A morning walk

We (me and the dog) were on our usual slow morning walk up the lane, stopping a lot so that she can read the news on the wet grass. As I crested the hill and looked down the other side, there was a flash of white wings in the sun. Dipping and tilting, they came towards us up the gentle slope of the road, between green hedges. Closer and I could see it was a barn owl, being harassed, or herded, by a magpie. It veered, then disappeared over a gate into the field.
I ran to see if it was still visible, but it had gone. I walked on, for a field’s length or so and then turned back. And there it came again – alone this time – gliding above the road towards me. I crouched in the shade of the hedge, hoping it wouldn’t notice a human, and it kept coming, silently, till a few yards away, it lifted up again and dropped into a different field. I stood and walked on as quietly as I could.
And once more it appeared, from further up the lane, coming towards me, pursued this time by a gang of jackdaws. They all passed over my head, the noiseless owl and the high-pitched shouting jackdaws, following the lane down to the dip at the bottom and out of sight.
I hope the owl has found somewhere more peaceful to roost for the day.
I’ve no owl pictures of my own of course, but here’s a link.

And here’s some pics from yesterday of a different walk and a different lane:

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drawing in the sun

'a man of words and not of deeds...'
‘a man of words and not of deeds…’ – Indian ink

I should have been weeding not drawing I suppose, but they say the bees like dandelions and it’ll be cold tonight so they need the fuel. The sparrows were not so pleased though – they rushed back onto the birdfeeder when I came in and argued with each other over the seeds.

Spring

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drawing before adding wash

Life has been rather full lately, with work and Easter and getting things to exhibitions … but this morning was clear and calm¬†with a thin frost quickly thawing, in the hedges nesting birds singing and squabbling. The hawthorn is in leaf, green in the sun and there are two swallows on the telegraph wires, newly returned from Africa or other points south. The lambs are getting bigger. Spring is sprung. Time to stop and breathe the clean air.

Indian ink and wash with wax resist
Indian ink and wash with wax resist

May Morning

After two sticky days of high humidity and torrential evening thunderstorms, the air feels fresher this morning and all that rain seems to have been immediately transformed into green lushness.

 

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The hedgerow shelves are stacked with whites: the miniature bouquets of cow parsley are a greener white than the sweet-scented suds of haw blossom. Looking up, even the belated ash is coming into leaf.

And though the sun has been up for hours, a lamb is fast asleep beside the gate.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Fliss Watts