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By a Brook in Winter

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. 

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Bumbarrel, MumRuffin and Poke Pudding

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.

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An Ode to the Countryside

Morning has broken

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 ... 

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Artists Inspired by Nature – Rowland Hilder

The Downs - Rowland Hilder

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. 

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Along an Autumn Hedge

November - Rowland Hilder

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 ...

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Variations on a Theme – Yellow, Grey, White (Pied) – Wagtail All

Wagtail by Tracy Hall

Originally posted 2018-04-14 23:40:56.

Walking upstream from the bridge the stream ceases to be tidal, and turns into a lovely clear running stream with a gravel bed. A flash of yellow; a beautiful male Grey Wagtail bounds away to alight on a boulder under the bank, the reflection of its brilliant yellow plumage in the pool beneath more evident than the bird itself. Another flies to join it at the waters edge - a female - less yellow and without the black bib - their pendulum swings of the tail in ceaseless unison ...

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A Deceit of Lapwing – The Seven Whistlers

Lapwing by R B Talbot Kelly

Originally posted 2018-04-14 12:19:12.


Suddenly! Some chance movement has been noticed by the nearest Lapwing, and away they go at once as if with the same wings, sweeping overhead, then to the right, then to the left, and then back again, a ‘flickering chequerboard’. Wee-ah-wee! The notes immediately repeated by another - Wee-ah-wee! Finally they settle again ...

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In a Summer Meadow

Streamside meadow by the Windrush

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 ...

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Songs from the Wood – Spring

A Spring Wood Near Midhurst - by S R Badmin RWS RE AIA FSIA (1906-1989)

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 ...

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Under the Snow – of Winter

Winter Wildfowl by Maurice Wilson in collaboration with Rowland Hilder

Originally posted 2018-04-13 05:59:13.


Carefully parting Willow, Bramble and bronzed Bracken fronds that rustled and crackled in the winter frost I could see my secret lake ... well large pond really - an old disused Flight Pond ... a few Mallard quacked and splashed noisily; a couple of Tufted Duck circled warily in the middle while on the far bank a pair of Teal rested, blending well with the pondside rushes ... a Coot called from somewhere in the reeds - well hidden - shatteringly loud ...

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