Friday, December 31, 2010

A Midnight Feast

With a final lick of his lips, the fox completed his tasty meal.  All that remained where handfuls of downy feathers at different points along the route.  He raised himself slowly, listening to the night.  Was there anymore?



In the garden today..

Never still, Spiraling up our cherry trees; trunks and branches, probing the bark for insects.








The Treecreeper

(The photos aren't brilliant, but as I said "never still" really does mean never stll!!)


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Polar Bear, Spy on the Ice

I settled down with the family for a night of TV.  First, Dig 1940, which was the search for a plane that had been shot down just outside Bristol during the second World War.

Then we watched Polar Bear, Spy on the Ice, which was fantastic.  We were all captivated by the search for food by all the polar bears in their quest to survive.  My son was especially fascinated by the camera techniques used to obtain the footage. How inquisitive were these bears? It was wonderful to see their curiosity get the better of them.

Our final night of TV was Rolf Harris on BBC2 (Arena, Rolf Paints His Dream).  It was great to see him painting and listen to his life story.

Today's sketch:


In tribute to the Polar Bears

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Hunter

I sit on the highest point of the tree I can find.  My weight makes the branch dip slightly and I must account for this when I launch myself towards my quarry.

I see two hunters with a pack of dogs, two tall dogs with long hair running along the side of the field.   The other two dogs are small and quick, diving in and out of the hedges, searching.

The sun has gone to slumber for the night and as it takes its final glimpse of the world, an azurite sky unfolds.  A stag and a doe suddenly break their stillness and gallop across the fields to evade the pack of dogs that chase them.  They evade capture.

I see all this from the highest point of the tree, I sit still, observing the landscape around me.  Dusk comes.

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daily Sketchbook


There are many interesting things in my home which go unnoticed, or perhaps, taken for granted.  I've rekindled my desire to draw and have set myself a new goal ... 3 sketches a week.  I know I have entitled this post Daily Sketchbook, but I am realistic of the demands on my time and if I can achieve a sketch each day, that would be great, but if not, I'll still feel I am progressing if I achieve 3.

We have an old Victorian ink pot that sits on our kitchen windowsill.  It was discovered when we dug the trenches for our house on a plot of land that was once a garden.  The inscription reads "J G Hawley, Bristol", James George Hawley was born in Staffordshire in 1826 and was a potter by trade.  In 1875 he is described as a redware manufacturer at Temple Backs (he had taken over William Hutchings pottery by 1873).  In 1883 the pottery is listed as the Temple Stoneware Pottery, with a claim that it was founded in 1802.  This business continued until 1901.   

I wonder what stories this ink pot could tell....



The Awakening

As I slowly awaken from my dreamworld, a golden warmth lights up the room.  The sun, resplendent, heralds the beginning of a new day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In the garden today..

Song Thrush


Blackbird


 Blackbird & Redwing



Collared Doves


Chaffinch



Small gifts give great pleasures

I chopped up some old apples today and put them out on the ground for the birds.  We had visitors all day.  

The wind was biting cold today when I took Mr P for a walk, unfortunately I didn't have my camera as hubby was playing around with it.  Missed some great shots of ice and Yellowhammers.

The paths and the lane are becoming treacherous so we have all snuggled up in doors.

All we need now is the log burner to be lit and a glass of wine to drink!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In the garden today..

A Song Thrush



Blackbirds

Blowing the cobwebs off my imagination

Underfoot the snow crunches as I walk, each step releasing a sound to warn the birds that I am approaching.
The wind caresses my warm cheek, slowly evaporating the warmth within me.
The cobwebs are blown from my mind with each gust of wind on this breezy day.
I hear tiny voices calling to me, carried on the movement of air as it passes my ears.
Visions of beautiful maidens dancing gracefully in the sky, following the North wind.
Spirits dancing with the wind, eagles soaring high on the thermals.
Wind chimes playing their melody as the air moves quickly between them.
A Sail taut, pulling it's cargo across the ocean, to a land far away.
Small leaves blown around the garden, then settling down when a pause comes.
Quiet descending as the wind dies.
Beautiful maidens left in my imagination, dancing and singing on the breeze.

All this imagination from a caress of my warm cheek.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Favourite Scenes from the Weekend.


A special treat in the garden today..

The Owl


The owl is wary, the owl is wise.


He knows all the names of the stars in the skies.


He hoots and he toots and he lives by his wits,


but mostly he sits. . . (and he sits. . . and he sits).
(Author Unknown)


Little Owl

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let it snow...


As dawn comes, the tiny snow crystals refect the light of the sunrise.


A Yellowhammer basking in the morning sun as it makes it's climb skyward.


Feeding time!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Greylake

Greylake is Somerset's newest RSPB nature reserve, a splendid wet grassland.  I was without Mr P today so took advantage of a lone visit to Greylake (as no dogs allowed!).  Unfortunately I must have picked one of the windiest days of the year!!


The reed beds.


Lots of wind!



A gull


Ducks in flight... they flew so quickly, it isn't a good photo but gives a sense of speed which I liked.

Nature Calling

I was late for my walk yesterday... waiting for a Christmas delivery by DHL.  Anytime between 8.00am & 9.00pm, that's a long time to wait at home!  Finally at 2.00pm I was able to take Mr P for a walk.

I love the countryside, the smells (well, not always!) and the sounds.  Beautiful melodies sung by the birds.  Trees singing as the wind breezes through the last remaining brown leaves that cling to the branches.

I had set myself a goal - how many feathers could I collect.  I have been drawing in inks and wanted to make quills.

I took Mr P on a long walk today, along Lunn's wood.  It's a managed wood where lots of grouse and pheasants live.  As we walked along, I picked up a feather here and there.  Mr P also made a sad discovery - a dead Buzzard.

He looked a beautiful creature and I took advantage to study his markings.



Such a majestic creature.

And then to home as the sunset was upon us.  A great way to spend two hours!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Evensong


I am upon you before you realise,
my reach is long and enclosing, 
where once was form, now is grey,
I am the mist, burn through me if you dare.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mistletoe & Mulled Cider

I read an article this week; Mistletoe is Under Threat!  What a shame if we lose this fantastic pagan ritual for encouraging fertility.

The orchards here are full of mistletoe, perhaps some trees are a little overloaded.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cornwall/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_9264000/9264711.stm



I spied a little blackbird hiding under the mistletoe!


The skies were full of song today.  The sun was shining and it was very mild.  The starlings had come back, getting ready for evensong.


And the moon made an appearance at 3.30pm


One of the best things about today was seeing a heron in flight across the Somerset levels and a Buzzard sitting, watching the world.

Off to a Birthday party ... mulled wine and good company... bliss!