Joie Paré
The Art of Loving Nature

Homecoming Wren (2015)

House wren

Acrylic on canvas

12” X 24”

After moving to acreage in the West Kootenays, there was much work to be done to fix up the property. Taking down the old rotted fence and cleaning up the dead grass along the roadside was only one of the many tasks. While doing this, I found the colours and shapes of the grasses intriguing. The constant barrage of the snowplows work raked the grasses into a single direction like combed horse hair. The taller grasses got hung up on the fence and draped gracefully over the rail. In late March, when there is still some melting snow in the shadows of the landscape, the song of the house wren is one of the beautiful audibles of the arrival of spring. Singing loudly and beautifully for a mate and to declare territory, the tiny well camouflaged birds are heard more that they are seen.

The house wren flits about on its daily search for food and nesting materials. Every spring they make homes in one of the many bird houses I have put up or a old hollowed out tree trunk that l try to preserve for this purpose alone. In good years, a pair will raise two sets of young in a nest. Fiercely territorial, they will defend their area violently. Chasing bigger birds away from their nesting sites. One spring a feisty male saw his reflection in my windows one one side of my house. He would relentlessly attack his reflection throughout the day. Worried that he would spend too much energy at this fruitless battle, I had to paper the lower portions outsides of all my windows so he couldn’t see himself and get back to raising his brood with his mate.