Outside the shrub zone at Volo Bog is an open water wetland where all kinds of exciting things happen. I’ve seen water snakes oozing through the duckweed, and sandhill cranes build nests on platforms of dead cattail stalks. One thing I seldom see is a redwing blackbird nest. Or the female, for that matter. Usually she is just a dark blur bombing past to get to her nest without letting you see where it is. This must have been a young, inexperienced bird because she proudly sat chirping away, her nest fairly close to the boardwalk. One of my favorite plants in this zone is the bur reed, and I particularly liked the languid way this one had stretched out across the surface of the water.
So then all I had to do was weave these elements together. I started with a free flowing wash of colors, then gradually began to lay in details. As I placed the bird, I noticed that the leaves of the bur reed reminded me of a measure or two of music, with the wonderful seedheads looking like notes.