Wildlife

The Yews are filled with birds

  I’ve just watched Goldcrest, but Blackbirds, Thrushes, Fieldfare and Greenfinches are turning up too.  They’re stripping the Yew Tree of its fruits.  Unlike many conifers, the common yew does not actually bear its seeds in a cone.  Instead each seed is enclosed in a red, fleshy, berry-like structure known as an aril, which is […]

Heard but not seen … until now

  Just the other day I saw a Grasshopper for the first time ever – I hear them a lot and follow the sound, which, when I get close, stops.  It then starts up again nearby.  I’ve stalked grasshoppers, lain in wait, scanned from a distance with binoculars but never before been lucky. If I’m […]

Stretching Rabbit Sculpture

  After the meadow next to my workshop was cut, I watched rabbits enjoying the stubble and rows of hay.  They collected mouthfulls of the drying grass, pawing and digging through it for particular strands to carry off. The geese hiss at them coming through the fence with their bounty – there’s stamping of hind […]

A slither of swallow

  Well actually a slither of slate carved into a swallow – though this is the shape I see as they fly past my head and into the shed to their nest on the rafter.  Yesterday I heard the faintest chirp, more like a wheeze, and eventually discovered the source.  A tiny, wobbly, thin-necked, fresh-hatched […]

Harvestman Stone

  Pulling a slab of stone away from this block revealed an army of Harvestmen.  It doesn’t seem to be known why they congregate in such huge numbers – but there they were, tangling and falling over each other as they scurried out of my way. Though they look very much like spiders, having eight […]

Common Red and Golden Ringed

  The summer heat over the weekend brought out a mass of insects at the workshop – my bramble full of butterflies and bees and the grass stems alive with flying and crawling things.   A dragonfly bumped into me – I was startled as it hit me quite hard on the head, followed by […]

Wildlife Moments

  Watching the busy birds and animals at my workshop and in the surrounding fields and countryside fills me with pleasure. Sometimes I’ve dedicated hours to it and seen nothing, and at other times everywhere I turn there’s spectacle and revelation. Those days of wildlife moments fill me to bursting with inspiration, with energy, to […]

Heads or Tails

  In the workshop today I’m working both – putting detail into beak and bottom! I’m aiming to carve out the feather shapes in particular, a little on the wings, but especially on this bird’s rather elongated tail – the rump feathers are called rectrices.  The primary role of these feathers is to assist with […]

Easter Sunday morning

  Woke exceptionally early (too much chocolate the night before?!) and was met by a frost.  Anxiously did my round of checks at the workshop, new seedlings, just planted out sweet-peas, my re-located Good-King-Henry plant, tender parsley, my tiny Oak – all okay! Collected the goose eggs, and hadn’t at all needed to decorate any, […]

Recumbent Rabbit

  There are four favoured digging spots for the rabbits at my workshop, each showing regular fresh excavation and soil scattering.  One is behind the greenhouse and leads under the hedgerow, another (shallow) is at my bonfire site, a third at the corner of, and into, my stone store shed, and the last out in […]