Dark days descended on us at the end of January when Lynn was diagnosed with Breast cancer and the bottom seemed to fall out of my world! These past few weeks have been very difficult and we are helping her to recover from a second operation! The prognosis is good and we are optimistic even though we know there are going to be tough times ahead? My mind has been distracted and I have not felt the inclination to go birding or to do much sketching! I have not had much time to indulge in trivial pursuits and the situation has certainly forced me to get my priorities into perspective! I am posting what few sketches I have here now, although when I will find the time or the inclination to do more I can't tell at the moment!
I saw these Hawfinches in Bramfield village on valentines day and they attracted lots of twitchers and long lenses from far and wide! Keeping to the very tops of the tallest trees meant that they were only seen at some distance! The following sketches were done in my Hertfordshire garden and describe a Blackbird that has stayed with us throughout the entire winter! The male found a mate and is now setting up home in the hedge at the back!
I have titled the following sketch 'Stormcrow' not to in any way deride the Carrion crow but rather to help describe the dark moods that have overtaken me at times this past month! I can honestly say that I have rarely felt so scared as I have done recently!
The painting of the three stoats was done a while ago after Lynn and I had visited Scotland and is a reflection on that happy holiday. I love the playful nature of these creatures and when I was a boy I was playing in the garden one day when a family of seven stoats ran across the road from the hayfield and straight into our shed! As they ran amok they nearly frightened our pet rabbit to death! I was struck by how lithe and agile they were and seemingly so fearless of everything in their path! I could certainly use some courage of my own right now?