Songs from the Wood - one of four posts: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - the cornerstones of this blog, about the birds I see through the year. Spring is about woods, dawn, birdsong and the Dawn Chorus - a prelude to Summer. Follow me, if you will - share your favourite birdsongs ... for others to hear.
Under the Snow of Winter - one of four posts: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - the cornerstones of this blog, about the birds I see through the year. Follow me, if you will - leave your own footprints in the snow ... for others to follow.
As Summer Leaves Fall ....
The thing I notice most at the beginning of Autumn is that it is still dark when I get up in the mornings to let the dogs out. With mist over the meadows and dewy morns. Rowan berries aplenty; Blackberry too. Red hips and haws colour the hedges a rusty red. And Rosebay Willowherb their tall spikes lit by the evening sunshine, followed soon by clouds of gossamer-soft seeds, floating like fairies on the balmy wind: The end of summer.
Eric Ennion was born on 7th June 1900 at Kettering in Northamptonshire, the son of a country doctor. In 1904 the family moved to Burwell on the edge of the Cambridgeshire fens where, after studying medicine at Caius College and St Mary's Hospital, he joined his father's practice in 1926.
Originally posted 2017-08-24 16:54:18.
The Art of the Postcard .....
The art card is probably the most important category in antique postcards. Think of these cards as 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" original high quality prints, which they are, instead of as postcards. Artists could make extra income by selling postcard prints of their work. This booming market drew the very best artists, creating a wealth of quality material unmatched in the art world.
Originally posted 2017-07-15 15:09:21.
The Dipper is a bird of fast tumbling mountain and moorland streams - I’ve seen them on the rushing waters of Devon and Cornwall moors, the Staffordshire moors and Derbyshire Dales; the mountain streams and lakes of Snowdonia, and on tidal stretches of Welsh and Cornish rivers - the Ogwen and Fowey. But I knew it best on a little lowland brook - the Cam - meandering through a pastoral landscape near Bath.
Originally posted 2017-07-08 08:52:30.
How better to start this post than with a quote from the writings of Richard Jefferies:
The fervour of the sunbeams descending in a tidal flood rings on the strung harp of earth. It is this exquisite undertone, heard and yet unheard, which brings the mind into sweet accordance with the wonderful instrument of nature.—' The Life of the Fields': The Pageant of Summer.
Originally posted 2017-07-01 15:22:20.
I have never seen a Bee-eater ... but it was this bird or at least a story about it that inspired me, enthused me, and changed my life. Prompted also by moving from country village to town, from being a country lad to city dweller. The year was 1957. From then on I became a watcher of the countryside - its people, birds, and animals.
Originally posted 2017-06-05 22:24:40.
What better introduction to Spring than this quotation from the writings of Richard Jefferies.
"The bird upon the tree utters the meaning of the wind—a voice of the grass and wild-flower, words of the green leaf; they speak through that slender tone. Sweetness of dew and rifts of sunshine, the dark hawthorn touched with breadths of open bud, the odour of the air, the colour of the daffodil—all that is delicious and beloved of springtime are expressed in his song. Genius is nature and his lay, like the sap in the bough from which he sings, rises without thought". —’ Field and Hedgerow’: Hours of Spring. Richard Jefferies
Originally posted 2017-05-18 15:51:30.
Summer for me starts with the first of the Spring and Summer migrants - Swallow, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, although the very early ones of the latter may have overwintered. Soon followed by Swift, which for almost as long as I have been in North Wales - 25 years now - have turned up on May 12th.
Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA (1901-1979) was probably the best illustrator and bird portraitist of the last century. His work across a breadth of media – watercolour, pen and ink, woodblock engraving, etching and scraperboard – and across a variety of subject matter, has stood the test of time and is widely collected.
If you grew up in the fifties like me you probably read Ladybird nature books and collected Brooke Bond tea cards – all illustrated by Tunnicliffe. You might even have read the Puffin edition of Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter, with its cover and beautiful illustrations also by Tunnicliffe.
SIGNS OF SPRING
Jefferies’ field notebooks are full of references to the passing seasons. Each year he carefully noted the first signs of spring and summer and found happiness in the visible tokens of the seasons as they returned. As he wrote in The Open Air “I knew the very dates of them all—the reddening elm, the arum, the hawthorn leaf, the celandine, the may; the yellow iris of the waters, the heath of the hillside. The time of the nightingale—the place to hear the first note.”
via Signs of Spring
Winifred Maria Louise Austen (1876 - 1964) - was an English illustrator, painter, etcher and aquatint engraver. She was widely admired and collected; even the naturalist Sir Peter Scott – himself so able a wildlife artist – said Austen was, ‘certainly the best bird-etcher of this (last) century’.
Gordon Beningfield (1936-98) - Another post in the series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside and whose works have fostered my own love of the Countryside – especially Birds.