This painting was made during one of the worst fish kills along the Gulf of Mexico by the Caloosahatchee River where I live. Everywhere you looked, dead sea life of every type lined the beaches. The blue-green algae from Lake Okeechobee fouled the river and canals all along its route. It was a very sad time. There was simply nowhere to look to escape the sad view until the swallowtail kites flew over me as I walked in the yard one day. Every spring, like clockwork they return to Florida from South America, making a perilous journey across the Gulf. Usually they arrive just as the summer rains begin and as they swoop and dive, they decorate every sky of summer from morning mist, to the bright blue of midday, and the bruised, purple thunderheads of evening. So for all of that sad summer, we decided to "not look down," and instead, look up and place our hearts and hopes up high on the wings of the swallowtail kites.