Saturday 24 June 2023

at Badger Bridge

In this picture I tried to capture the late-June microseason when I was drawing it; the hawthorn blossom recently blown all away in the breeze, the elderflowers in full bloom, the flag irises getting a bit ragged, and the meadowsweet starting to look frothy.

The location is above Jones' Mill nature reserve, just outside Pewsey. A nice spot, where I met a badger carrying a cub in her mouth on May morning a few years ago. That's why I call it Badger Bridge there, and added one to the picture. Also a whitethroat, and the magpie who starts the day by tapdancing on my boat roof. Ruddy magpies eh?

After a move to All Cannings, I was able to work outside, because the moorings there are wide and grassy. There was a reed warbler right opposite the boat, and I got a very good view of it, as you see; but it was early in the morning and a bit misty.

Tuesday 13 June 2023

a dawn chorus and a barn owl

These midsummer dawns are too good to miss. So I went to the canal bridge where Hollybush Lane comes up from the very young river Avon, and you can lean on the gate and look down across the valley. And bang on cue, the barn owl ghosted past my right shoulder just after I started recording.

Sunday 11 June 2023

tickling the fish

The weather's oppressively hot, and there were rumbles of thunder in the distance. I remembered the thunderstorm we were caught in on Karen Bravo, off the Ebro delta on the Catalan coast, in 1982. I was down at water level, leaning out of the gun deck hatch, watching as each flash of lightning caught countless fish, frozen in mid-leap. I guess they were being tickled by the electricity.

So that's what I had a go at capturing, in this picture.

Saturday 3 June 2023

Kennet and Avon Canal map

Here's the map of the Kennet and Avon Canal that I've just finished. It's the first one I've done that covers the entirety of the navigation, from Bristol to Reading, and it's got things historical and contemporary, and wildlife in the places you'd expect to find it.

You can get one from my Etsy shop, if you can't track me down on my boat (currently in the wild Wiltshire wolds, but always on the move, if slowly).