Unicorn

When did I first find out about Unicorns? In a book, probably. Something about myths and legends. Always a white horse with a horn from its forehead. The closest thing in reality in nature are Narwhals, a type of cetacean with a long modified tooth sticking out forward from its head.

Unicorns are often depicted in medieval paintings, tapestries and manuscripts. Apparently the only way you could catch them was to have them lay their head in the lap of a virgin? They were a lovely idea. Perhaps the idea was influenced by antelope? It’s something I might investigate.

Roses round the door.

When I bought the house I noticed a small rose bush. I thought nothing more of it. Then I moved in and everything was lovely. At least at first.

As time passed the garden grew, I tried to look after it, but it just kept growing. The roses were beautiful, white, perfumed. But it kept growing, entwined in the fence, creeping over the path.

But inside the house I felt safe. It was warm and comfortable, the colours were muted, pastels, old soft furnishings, blankets, a happy place.

Then one morning, I tried opening the double front door, the handle would not move, something was wrapped around it? I looked out of the window, sideways, I saw it. The rose had grown round the door handle, as I watched leaves sprouted and perfect white flowers appeared. The house was happy, the rose was happy. But me? Not so much.

How to tell the earth is a sphere…

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So how can you tell the Earth is a sphere? The ancient Greeks worked it out ( I don’t remember the name of the person who did).

The experiment was to put a stick in the sand at or near the equator, so it would have a tiny shadow directly underneath the it at mid day as the Sun was directly overhead.

If you place a stick upright, at 90° to the Eaths surface either North or South of the equator, the stick casts a shadow at mid day. (Look at the hands of a clock the hands move round in the same way). Say the equator is 3pm and the Sun is overhead, you would get no shadow, then as you go further away from the stick at the equator you get increasing angles (see diagram). Eventually at the poles the shadows would be at their longest.

So how can you tell its a sphere? The angles add up. You can calculate the curvature of the planet from these simple experiments. The ancient Greeks got very close to calculating the circumference of the Earth. Their calculations were only a small percentage out on their measurement.

 

Red moon, blood moon…

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Before dawn someone in will die. The wolves are howling, it is not safe to go out…

So said the old man as he sat in the shack in the woods. He was with his best friend, a man twenty years younger, who had decided to visit for the weekend. I have my gun loaded, said the old man, I will protect us.

But no one has been killed by wolves in a hundred years, said his companion. Why do you think it will happen? Because of the blood moon came the stern answer.

As they settled down for the night clouds drifted over the moon, soon the storm hit. Snow fell deep, piling onto the shacks roof. One foot, two, four, finally eight. The snow was suffocating them, the fire had been allowed to burn low and suddenly snow fell down the chimney. The roof started to collapse, snow sifted in like sugar, through the cracks…..

The younger man woke with snow covering his face, cold, wet and smothering. It was pitch black, then the feeble rays of the blood moon penetrated the dark. With its help he struggled free. He had to locate his friend, the man was breathing, but unconscious. He dug him out with his hands and the help of the rifle.

Outside his truck was covered, it would take him ages to dig it out. Until then there was no chance of shelter. The shack was a jumbled mess.

All he could do was keep digging, hoping to get to a door, though whether his key would open the lock he doubted. It might be frozen shut.

A howl drifted through the night. The sound startled the digger who fought harder to shift the snow. The howl was closer, creeping towards them. He checked his friend, still breathing, but deathly pale and cold. If the wolves didn’t get them the freezing wind and snow would.

But slowly he was tiring, he had barely moved a few feet of snow. The sweat he was generating was freezing on his body. He started to shiver and his teeth chattered.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the glowing eyes. First two, then four, then more. He closed his eyes, waited for the bite….. It didn’t come. Instead he felt the warmth of one of the wolves leaning against him, then another on the other side. Wolves are large creatures and the weight of them pulled him down to the ground. The warmth after the cold was making him drowsy.

In the morning the search party found both of them, fast asleep. There were indentations in the snow showing where the wolves had lain down. A rough count showed that twenty or so wolves had slept around the two men, helping warm them.

Later the old man admitted he didn’t believe it, but it must be true. The gun would never be used again…

( don’t try this at home folks, it’s just a story,).

The two faces of Eve.

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Face left, face forward. Underneath her name and a long number. Her mug shot. She didn’t understand why. What was happening? She was being blamed for everything.

The snake in the tree had started it. It spoke! Talked about it being the tree of knowledge. Well she had always wanted to learn, to go to school, to get to university. What was wrong with knowledge? But they had said only men can do that. Women aren’t allowed, they might get ideas above their station.

She had tried an apple the snake had offered her. It looked tasty. Not evil? No, more like a braeburn. Having eaten, she told her friend Adam about it. He said if she could taste it then he would too. Later they tried other fruit off other trees. Now she’d been arrested for stealing fruit!

The sins of the world, they called it. All over one measly apple. Would you Adam and Eve it?

Nature

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Walking through the snow she came across some peculiar shaped trees, each one in flower with cherry blossom. In mid winter?! Was that a face? How could this be, what spirit of nature could have created this?

The trees seemed to breathe mist into the cold, crisp air. The frost turning it to tiny ice crystals. Sound reverberated from the mist. A whisper but so loud it shook her body.

“I AM SPRING”….

Life is here, waiting in the ground, waiting for water.. Now you are here this will be your place. You will not leave, you will nurture us with your body.

She realised she could not move, she could feel her feet lengthening, pushing into the soil, her arms were rising in supplication. Twisting and growing longer. Her eyes became knots in the wood, her body a trunk. No she would never leave here….. And she silently screamed as she transformed.

Halloween creature

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A raging creature stalks the land, emerging from foggy woods and green ponds. Hidden hollows and frightful cliffs. The Murkman has stubby wings as well as sharp claws.

Stabbing and slashing, the Murkman hides while waiting for the unwary traveller or hiker.

Only seen just before it kills, it creeps up behind its victim and uses its wings to hover at neck height. Because this fearful creature is only 6 inches long. It can be disabled or even killed with mosquito spray….. Stay Safe…..

Phoenix

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You sparkled as you flew

high above me

a tail of fire,

comet like,

Greens and Golds.

Cold fire flew from you wings,

Hot fire your breath.

Feathers of glass or crystal

tied with silver wire

Shreak of sound

high register like a whistle…

Then a shrinking bloom of fire

like time-lapse in reverse

your feathers folding in

wormhole like

creating a single golden glowing egg

Once created, to hatch and grow again.

 

Abstract cats

These are works in progress, a Ginger autumn cat and a Catfish, I’m doing quite flat designs on black canvases. The catfish painting looks better in the second photo but I think the Ginger autumn cat isn’t quite right yet.

Yesterday I bought metallic colours that really glint in the light, I think my problem is photographing them as they are a bit over exposed in places. I may add additional colours as the Orange is not as subtle as I would like.

Talking about cats and painting, keeping my cats from drinking my paint water is a challenge. I will try and remember to empty it tonight!

Anyway these are going into my exhibition / art sale at the weekend, so I had better get on with them.

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