By a Brook in Winter - A fresh fall of snow overnight. I walk in a winter landscape: the green fields mantled white; the blackish branches of willow and ash, edged white, starkly outlined, against the morning light; mirrored in the dark brown-grey of the brook; the distant woods a purple haze against the blue-grey snow clouds above. My footsteps the only sound.
Originally posted 2018-11-04 21:06:47.
Wandering alongside an autumn hedge all yellows, browns, reds, pinks and purples my eye was caught by a bright flash of orange-red ahead of me; a Redstart - its wings flapping in a blur; its tail fanning out - orange-red as it hovers and snatches at a fly. It lands on a fence post, standing upright, its tail shivering. An adult male. Then up it jumps again snatching at another passing insect and lands on a dead branch further along - it’s fiery tail and ‘tweet-tut’ fretting call teasing me on ...
Originally posted 2018-06-27 08:19:27.
Lying lazy in a meadow by a stream home to sheep ‘n’ cows and wagtail yellow buttercups dance in the meadow grass so high above kestrel hover a flit of swallow ... wild rainbow cast the summer breeze ‘cross grasses mix’d an artists palette red gold ‘n’ green finches twitter ‘n’ tweeze ...
Originally posted 2018-04-27 06:50:12.
A pale cerulean-blue sky – crisscrossed with misty white vapour trails of planes - a modern art canvas; paint casually, thrown from the artists brush; white clouds tinged salmon-pink hanging over the blue-grey mountains; just before sunrise – white wreaths of mist lingering over the fields and valley wood mirroring the vapour trails above. A lone Buzzard calls ...
Roland Green (1890 – 1972) was one of Britain’s most accomplished wildlife artists from the 1920s onwards. Living on the Norfolk coast, in the reeds at the edge of Hickling Broad, he specialised in drawing and painting birds, both in in oils and watercolours, illustrating many books on the subject. He was a founder member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), originally conceived by Robert Gillmor and Eric Ennion.
Birds From My Kitchen Window ... I rush from window - to window - to window, as birds fly quickly from one feeder to another, chased off one by a Magpie, giving way prudently to the Woodpecker as he flies down from the nearby Poplar; ousted from another by a horde of hungry Starling, flying in from the fields ...
Originally posted 2019-01-16 22:32:07.
Leo Paul Robert (1851-1923) - was the most highly regarded Swiss ornithological artist at the turn of the century. But he only established a reputation as a landscape painter and painter of birds later in his career.
Originally posted 2018-12-22 15:39:31.
Bumbarrel, MumRuffin and Poke Pudding
At the edge of the wood early catkins - lambs tails - tremble and dance, sprinkling yellow gold-dust over the snowy branches. A small party of Long Tailed Tit tinkle through the delicate filigree of branches outlined against the winter sky. I count three, then from nowhere there were five, then seven, then twelve. It was mid-January - still Winter; yet on this rose coloured morning, the pink sun mirrored by their feathers, it was Spring.
It was Clive Bennett who got me traveling down this particular track. He's a real birder and maintains a wonderful blog - Art in Nature - where he writes of his adventures in the hedgerows and fields and where he celebrates birds and the artists who paint them.
In a comment on a post about kennings he listed some wonderful dialect and obscure bird names then quoted from a poem by John Clare about the bumbarrel - the long-tailed titmouse or bushtit.
Originally posted 2019-01-14 19:24:06.
A Carousel of Birds ...
My chief delight is in nature, and when I look at a picture it is to find something about nature in it, especially some expression of the feeling produced in us by nature, which is, to me, the most important thing in life ... Adapted from W H Hudson - 'Afoot in England’ - 1909
Originally posted 2018-12-31 17:59:35.
Looking out the kitchen window the first snow of winter on the mountains, black twigged hedges casting frosted white shadows, that stay all day, across the fields; a hunting Sparrowhawk flips over a nearby hedge disturbing a flock of Fieldfare, their gun-metal blue heads shining in the afternoon winter sun as they rise as one circling the field before settling back on the hedge.
Originally posted 2018-12-10 12:29:36.
As I walk through the countryside, in the footsteps of Richard Jefferies, on the Downs, Meadows and in the Woodlands, I glance up into the blue sky: a Red Kite glides into view; a Harrier sails past over the reedbeds; a Barn Owl hunts the Woodland edge; a Blackbird sings ...
Originally posted 2018-11-11 20:49:50.
Here, for all who know the Downs – their wandering pathways through fields of yellow and green, blue yet often lowering skies, are the Downs on an English summer’s afternoon. Rowland Hilder - The Downs.