Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Umbellifer prints

A couple of mono-prints using acrylic with a retarder and a gelli plate....the light was rather poor for photography!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Swansea waves ...

Guessing the Portuguese man o'war from yesterday will have been washed away ....or thrown high and dry! Storm Ophelia is cranking it up!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Portuguese man o' war strandings.....

With the Marine Conservation Society reporting mass strandings of Portuguese man o' war in the south-west; the largest in number since 2012, it was no surprise when Tom sent these pictures through from the beach between Swansea Uni and Black Pill. There were 5 in total.

The Portuguese Man o’ War isn’t a jellyfish but is closely related, and consists of a floating colony of hydrozoans – several tiny marine organisms living together and behaving collectively as if one animal. A purple float, shaped a little like a Cornish pasty, is visible on the water’s surface whilst blue, tentacle-like ‘fishing polyps’ hang below; these can be tens of metres in length.“It’s the tentacle-like polyps that can give an agonising and potentially lethal sting,” says Dr Richardson. “Because a stranded Portuguese Man o’ war looks a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, children will find it fascinating. So, if you’re visiting west coast beaches in the next few weeks it’s well worth making sure you know what these animals look like and that no one picks them up. The stings can be unbelievably painful and in rare cases, fatal. We’d like people to report any sightings of Portuguese man o’ war to our website so we get a better idea of the extent of the strandings”.  (www.mcsuk.org/news/portuguese-man-o-war-on-beaches)

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Christmas puddings ....

Time to finally admit I need to crack on with Christmas ....three sizes of Christmas pudding.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Singleton Park and ivy bees in Swansea.

Ivy bees in the dunes at Swansea Bay- large aggregations and high density nesting holes- pictured is a female digging her burrow out.
Walks in Singleton Park
  Left: jay; grey squirrel
Middle top: birch polypore( Piptoporus betulinus),
 Middle bottom: purple jellydisc (Ascocoryne sarcoides)
Top right: a bracket of some kind
Bottom right: brick stuck in a tree!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Colours of autumn......

Just as it's getting rather dark and cool in Cumbria, the sun and warmth bathe Swansea in autumnal colour!

Swansea University botanic gardens - feted iris and passion flowers.
Swansea Bay dunes- morning moisture on a funnel web; speckled wood butterfly; waxcaps and a Lasioglossum furrow bee.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Swansea Bay finds.

With Tom happily ensconced at Swansea University it's good to see that he's out and about!  The submerged forest is particularly impressive. They are the remains of a birch tundra woodland that grew 10 000 years ago flourishing as the climate warmed - the sea level was then some 22.5m lower. By the beginning of the neolithic period the sea level, as the ice sheets melted,  began to rise submerging the coastal woodland on the Gower peninsula. They began to emerge again as the sediment began to be stripped away off them in the 1980s.

At low tide the submerged forest is clearly visible. Top left: tree stump. Bottom left: eroded wood found on the strand line. Bottom right hand two -  birch bark. top right: sting winkles. 
Beach finds:  A rather attractive and large marble and various bricks including one from Tondu near Bridgend which had brickworks until they were demolished in 1977.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Port Carlisle and a walk along the wall.

A glorious autumnal morning, so we drove round the Cardurnock peninsula and then walked from Westfield Marsh back west into Port Carlisle. The light was superb. Lots of redshank, lapwing, golden plover and little egrets. A fascinating history too of this small port.

Little egret and grey heron 

Red-breasted merganser.
Redshank reflections.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Mawbray banks; a mixture of late summer and autumn.

A rather inauspicious walk along the coast at Mawbray (shores of the Solway), but then you look at the photos and you think 'We are lucky!'

Criffel across the Solway...and in the sun!

Fox moth caterpillars.
A good mix of summer and autumn. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Goose barnacle sea-post ....

Following on from the original sea- post ...another sea-post; this time covered in goose barnacles; surrounded by pebbles and an edible crab. All the barnacles, pebbles and crab have been needle felted.

The original post.

Goose barnacles that we have found washed up on a variety of occasions.

The barnacle post.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Norman Cornish Exhibition - Castlegate gallery, Cockermouth.

A superb exhibition at this small but renowned gallery. I don't really 'do' portraits but these really portrayed the time and landscape,; they have such a strong sense of place. They made me want to go out and sketch people - I will soon change my mind though! For more information see http://www.castlegatehouse.co.uk/exhibitions/cornish-at-castlegate/ - well worth a look!

Classic Cornish...

Norman's mother - so lovely to see pen drawings valued on almost scraps of paper - a spiral bound tear off pad.

Field sketches ...fab! 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Gelli printing with love....

A series of prints combining the gelli plate and some hand made foam hearts and homegrown ferns. The less successful prints were cut into four and then extra printing added on top as a focus ...at least I may be ready for Valentine's day...if not Christmas!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Leander at Parton

Finally, the weather cleared up, so a quick walk on the beach at Parton. Lots of pottery finds today, but best of all a full steam run-by of the Leander. She was built in 1936 in Crewe and  was named after HMS Leander which in turn was named after the Greek Leander - from the myth where Hero, one of Aphrodite's priestesses fell in love with Leander.

Leander at Parton - bottom left - in Woodham's scrapyard, Barry, before restoration.

HMS Leander (Worldnavalships.com)
Beach finds at Parton 
Parton beach

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sea glass and pottery cards

This morning was spent making cards - except I ran out of the cards themselves - all the glass and pottery is collected from Parton in West Cumbria - the beach just keeps giving and it's a very good excuse for a dog walk!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

...Christmas begins - textile trees....

Oh it had happen! There isn't much time so I need to think how to make my stalls look Christmassy.... I may mount these in cards so people have a homemade card that doubles as a decoration and/or make bunting ....and of course just have them as individual pieces to hang on the tree.....I have also got a robin design and am awaiting the delivery of materials. ....then I may just do baubles too!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Mumbles Head

A quick walk along the sea front to Mumbles head before setting off from Swansea to Cumbria. Very pleasant - 3 contrasting lifeboat stations and a lighthouse - it must be lovely in the summer sunshine.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Oxwich Burrows NNR

Walking back through Oxwich Burrows NNR was a real treat in the late summer sunshine - plenty to see and good to hear choughs too.

Hundreds of small solitary bees ....

Spindle; round-leaved wintergreen; rockrose; carline thistle and autumn gentian ....lots of bloody crane's-bill, milkwort and eyebright out too. 

Devil's coach horse with prey and a couple of grasshoppers. 

Wax cap; plenty of parasol mushrooms and a lovely turkey tail.

Nicholaston Woods and Threecliff Bay.

After dropping Tom off at Swansea Uni a walk down from our campsite at Nicholaston farm (to be recommended as a cracking campsite), down through the woods and onto the beach and east along to Threecliff Bay. We then walked back west to Oxwich and then back through the Oxwich Burrows and the NNR, but that'll have to be another blog!

Nicholaston Woods - growing on practically pure sand. 

Bees enjoying the late summer ivy nectar.

Spectacular bedding in the cliffs at Threecliff Bay.