Hollyhocks!

Unusual to see hollyhocks on a walk round a nature reserve like Westport Lake. I guess the seeds may have been dropped by someone feeding the birds? It’s more the plant you would find in a cottage garden?

I’m glad it hadn’t been grubbed up. It suddenly reared up about six foot high next to the low hedge of the maze that has been created at the far end of the lake. It definitely is a hollyhock plant, my mum used to grow them in our garden. When the flowers fade they make big round seed heads that easily break into flat seeds, shaped a bit like orange or satsuma segments.

Tonight at Knypersley Reservoir

Six and a half miles from here, in the countryside is Knypersley Reservoir. It supplies the local canals with water (apparently Staffordshire has the greatest mileage of canals of all the counties of Britain).

The walk round the Reservoir was up and down hill. We walked up past a tower in the fading daylight, then on up a rough path to a waterfall, more of a small weir. Back along it and out of the shadows of the trees, then along the footpath and out onto the road that crosses the Reservoir and back up to the car park.

We walked for about two miles, up and down. Good exercise, although I was a little nervous of the uneven surfaces.

Joined up photo landscape.

Two views, lined up and joined. Different depths of field. Blurred and sharp. The images were taken on the same day, about half a mile apart. I like the way the far bank of the lake seems to join up. I acheived this by stretching the images so they could work together. I haven’t worked on the colours or sharpness, they are not manipulated except for scale.

Finally walking again

As we arrived at Westport Lake today it started to snow. It didn’t stick, but children were running screaming as it came down thick and fast. We sat and waited in the car till it stopped. I didn’t take a photo of it because my phone was stuck in my pocket trapped between me and the car door.

Then out, a quick visit to the icecream van for a treat and round the latge lake once and the small one twice. No where near as far as I would normally do, but I managed to get enough steps and heart points in to meet my daily challenge. I’m shattered but happy!

Watching skyportraitartistoftheyear Canada

I just watched a grand final, not sure what year, but it was a lovely landscape in Canada. Lake trees and sky. In the middle of the artists time a thunderstorm blew up. There was a wide range of styles from strongly impressionistic and expressionist, to bead work and realism. Also mixed media. I won’t say who won but I enjoyed it.

While watching #skylandscapeartistoftheyearcanada I just decided to try and sketch for ten minutes as you only get glimpses of the landscape… This was difficult but I had a go….

Old felt pen and coloured pencils A6 sketchpad

Reflections

I love using mirroring to change how a photo looks. You can do it vertically (top), horizontally (middle) or both (bottom).

I called them ‘Westport mirrored’, ‘I see frogs’ and ‘stained glass westport’.

I used the layout app which can be used to post images to both Facebook and Instagram. I’m on Instagram @mallabandbrown or #mallabandbrown (I never know which it is!) if you want to see more of my art.

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February walk

The year is passing, the last time I went for a proper walk was back in February. We’d started doing weekly walks, just a mile or so. But it made me feel fitter. Then March came and the sudden lockdown. Oh I’ve been shopping, and done a few visits in the car. But I’m bothered about going to where we used to walk as it’s very popular. My health isn’t good and I really, really can’t afford to get ill. I know this will have a detrimental effect on my strength, but what else can I do? Luckily I have the garden, I can cut things back and tidy things up. I can do housework…… But I miss my walks..