Merry New Year's Greeting

New Year 2016 Wish

Grandpa’s wish for the merriest, happiest year

Darrell signed a Christmas card for our granddaughter Zlata with a wish for a “Merriest Happiest Year” to celebrate her first Christmas and the beginning of a New Year. She is about to crawl, so things will get merry, fast.

We haven’t hand-inscribed Christmas cards for friends and family for years. However, this year we bought some Charlie Brown stamps, sat down with our list, and started writing.

I was charmed when Darrell signed our granddaughter’s note wishing her a “merriest, happiest year,” and thought it a perfect sentiment for all as we begin a New Year.

Darrell gets a little wild when he signs cards. To share the full effect of his signature with you, I scanned it.  Then traced his ink letters in Illustrator, and added a frame with some embossing in Photoshop.

Chipping sparrow decked out for the New Year
“Chip” sparrow on a snowy day in festive attire

A new year of bird watching

We fill our bird feeders in the fall when the birds are shopping the neighborhood for their winter resort location, hoping they will pick our yard and winter with us. With the leaves gone, winter is a great time for bird watching.

chipping sparrow in a tulip tree in the springtime
“Chip,” a chipping sparrow

My Chip art of a chipping sparrow was drawn from a photo Darrell took in the springtime. I began drawing the bird in its natural colors, on our tulip tree, but the illustration soon turned festive. Before I could stop myself, my sparrow had a gold crown, red and green feathers, and was perched on a red-and-white, polka-dot branch.

The chipping sparrow was aptly named for its lyrical “chip” sound. Chipping sparrows make welcome and cheerful yard guests.

Although their gray and brown plumage seems rather ordinary, the chipping sparrow is not. One distinctive characteristic is the “he” and “she” share similar markings, which is uncommon in birds where the male of the species tends to have more outrageous plumage than the female.

Birders know chipping sparrows by these characteristics:

  • gray and brown feathers
  • clear, gray breast feathers
  • rusty or burnt sienna crown
  • white eyebrows
  • black eye line
  • thin, gray-black bill
  • and two racing stripes or bars on their wings.

Hope your New Year is filled with the cheerful sound of chipping sparrows

Chipping Sparrow art
“Chip” at home in our tulip tree

Published by

Patricia Wiskur

My love for art comes from years in the studio of Wiskur Productions, with my husband, Darrell Wiskur, a designer and photographer. Also, I was an editor and photographer in the real world for 17 years ... all the while, thankful for an artful life and cherished memories. Photos are ©2019 Darrell D. Wiskur