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The Folk Art of Greg Goul — Carvings, Inspiration, Nature, and Sketches.

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Here’s another great video by Lang Elliott celebrating the Bobolink. The Bobolink is quickly becoming one of my favorite birds, with its striking black and white reversed tuxedo appearance. No other North American bird has a white back and black underparts. Bobolinks are found in tall grasslands, uncut pastures, overgrown fields and meadows.

On his blog, A Birder’s Notebook, Les Houser wrote about the Bobolink’s loss of habitat and the disappearance of a once plentiful species due to suburban sprawl and the development of outdoor sports complexes. Give it a read.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

C. S. Lewis

I started carving in the Summer of 2009 after taking a class by Geoff Davis of 50 Little Birds. Check out Geoff’s site, he’s now working on a gorgeous series of birds from his Northern Forest Canoe Trail trip last Summer. Anyways, shortly after I started researching songbird and decoy carvers on the web, as well as purchasing numerous books on the subject.

From the books, I was drawn to the older, more primitive decoys. It was amazing to see the various styles specific to regions. Starting out, and probably still, I had a hard time figuring out the dimensional aspects of the birds from a single image. Scale, body shape, a clean head to body joint, and beak shape seemed all foreign to me. The blocks of wood and a single photograph didn’t equate. I needed to have a physical decoy in hand to better understand the process. So, I got on eBay and luckily came across a collection of carved, but not finished decoys by Orville Bergmann of Van Dyne, Wisconsin, from 1993. I ended up buying all seven available of various waterfowl and styles. The bodies were carved from Cedar, and the heads from Pine or Basswood. Carving decoy folk art started to make more sense. The picture below is of an Orville Bergmann Heron Lake Style Canvasback. He was truly an amazing sculptor of wood.

Orville Bergmann Heron Lake Style Canvasback