Wildlife

Tawny Owl Sculpture

  The Tawny Owls here are noisy at the moment.  Their calls are really quite musical, I’m hearing a number of different ‘hoots’, which is not surprising given it is their breeding season.  The familiar hooting of the male has several functions – as a territorial call, a courtship call and also an announcing call […]

View with Stone

  I sat on this stone – it was warm from the morning’s sun – and took in the view whilst eating lunch.  An excursion to explore an old quarry site, now overgrown with saplings, bramble and wild flowers.  I disturbed a deer, surprised a Tawny Owl, watched rabbits scamper and squirrels scurry.  Butterflies basked […]

The Shape of the Dawn Chorus

      Tomorrow I’m getting up early, really early.  Before dawn in fact, as it is International Dawn Chorus Day – a worldwide celebration of nature’s early morning music. The dawn chorus occurs when songbirds sing at the start of a new day.  It tends to be most noticeable in spring, when the birds […]

North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project

    The beautiful Turtle Dove is our smallest European dove. This tiny power house of a bird flies 7000 miles to reach North Yorkshire from Mali in Africa each spring. Unfortunately Turtle Doves are in big trouble; their population has declined in both the UK and Europe to such an extent there may now […]

Fog and Fox

    Still blanketed in fog here, as earlier in the week – but today feels so different.  I’ve shut out the damp, cloudy feeling and I’m getting close and personal with a fox. I’m thinking of Jim Crumley and his book Encounters in the Wild – Fox  as he writes so exceptionally about meeting […]

In the Workshop today – a Stare of Owls

  The collective name most often used for owls is a Parliament – but I discovered there are many others, less well known, like Stare, what about Hooting, or Looming.  They seem to make more sense to me.  A Stooping, or Diss are suitably descriptive as well, or there’s a Wisdom of Owls. Anyway I’m […]

The Season of the Growing Sun

  Of all the many theories surrounding the origins of Easter I like the Norse eostur, eastur, or ostara which meant ‘the season of the growing sun’, or ‘the season of new birth’.  Our word East comes from the same source.  Easter is the changing of the season. On that basis it is feeling very […]

In the workshop today – a Kingfisher

  Carving a Kingfisher – Kingfisher in mind – azure and rufous, fast low flying over the water with short, sharp whistle sound.  Flashes of electric blue. I’m working on a series of wildlife images carved within a circular border, in a similar way to my mouse and owl. This is the start of the […]

Bird Sculpture Book

  In fact it is a monograph on sculptor Geoffrey Dashwood which I’m reading at the moment.  It is a magnificent and illuminating book.  The sculptor himself has written sections which for me, makes it doubly inspiring. It is a book of brilliance and filled with exceptional sculpture, it heaps such a surge of beauty […]

A newt in the goose pond

  The snow melt-water gushes in torrents down the little beck here, bringing with it storm debris and silt, overwhelming and bursting the banks.  Floating on the surface of the goose pond I found a newt, not moving, which I picked up and it sat lifeless in my hand.  Its little body was like ice, […]