Monday, 24 August 2009

The Gathering on the Hill

Buzzards were massing today over Caradon Hill. We must have seen at least twenty of them all at one time, rising on the thermals, tumbling through the air, calling to each other and some even exploding up out of the bracken when we passed by. Looked like a mixture of adults, this year's young now on the wing and possibly some of last years thrown in for good measure. Mix that in with a pair of wheatears, half a dozen ravens, a sparrowhawk being mobbed by four swallows and a Hercules transport plane flying past below where we walking and it all added up to a lively afternoon stroll.

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Took a little stroll into the depths of Hawkswood this afternoon. I may have mentioned this place before, -a large, and brooding conifer wood to the south of Kilmar Tor. It dominates this end of the Lynher Valley and looms over Middlewood as you drive down into our little hamlet. I only took a short walk, with the pup in tow, as rain was teeming down and the rest of the family were waiting nearby in a nice dry car, but enough to know I should go back again on a better day for some serious exploring.

The interior of the wood is very shady and carpeted with moss and clover, even the fallen logs are thick with the stuff and fungi thrive in the damp conditions. Sound is quite muffled and I could only really hear the occasional bird call. Here and there stand black barked and twisted decidious trees which look very strange amidst the lighter trunks of the conifers. I noticed signs of deer beneath some of these - there are supposed to be quite a number of roe roaming the Hawkswood.

I could also imagine other creatures moving through the trees -dark creeping figures with luminous eyes and cloaked Victorian gentleman with tall hats and no faces....

Hmm. Back to the car I think.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Latest artwork Herring Gull

I've just been doodling away on a little sketch-book style illustration of a herring gull sat among thrift flowers on a south western-esque cliff top. It's deliberately quite loosely painted as I've tried to capture a bit of the spontaneity found painting in the field. Planning on do a few more like this, maybe some roe deer or foxes.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Fly by Day

About two hundred yards down the road from here, towards the neighbouring hamlet of Berrio Bridge is a stretch of road which is shaded by overhanging trees. On a sunny day it is quite cool and with dappled patches of light here and there. I walk down their literally every day, usually about oneish in the afternoon (hey I'm a creature of habit) and for the last two days have been rewarded with the fantastic sight of a single pipistrelle bat flying up and down the road hunting for insects. Now we often see various types of bats around here, quite often in the evening around dusk, but this is the first time I've seen one hunting in broad, albeit dappled, daylight. The little guy performs all manner of aerial acrobatics, flying right past my head and even skimming just above the road surface. We've had a huge amount of rain and bad weather here lately so my hunch is this chap, being a bat and like most bats prefering not to hunt in bad conditions is making the best of the recent warm sun and piling in as much grub as possible. And good luck to him I say.