"Wo-ha-li" (eagle) was rendered first in India ink and then painted with Twinkling H2O's from ColourArte. I was saving it for a future post, nearer Independance Day, but am posting the eagle today because I just learned that four bald eagle nests in our area were destroyed by the tornado in Sand Springs, OK last Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
Bald eagles are migratory birds, and Oklahoma is an important wintering place for the species. It is reported that since the tornado eagle parents are circling River Park with piercing calls, looking for their nests and 7 chicks that were killed. They will not find their young this year, but next year they will be able to renest in the same area.
In the 1700's the bald eagle was chosen as the United States national symbol representing, strength, freedom, clear vision, and determination. But it's history of importance in America dates much earlier than the 1700's. Many Native American tribes consider eagles to be religiously symbolic, carrying prayers to God.
I did not realize the full impact of the eagle's symbolic meaning amongst Native American culture until I stumbled upon its importance at a Keetoowah Cherokee event. An eagle feather was accidentally dropped to the ground. The people gathered around the feather and prayed. The feather is considered a sacred symbol and it could not be retrieved without this cleansing ceremony.
We see these honored and protected birds often in this area. I recently missed a prime Kodak moment when I was driving from Tulsa to Muskogee. I noted an eagle hovering and diving almost in front of the cars ahead of me. I thought he was ill or injured because his movements were so erratic. But as I came nearer, slowing down because I was afraid he would fall on the road ahead of me, the eagle suddenly dived down in front of my car, swooped up a small animal from the bypass and soared away with his tasty treat. These are the best areas to view eagles in Oklahoma, (and I frequent them in the winter time just for that purpose!) :
- Lake Eufaula
- Fort Gibson Reservoir
- Grand Lake (Twin Bridges State Park)
- Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
- Kaw Lake
- Robert S. Kerr Lake (Sequoyah NWR)
- Keystone Lake
- Wister Lake
Here are also some feather paintings rendered in flat acrylics and embellished with Radiant Rain Shimmering Mists