Thursday, 29 June 2017

Across the moss to Skiddaw

It doesn't look anything like this today through the drizzle! A small acrylic painting.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Islay views ....

With the boys off to Islay on Sunday it's time to gather things up for a small stall/table outside the cottage in Portnahaven. The lino cuts of Portnahaven are coloured and wrapped, the mini paintings are dry and the cards are made - 6 new ones too. So on the random chance you are up that way, from next Sunday onwards, please look out for the car and give a knock if they are in ...if the car is there and no one answers they are in the pub!...Hunt them out!


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Mini paintings of Islay

These little paintings, 7cm square, are done with a palette knife. Three classic views of Islay and Jura - there may be more to come as I really enjoyed the challenge of these!

Top left; The Paps of  Jura with the raised beaches in the foreground at traigh nam Feannag.
Top middle; from Traigh Bhan towards 'The Opera House'.
Top right; from Eilean Mor, with thrift towards 'The Opera House'.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Portnahaven, Islay.

This morning was spent hand colouring lino cuts and then mounting and wrapping them. Then there are cards too.

Hand colouring top; packaged prints bottom left and cards bottom right. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Ardnave Point, Islay

Ardnave point is one of our favourite walks on Islay. I haven't been up there in the summer for a while due to work constraints, so it is usually February for me. As the family go off next week, I had to console myself painting from memory and photographs ...ho hum!


..and in February .......fabulous too! 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Woolfest 2017

A selection of photos from today........


Work by Wendy Ann Stanger and Jackie Cardy. 
Part of the Fifty Bees project - fantastic! Species accurate too.....
Gorgeous stock...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Seat from Haystacks, Buttermere.

Back to the easel - too much nice, sunny weather means I'm a bit behind so trying to play catch up! This time an oil - from Haystacks looking towards Seat - and the steep slog up it, with Buttermere below us.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Cumbria's Coronation Meadow

It's a long time since I've been 'wowed' by a meadow! Cumbria's Coronation Meadow nestles between Carrock Fell and Blencathra; next to Eycott Hill. Full of red clover, eye-bright and ox-eye daisies it is a spectacular sight. The site has had green hay form Piper Hole near Ravenstonedale spread on it together with hand collected seed. It is part of the Coronation Meadows scheme that is creating at least one new meadow in each County to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

The backdrops of Blencathra....

...and Carrock Fell.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Eycott Hill in the heat!

A scorching afternoon even with the breeze. Much time was spent trying to photograph the small pearl-bordered fritillaries which were rather fast on the wing! Good views all around and the cotton grass and ragged robin were lovely as was the marsh cinquefoil and greater lousewort.




Sunday, 18 June 2017

Summer moth trap ...

A glorious hot night and plenty of moths to record....42 species including:

Left hand column: buff ermin; Brussel's lace; iron prominent; ghost moth
Right hand column : gold spot; map-winged swift; lychnis; beautiful golden Y 

Just can't resist a garden tiger! 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Field sketch over Bassenthwaite...

Following the previous post - here's  the sketch. Can't believe it was so warm!


Clints Crags, Bothel.

This is a short walk but very varied with some of the best views into Central Lakes ....and it's on our doorstep. The verges were full of water avens, common spotted orchids, yellow rattle and ox-eye daisies. Large skippers were in abundance and it was rather warm! Warm enough for the sheep to be sitting in the shade. The wind was strong though, so some of the pictures aren't the best - the rockrose was waving frantically in the wind and even at a 4000th of a second the pics aren't as sharp as I'd like! 

Views over Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw .
The ruined farmhouse at the crags.
Large skippers.
Traditional Cumbrian gate stoops. 
Rockrose in the wind...

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Gold swift lek ...it's started.

I suppose it marks time  - the first appearance in the hedgerow up the road of the gold swift lek. Tonight there were 13 of these beautiful little moths - twisting and spiralling up in their lek. The female produces a pineapple like smell to attract the males....hopefully we'll get some sunny evenings for better photos, but lovely to see that the population has survived the winter.



Sunday, 11 June 2017

Pillar from Innominate tarn.

There are two things to gather from the fact that I have posted two new paintings in succession: It's been rubbish weather this weekend and I have an exhibition coming up! It takes ages for oils to dry so it's full on painting time in any spare time (whatever that is!).

My interpretation in oil ...
...of the view!  

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Luskentyre beach - Isle of Harris.

Variously reported as being in the top 10 beaches in the uk ...and the world, Luskentyre certainly is not a spot to be missed. As I blogged on 13th August 2014 - was it really that long ago? ....it is a fabulous spot and I still can't help wanting to paint it!


Today's painting ...
Previous paintings ...big, large and mini!


Maryport Harbour SSSI

A really miserable day, but the sun was due to come out ...so off to Maryport to see the bee orchids ...in the drizzle! Broomrapes and pyramidal orchids too.



Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Elephant hawkmoth success

Last year (mid -August) we rescued some elephant hawkmoth caterpillars from the field opposite the house, just before the vegetation all got ploughed back into the soil. We kept them over winter in soil in our porch, which is nice and cool and two successfully hatched. Unfortunately the other ten were parasitised - but at least they had a chance!

Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor) caterpillars feeding on broad-leafed willow herb 
around mid-August in a large fallow field.

The numerous pupae of the hawkmoths and a comparison  to the large ichneumon that had parasitized the caterpillars earlier on in their lives. The ichneumons broke out of the pupae early June at the same time that any unparasitised moths also hatched. The species is likely Amblyjoppa proteus or similar which specifically targets the elephant hawkmoth as it’s host.


A successful unparasitised hawkmoth just after it hatched from the pupae.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Marsh Fritillaries at Finglandrigg

Well, it's been a busy week off and I have finally caught up with the blog! Yesterday we went to Finglandrigg to see the Marsh Fritillary butterflies and we weren't disappointed - there were plenty on the wing and the orchids were good too. A lovely reserve and quite varied habitat wise.


Mating pairs
Small heath and red admiral butterflies :  heath-spotted and northern marsh orchids.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Solway excursion ...

Yesterday Tom and I wanted a break from work so we went down to the coast ...gorgeous views, lovely thrift at Dubmill and a possible/probable sighting of the black-headed leaf cutter bee. Photography in the wind was challenging for bees!

The views.
The insects : painted lady, wall brown, cinnabar moth, burnet moth caterpillar...
the possible/probable black-headed leafcutter bee and a small heath ...the common blue whizzed past!

...and the thrift and bird's foot trefoil at Dubmill. 

Inner Farne Highlights

The last of my posts, I promise, about the Farne Islands. After our morning on Staple Island we were dropped off on Inner Farne. The terns were superb - bobbing those people that ducked and flapped and just hovering around those that walked peacefully along the path ...and yes there were more puffins! The female eider were beautifully camouflaged and ducklings cute ...mind even gull chicks are cute. The gulls though were pests, trying to harass the puffins into dropping their sandeels.