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.
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 ...
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.
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.
Another post in my series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside. Basil Ede was born at Bookham, Surrey, on February 12 1931, and developed his love of drawing at an early age, later on becoming widely regarded as one of the worlds great wildlife artists.
Eric Ennion (1900 — 1981) 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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.