Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Jura Maerl

Still sorting things out after the holiday and thought I ought to include a photo of the maerl and cowries we collected. I must include them in a felt at some stage similar to the one I did previously.
Maerl is the name given to several species of slow growing red seaweed
that have a hard chalky skeleton.
They grow as unattached nodules on the seabed. 

Felt incorporating maerl and cowries. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Honeycomb reef off Mawbray

Low tides provided the opportunity, last Saturday morning, to get out to the sabellaria (honeycomb worm) reef off Mawbray - an internationally important habitat.

Seaweed covered spider crab; sponge; prawn; edible crab; sea scorpion; dahlia anemone.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Last Day

..and finally - not such a nice day weather wise - Molly was riding so we had a scrumptious tea and scone at Ardbeg distillery, purchased oysters from Craigens, and visited Bruichladdich distillery where our barrel is housed. A fitting end to a holiday!
Machair Bay 

And finally Rocky was very tired!!

Jura - coral beaches

Next day it was off to Jura as foot passengers and then a good walk up to the coral beaches - still lots of maerl and cowries to find. Spectacular raised beaches too.
It's never easy photographing emerald damselflies - especially in the wind while overhanging a lochan!

The coast is dominated by a series of dykes. 

The raised beach (top) is vast; the white sands soft. 

Mc Arthur's head from Claggain Bay

Day 4 and off down south to Claggain Bay to walk north to wards Mc Arthur's Head. A rather damp - well totally sodden, path in places but again lovely views.
We didn't quite make it round to the lighthouse as the tide was coming in and we didn't fancy climbing over
Beinn na Caillich Beag as an alternative route back. 
Quick field sketch.

A very fresh small tortoiseshell.

Mc Arthur's head from Ballygrant

On day three, with a good forecast, we set off on an epic 18 mile there and back trip along the coast to Mc Arthur's head. A stunning walk over rough ground with some nice bits of scrambling and a rather uncomfortable barefoot river crossing on the way back (the tide had come in and the burn was rather higher than when we had crossed in the morning!). Good views of otters and a rather scratty golden eagle completed a rewarding day.

Views along the walk.

Otter feeding and then swimming off.

Ardnave point and Saligo Bay

Molly was off on a pony day so we walked around Ardnave point - mixed weather and then onto Saligo Bay where the sea was spectacular and the dog had the time of its life!
Strong colours on Ardnave Point.

Strong seas at Saligo

Rocky found a football! 

Killinallan and Gortantoid point

Day one and we plumped for one of our favourite walks - Killinallan and beyond. As usual on the way back around the point the light was dramatic. Lots of field mushrooms to pick (omelette that night) but no one found the customary pelican's foot shell this year.
Back along the beach.
Dramatic skies 
Watercolour field sketch from our lunch spot beyond Gortantoid point. 

Islay diary

We've just returned from a great week on Islay - staying, as usual, in Portnahaven. Day by day details of what we did will follow in subsequent blogs.
View from the front door.
Rocky soon made himself at home -
waiting with Glenn to be played with on the beach.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Bert is back!

Finally after six months Bert has had the confidence to get back on his chair! Not that I'd trust Rocky very far!

From behind Hardraw towards Abbotside Common and Lovely Seat

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Have just returned from picking Molly up from Swaledale and Hardraw after completing her Gold D of  E hike.
We set off yesterday morning and went up Great Shunner Fell - good views across the dales in all directions - remarkably chilly on top! The sun came out though as we came down to Thwaite - lots of lovely barns and walls. 
Heading for Hardraw we stopped off at the Buttertubs - where the limestone has been eroded
down to the sandstone beneath. Reputedly named because they were used as
refrigeration for locally produced butter.
We camped at the Green Dragon - well recommended for both its food and camp site...not to mention the waterfall. 
...and finally Rocky who enjoyed his first night camping and was remarkably
well behaved given it was his first night under canvas!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Drumburgh cottongrass

Nobody will probably recognise what this painting is about as the reserve really looked like it was covered in snow when the cotton grass was at its best.
Cottongrass on Drumburgh  (20" x 8" - oil) are back on the June blog under Drumburgh cottongrass.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Willowherb seeds

A good walk this morning - lovely decorative willowherb seeds - reminded us of sea gooseberries!
Leave a basket out and you'll  find Bert!

Willowherb seeds.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Wedholme Flow oil

A very wet morning - stewarding the Carlisle and Cumbria Artists Exhibition in Carlisle - a good exhibition again. Back home to walk the dog - wet again, and then an oil painting.
Across Wedholme Flow towards Skiddaw (20"x 20")

Friday, 2 August 2013

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Greater bur-reed lino cut

A rather damp morning so played around with a lino cut and a painting as well.
The original black print (4" x 5")

Flood filled

Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark  - from earlier in the week  (20" x 20" oil)