This really hasn't been a good week for birds at Craggis Cottage. First we had Reubengate, which if you missed it you can find out about here, and now our beautiful feathered friend, Phillip, is missing, presumed dead.
Last Friday, he got in a big fight with some of the other male pheasants over mating rights with the ladies. He injured his foot - it was swollen and he was limping badly but still making it over to his little spot at the fence for his dinner when he saw us shaking the seed bag and calling to him.
On Saturday and Sunday his limp got worse and the young contenders to his alpha male title were circling him like little colourful vultures, trying to steal his ladies and taunting him because he wasn't able to stand on both feet. He valiantly tried to keep fighting them off. On Sunday evening, like defensive parents, we shooed them away so Phillip and his ladies could enjoy a meal in peace. That, sadly, was the last time we saw poor Phillip alive.
I started my new job on Monday, he wasn't around before I left in the morning and still hadn't appeared in the evening when I got home. However, the other male pheasants had started hanging around his spot along with his ladies which gave us a sense of impending doom as to his well-being.
We didn't know for certain that Phillip has shuffled off this mortal coil, however, we feared the worst, that either he had succumbed to the infection in his foot (I had wondered if I could take him into the re-homing centre, for the vet to have a look at, if I could've caught him but, alas, it is not to be) or had been too slow getting across the road from the woodland where they roost to the fields where he entertained his ladies.
Then, on Wednesday, when I was driving back from the re-homing centre, I saw a pheasant lying in the middle of the road in our village. He'd obviously not long been knocked down. I couldn't leave him lying there to be squished into the tarmac, so I pulled over and lifted him onto the footpath. As I set him down (checking to make sure he was definitely no longer with us as there were no obvious injuries) I noticed that his right foot was badly swollen - I can't be certain, as surely Phillip wasn't the only pheasant in the village with a sore foot, but my heart sank a little with the knowledge that it quite possibly was our little feathered friend.
So, sadly, my latest painting has turned into a memorial of the lovely Phillip, taken from us too soon. Still, at least he wasn't shot by some arrogant twonk with a need to prove either their masculinity or their aristocratic bloodline and ended up on someone's dinner table.
As for my painting - the colours are more vibrant and the blue is more teal in real life than I was able to capture on the camera. Also I've ordered a bottle of medium which you mix with acrylics for a pearlescent effect which should hopefully bring out the shimmery beauty of Phillip's feathers.
Here are the stages he went through:
|Session 8 - Final|
In case you've never seen Zoolander (if not, rent it right now, it's the funniest film ever) and are wondering what a Eugoogly is, this is one of my favourite quotes which will lighten the mood after my rather depressing post.
'A eugoogalizer. One who speaks at funerals. Or did you think I'd be too stupid to know what a eugoogly was?'
I'm linking up, as always, with Paint Party Friday (just a little bit early this week) and thanks to everyone again for popping by and leaving such lovely comments.