Artists Inspired by Nature - S R Badmin RWS RE AIA FSIA (1906-1989)
I don’t know the title of this painting but it’s a lovely pastoral picture painted I guess sometime in the late 1940s early 50s. The cows appear to be red and white which helps date the picture perhaps to before 1950, as black and white Friesian cows didn’t become popular until then. It is most likely somewhere in the south of Britain - like the South Downs. Like many of his paintings of rural life there’s a lot going on. I think it depicts a time of change in agriculture as there are both horses and tractors working with a traditional hayrick in the mid-centre of the painting while in another field there seems to be a tractor and baler.
Continue reading Badmin, Stanley Roy
A River Chorus - Sunbeams dance on the surface of the water; a slight breeze brings the sound of birdsong from the ‘greener than green’ woods and fields at the edge of the river; the May blossom - drifts of snow along the river bank; an exquisite undertone - the sound of early summer - heard and yet unheard; a backdrop to the ‘Great Chorus’ (Edward Grey) ...
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Walking in the footsteps of Richard Jefferies ... “I was not more than eighteen when an inner and esoteric meaning began to come to me from all the visible universe, and indefinable aspirations filled me. I found them in the grass fields, under the trees, on the hill-tops, at sunrise, and in the night. There was a deeper meaning everywhere. The sun burned with it, the broad front of morning beamed with it; a deep feeling entered me while gazing at the sky in the azure noon, and in the star-lit evening —' The Story of my Heart’.”
Continue reading Reimagining Richard Jefferies
A Year in Haiku - In the evening light the hills glow golden brown; a Barn Owl hunts the woodland edge, picked out in the last rays of the setting sun - the sky to the west a faint wash of blue tinged with orange-pink. Yet it is still not-quite-dark. The Super Moon, rising over the hedgerow trees, splinters in their branches; throwing short spooky shadows across silver-washed fields; a shooting star - fizzes - a firework across the winter-spring sky ...
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‘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 ...
Continue reading The Dipper, Water Colley or Water Ousel
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 ...
Continue reading A Deceit of Lapwing – The Seven Whistlers
Our Northern (Winter) Thrushes - Redwing and Fieldfare
It’s Autumn: the time of year when the ‘chakking’ calls of Fieldfare in the hedgerows in the frosty early morning, preceded by the ‘seep seep’ night-time calls of migrating Redwing announce the arrival of our Winter Thrushes. They arrive anytime from late September but it’s not until the frosts of October and November that we begin to see them en-mass in the fields and hedgerows.
Continue reading Our Northern (Winter) Thrushes – Redwing and Fieldfare
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 ...
Continue reading Variations on a Theme – Yellow, Grey, White (Pied) – Wagtail All
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.
Continue reading Sounds of Summer
I turned the page ... “I have amazing news for you – and indeed for every bird-lover in the country,” he whispered. “As I suspected, the birds you saw and which I have been watching for fifteen minutes are bee-eater.” The year was 1957. It was my first day at Junior school and I had picked a book from the library shelves to read ...
Continue reading Of Bee-eater (and Bittern), Egret and Avocet