This is my friend, Mr. Pip. He’s a male cardinal … one of the wild things that bring so much joy to so many. I’m convinced that this particular guy has been my backyard pal for a long time. I read somewhere that they can live to 15 years, and I like to think that’s true. He and his wife come when I call them … well, that’s how I see it, lol … and every year he brings his new, scruffy brood by to visit and to learn the ins and outs of our “squirrel-proof” feeder.
We see Pip and his wife, and occasionally a brother-in-law or other family member, year-round. They’re quite a sight in winter, with the whole landscape grey and bleak and frozen and the snow either threatening or falling. That brilliant pop of red is always cheering. And during summer when I’m outside, if I haven’t filled the feeders that morning, I’ll hear him up in the beach tree beside the deck, calling me with his hopeful “Pip!” … and of course I’ll make sure his favorite black oiler sunflower seeds are there for him right away.
The reason for the title of this image is a happy-sad one. My husband and I are downsizing and relocating to a place where I’m pretty sure Mr. Pip and his little family won’t be following us. But we’ve been very fortunate to find a buyer for our place who I believe will feed my birdies at the feeder and rescue my baby froggies from the pool every morning … in short … I think we’re leaving our friends in good hands.
So … goodbye Mr. Pip. I will miss you.
Original photographic image taken on a gorgeous May evening in 2013 with the Nikon D300 and the 150-500mm Sigma lens. Treated to lots of play in Photoshop, then completely digitally hand-painted with a Wacom tablet and brushes in Corel Painter 2015.
A click on the image will bring you to my website where it can be seen as wall art, framed, canvas or photographic … and several other product types with a nicer watermark (which will not appear on any purchases, if you happen to find something you like!) and at a better resolution.
Thanks for dropping by!