Monday 6 July 2020

summer storms

Here's some foxes on Pickle Hill in the Vale of Pewsey. Artisitic licence was involved; the summit of the hill is bald except for the trig point, but there you go. This pic was for a friend who likes foxes. That's her boat down there.

I'm moored up in the Vale now, and it is lush in the 'lush places' sense as well as the Bristolian sense. I've been out sketching trees; they're very handy for life drawing exercises, because they don't need to take breaks. Though these last few days they hardly ever keep still. The gale that blew along the Vale yesterday had the grass and trees rolling like breakers at sea, and it was lively and all rather beautiful.

Played merry heck with the poor hireboats that have begun venturing out, though. They were being blown all over the place. This is the sort of weather for tying up and battening down.

Thursday 2 July 2020

Scary Creepy Conkwell Woods

Heading south from Bath on the Kennet and Avon Canal, you pass down the narrowing wooded valley of the Avon towards Bradford on Avon; and crossing the Dundas Aqueduct at Monkton Combe you enter the dark and overhanging trees of Conkwell Woods, or Scary Creepy Conkwell Woods as I like to call them.

On a winter's night, returning late to your boat in the freezing mist, your torch beam will light up the eyes of creatures in the woods looking back at you. They will almost always be deer and foxes, and they're almost certainly thinking "Will you turn OFF that ruddy torch? You've RUINED my night vision!"

Folk who like that sort of thing find even more spookiness than that around here, by talking about Sally in the Woods as a ghost wandering the hills, and going on paranormal hunting expeditions dressed in pith helmets with goggles on and so on. There are ancient things here in the woods, but the Sally in question was apparently a skirmish during the Civil War. But never mind. Not far away is Dead Maids. Owooooo!

On a sunny spring day the woods are carpeted with wild garlic, and lush with the new leaves of the ash and beech. And still you always you feel that something is watching you. And you'll be right.

So that's my new picture.