Seen on our walk round Trentham Gardens this afternoon. Two black swans with red beaks, they were gathering nesting material by the side of the lake. They were not bothered by us being close, probably be ause we were not threatening them and they won’t have seen many people over the last few months of lockdown. I’m not sue what species of Swan they are. They had a few white feathers and a white line on their beaks. I wouldn’t have said they looked and different, it was not obvious whether they were male or female. It was a pleasure to see them today.
He couldn’t get at the food, the branches were tangled and in his way. Even his long and slender neck was not suple enough, and the twigs seemed to move and prevent him gaining access to the grain a walker had scattered on the path.
If only he had swum a few yards, he could have stepped out of the water to reach the food he needed, but for some reason he would not. Maybe it was the dogs that were walked along the path? Something had frightened it and made it wary. So it was that it stared at the food but never reached it. Thankfully another walker strolled along later and threw duck food into the lake. Finally sated the Swan swam away to its bed in the reeds….
This was a drawing experiment a few years ago. It was an ArtRage oils drawing, using colours then mainly the dry marker to subdue the strength of the original brushes. You can use a sliding scale to alter the brush sizes and strength of the metallic colours, so sometimes the colours look shiny and other times matt. It’s worth playing with different tools in apps, it increases your knowledge. I’ve found some apps really difficult to use, especially if I don’t use them very often. But I will modify what I do, and play around with things to see what results I get. I end up with a series of images, then edit out ones I don’t like. Sometimes I keep all of them so I can show how my work progresses.
We just went for a walk round the small lake at Westport and decided to feed the birds. Mostly pigeon and Canada geese with a mix of a few others and some swans and ducks. I fed the pigeons by putting the food on the top of a fence. Once they were confident I tried holding the food out in my hand and they pecked the food while standing on the fence, finally they all took turns standing on my hand and pecking the food out of it. I only did it because I knew I could wash my hands afterwards.
The management of the lakes are now with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the whole place looks more managed but wild if you see what I mean. Colourful poppies and other wildflowers surround the visitors centre. Drifts of nettles feed butterflies. I saw an electric blue damsel fly skittering about them. I also saw a peacock butterfly and a cabbage white.
We were sitting up on the balcony at the visitor centre when we saw a large carp in the lake. It’s pale colour meant it was visible from above. Looking at its size compared with some terns sitting on a piece of wood in the lake it must have been about 18 inches long.