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Musical Interlude – Sounds of Summer

Songs of Wild Birds

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.

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The Dipper, Water Colley or Water Ousel

Dipper


‘Peep Peep’ - a black and white bird rounds a bend in the river and alights, bobbing and winking, on a rock midstream - a Water Ousel, Colley or Dipper - typically a bird of fast tumbling mountain and moorland streams and lakes. But I knew it best on a little lowland brook - the Cam - meandering through a pastoral landscape near Bath ...

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The Art of the Postcard

Chaffinch by David Morrison Reid-Henry

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.

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In a Summer Meadow

Streamside meadow by the Windrush

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 ...

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Artists Inspired by Nature – Allen W. Seaby

Yellow Wagtail by A W Seaby

Another post in my series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside: Allen W. Seaby (1867-1953), watercolorist, woodcut artist, author, and illustrator.

Allen Seaby was born in London on May 25, 1867, the son of a cabinet maker and carpenter. He studied color woodcut with Frank Morley Fletcher, a pioneer in England of woodblock color printing by Japanese methods, at the School of Art, Reading University. Seaby joined the staff of the University of Reading in 1899 where he became professor of fine art and later head of the art department.

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Birds of the Night

The Night Sky - The Seven Sisters

Listening, thinking of nothing, simply living in the sound of the night, the world seems more alive; the dusky green of field and hedge a monochrome greyish-silver in the pale light, the telegraph poles stark black throwing spooky shadows across the fields. A Barn Owl hunting along the edge of the wood - ghostly white. All is quiet - silver-washed tranquility.

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An Ode to the Countryside

Morning has broken

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 ... 

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A Hunting of Raptors

Hunting: Peregrine Falcon

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. 

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Artists Inspired by Nature – Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA

Magpie by Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA (1901-1979)

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.

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Birds From My Kitchen Window

Window: In The Country

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 ...

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