This Carolina wren was observed at a 17th century Canadian historic site on a hot summer’s day. I was struck by two strong and distinct impressions; the intensity of light and shadow from a noon-day sun, and the diminutive size of the bird in comparison to the heaviness of the structures around it. The great difficulty of painting this scene had to do with simultaneously expressing the mass of the log enclosure and intricacies of scattered straw without losing the bird as the prime focal point. After many rough sketches exploring composition and angle of view, I settled on an elevated one establishing a sunlit area relatively free of distracting features. Even so, the earth and ground litter required a great deal of manipulation to keep the wren as the star performer in this humble narrative of daily life that is easily missed and often ignored.