Winter watch is on

Winterwatch is an offshoot of Springwatch which is a programme that started on BBC TV several years ago. The presenters have changed over time, but it gives us a view of the British Isles through the seasons.

Winterwatch is lovely, seeing badgers, falcons, water rats, deer, stoats and seabirds amongst other animals gives you an idea of how they live and survive and in some cases thrive during the winter.

The programme explores wildlife and behaviour over a couple of weeks, sampling their lives and how humans affect them. The series is a wonderful reminder of nature. Some of it is filmed live during the evening programmes and also has videos of other animal activity happening at this time of year.

If you want to know more about the natural history of the British Isles during winter you can watch it in the UK on BBC 2, or the BBC I player, or the Facebook page which is called BBC Springwatch. Or bbc.co.uk/winterwatch

Drawing of a replica.

Sketch of a replica of Chauvet cave painting in France.

Cave painting is amazing. The strength of the lines, the energy. The real feeling of life on the cave walls. A cave replica has been created in France of Chauvet cave. This is to protect the original which has been closed to the public. Human breath can create condensation and will allow mould to grow which damages the ancient pigments. This was Sundays prompt for #bandofsketchers. Just catching up.

Table pattern

What do you see? I see a butterfly, a bears head, an owl, a rabbit head, moths on either side, a goats face, probably other animals and things too…. I met someone yesterday who has the same thing going on with their mind.

I used to have a shower curtain covered in an overlapping bubble pattern. I swear I could make cartoon characters out of them. There were four people I made out of the bubbles, a mum, dad son and daughter. I even think I could sometimes see a bubble dog.

As a child I could see things in the patterns on our wallpaper. I imagined fairies and elves with leaves making their limbs and hair. When I watched rain drops on the cobbled stones in our back yard I also saw fairies, or ballerinas in tutu’s. I have a strange imagination.

Farming remembered

My hubby was brought up on farms and remembers the byres and barns of Yorkshire and Lancashire. His childhood was spent between going to school and working on farms in the summer holidays. When he was old enough he would even drive tractors. His father was a farm labourer and went from farm to farm following the seasonal work. Sometimes hubby fed cattle, other times he helped plough or harvest crops. They even raised day old chick’s in the attic of their house.

It sounds like a hard life, but an interesting one. He did this drawing of a tractor a few years ago. There are ducks, lambs and yes that’s meant to be a cow. X

Christmas cactus crab?

Pareidolia, the ability to see creatures in patterns. Well I call it an ability. Some may feel its more a curse! I’ve always looked at patterns and shapes and seen things in them. Some of my earliest memories were looking up at clouds and seeing birds and animals, things like whales and elephants. The human mind is good at seeing patterns, that’s why Percival Lovell the astronomer seems to have seen canalli, I think he called them? on Mars (not canals).

The human mind recognises things and that visual ability must help our instinct for creativity and science. Concept design is probably aided by it too. I think that’s part of our success as a species…..

So I was looking at this Christmas cactus and noticed the flower buds. Then I decided to play with it and voila! A green crab shape..