-rump Study, Wampanoag - at 72 dpi

Myrtle Warbler, Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary, 8.5″ x 12″

Canada Warbler in Witch-hazel, High Ledges - at 72 dpi

Canada Warbler, High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary, 9″ x12″

Black-throated Blue in Birch, Eagle Lake - at 72 dpi

Black-throated Blue Warbler, Eagle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, 9″ x 12″




A Taste of the North

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary, Gardner, MA on May 4th, 2015

Yellow-rump and Red Maple Flowers, Wampanoag - at 72 dpi

Yellow-rumped Warbler and Red Maple Flowers, watercolor on Arches 140 lb cold-press paper, 10.25″ x 14″

If I had to pick out two iconic species to represent early spring in Central Massachusetts, I’d be hard pressed to do better than yellow-rumped warbler and red maple.  Today the “butterbutts” were murmuring all along the trails at Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary in Gardner.  The red maple was in full bloom, adding gauzy golden and carmine washes to the landscape.  I’m told that the smaller deep red flowers are male, and the larger orangey or yellowish blossoms are females, with both sexes often occurring on the same tree.

Yellow-rump Study, Wampanoag - at 72 dpi

Myrtle Warbler Study, watercolor and pencil in Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook, 9″ x 12″

The woods along the Moosewood Trail at Wampanoag have a distinctly Northern feel, with patches of balsam fir and spruce mixed in with the red maples and hemlocks. It’s an unusual forest community for Central Massachusetts. I paused along the trail to draw a red spruce trunk heavily worked over by a pileated woodpecker.

Spruce w Pileated WP Holes, Lake Wampanoag - at 72 dpi

The square-sided excavations were recently made, with fresh wood chips littering the forest floor beneath the tree.  Black-throated Green warblers buzzed overhead, and the staccato song of a Northern Waterthrush drifted up from the pond shore.