Day 28 – #WorldWatercolorMonth – Nature Hike

Day 28 - World Watercolor Month Nature Hike grey crowned crane - Doodlewash

Today, Philippe and I spent part of the afternoon walking around the Kansas City Zoo, so that became my nature hike for today. I was, at first, enamored with the kangaroos, who are not behind a barrier of any kind, but allowed to roam free and take the same path as the visitors. They seemed mostly bored by us, and never hopped over to say hello, but we were fascinated by them. Yet, when we spotted this African grey crowned crane and Philippe said it looks like it’s permanently dressed to attend a party, so that settled my choice and we have a quick little doodlewash of that instead. Beyond the elaborate party dress, what struck me most were the lovely colors. Maroons with pale and vibrant yellows meeting silverly blues. If one is ever looking for the perfect color combinations, or simply new ides, look no further than nature. Even when it seems a surprising color choice, things always look lovely and balanced somehow. Nature is simply never wrong. I’ve no idea if crowned cranes ever actually attend a party, but it’s comforting to know they’re costumed appropriately should they ever chose to do so.

The weather was perfectly mild today, so it was a lovely walk that amounted to a few miles, as the zoo is rather large. Though I love the walking and the gorgeous and lush trees and animal scenery, my favorite part is taking the Sky Safari ride. This is like a ski lift that sails over the top of the African section of the park. It’s so slow that it feels like you’re just floating in place and the effect is incredibly relaxing. I’ve not sat still that long this entire month so it was a real treat! When I was a kid, going to the zoo was one of my favorite experiences. It was a fraction of the size that it is now back then, but still felt so expansive, because I was so much smaller. In the years since, it’s grown up with me to remain just as large, if not larger, and more incredible than I first imagined it to be. This is my favorite part about going. It’s one of the few memories of childhood I can relive again with all of the same amazing memories and even some incredible new ones thrown in for good measure. Today, I truly got to be that little kid again, and that’s one of the best days ever!

Despite all of my stories about childhood, I don’t actually live in the past. I just long for the feeling of it. The simplicity of things, without all of the stresses and concerns that so-called modern life has created. We can do things now that would have seemed impossible back in the day, and that’s awesome. But back in the day, we never really felt like we were missing anything. We weren’t sitting around talking about how we wished our phones could talk to us and tell us where to go next. Instead, we might simply go for a walk, finding a new trail that could lead to new possibilities. This is why I love painting and sketching so much. It’s not a modern invention. It’s an age-old practice of capturing the world as we see it, using tools that have existed for generations. In a world filled with advanced technologies, it’s comforting to know that the original inventions can still produce wonderful things. If we just take a moment out of our now busier-than-ever day and sketch a little something, the world will be a happier place. No rules or expectations, just a fun little break, where even a trip to the zoo can make something new appear in that sketchbook, on an unexpected nature hike.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Quinacridone Rose, and Maroon Perylene. Da Vinci Watercolors: Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 28 - World Watercolor Month Nature Hike grey crowned crane - Doodlewash

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Laura Hale 4 years ago

    Once again, great Doodlewash and backstory. I’m glad you and Philippe were able to get out and enjoy the day. Good for you both!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕It was such a fun day! Always good to unplug for a bit and enjoy things!

  2. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    You’re right – nature is simply never wrong, and you’ve done a fantastic job showing it with your crane. Humans are so contrary – when young we can’t wait to grow up, and once grown up we wish we were young again. In truth, you are right. Adolescence is a nice place to visit, but not nearly the wonderful place we often remember it to be.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Nature rocks color combinations so well! And yes, the memory is often sweeter than the real thing. But, that’s why I love memories so much!

  3. Vicki Rowley 4 years ago

    glad for your “mild” day (still waiting here in hell, I mean Texas), love your colorful party bird! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Vicki! 😃💕 Yeah, we got mild weather and we NEVER get that. If anything, we get whatever the worst weather is currently happening in the world. So, we definitely took some time to celebrate it!

  4. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Beautiful crane! The zoo is an excellent place for a nature hike!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 We had a blast! hehe… we’re members so we can just pop in anytime we like.

  5. June Hadaway 4 years ago

    That is one beautiful crane. You did a fantastic job with your painting. I will definitely add a touch of gold next time I wear grey and marooon. Stunning! I am glad you and Philippe enjoyed the day out, away from computers. I honestly don’t know how you do it all. But do know, it’s all done remarkably well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Yay to adding a touch of gold to your next maroon! It would look stunning! And thanks! I often wonder how I manage to get everything done, but it somehow manages to work out. Even when I take a few breaks. 😉

  6. Lisa 4 years ago

    It was a lovely day, and yours is a lovely crane! We have three families of sandhill cranes living in my neighborhood. A few days ago I took pictures of all of them in three different fields around the house. Two of the families have babies which are called colts. I love that!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Aww that’s awesome!! Sounds like a lovely scene you have there! And colts? I didn’t know that! That makes them even cooler!

  7. SnehLata Maheshwari 4 years ago

    Going to the zoo is pretty experience your
    Crane is beautiful 🥀 nice colours.
    Thanks so much lie.

  8. Sheila 4 years ago

    I do love the colors in your crane Charlie, just beautiful!
    “We might simply go for a walk, finding a new trail that could lead to new possibilities.”, is also describing my amazing childhood. Wonderful memories, difficult to achieve nowadays.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sheila! 😃💕Yeah, it’s so tough as an adult to experience that wonder of being a child. But I always strive to achieve it. hehe… I love to pretend I’ve never seen something before. Acting as though I’m experiencing it for the first time. And since I’m a big kid at heart… pretending is just as much fun! 😉

  9. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Beautiful rendering of the crane! I understand your longing for the feeling of childhood – for many of us, it was a time of simple joys, with time to wander and wonder at the amazing things in our world.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I love the spirit of childhood most. I’m sure my memories are cloudy and not exact, but I DO remember feeling that anything is possible. And that’s the same feeling I want to always have with me today!

  10. Anita Sinha 4 years ago

    Great doodlewash…and a lovely story…! What is the nib size of your fountain pen ?

  11. Les Grindey 4 years ago

    Lovely picture Charlie story to sounds a great day beautiful bird color amazing

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Les! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this one! It was a truly wonderful day!

  12. Jean Lake 4 years ago

    Love doodlewash! Thank you to everyone who participares!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yay! Thrilled to hear it, Jean! 😃💕 So happy you’re enjoying Doodlewash!

  13. smzang 4 years ago


    I have a lot of catching up to do, but for today, I just wanted to catch your eye with this message.
    Would you add the sloth
    to your shop? I have a friend who is giving her daughter sloth tennis shoes for her birthday, and
    your painting would be the perfect companion gift. I had put a note on the sloth article but am
    concerned that you might not see it. We need the print for Aug. 14th. Many thanks, sarah

  14. Viki Banaszak 4 years ago

    Wow! I don’t think I have ever seen a bird like that! I think it is time to take the grand monsters to the zoo again ;p

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Viki! 😃💕 hehe! It’s totally time to take them back to the zoo! Hope they do have a bird like this one… they’re so cool!

  15. memadtwo 4 years ago

    The perfect party dress indeed! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 I often adore Philippe’s view of the world! hehe Guess that’s why I married him.

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