Leaving the Nest

Jim Rutledge's avatar Jim Rutledge

Leaving the Nest... This turning was inspired by an encounter I had last May with a female Ruffed Grouse and her newborn chicks. Returning from a fly-fishing outing via a wooded shortcut, I stepped into a small clearing where I saw an adult bird pretending to have a broken wing and leading me away from the clearing. I stopped in the clearing to look around and she immediately flew into my face knocking off my glasses. I picked up my glasses and fly-rod and backed away. Stopping again to observe, I saw the nest and the young chicks hatching. They were smaller than a golf ball. The hen immediately went back to work chirping at the hatchlings and herding them with her wings. In about 10 minutes she left the nest in the clearing with the chicks following. She will spend the next three months fearlessly defending her flock. Teaching them what to eat, how to fly, when to fly, to communicate with her, and most important how to avoid dangerous predators. Living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you learn that nature can be cruel. This encounter shows that nature also provides the will and skill needed for survival. I am thankful for the opportunity to witness this event.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 4 inches
  • Medium: Wood
  • Width: 11 inches
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 4 inches