Urban sketchers yesterday

The cat? He got in front of my sketch pad as I tried to take the photos of my drawings from yesterday. They are a large tree and workshop, a gate with a seated artist hidden behind it, and a stone figure half hidden in the bushes. These might make the basis for some new paintings as I work towards creating art for a new exhibition. I took a few photos too so I can use them to work out the colours.

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Outside today

I went out with Urban sketchers today and was at an old farm near Eccleshall to draw. I took a few photos. I need to take good pictures of my drawings.

The day was grey, overcast with great rushes of wind that you could hear soughing through the trees. Starting far way you could hear it rushing and pushing the tree branches. Rooks were flying and calling in the air, scooting about and apparently enjoying it. We even saw a murmuration of Starlings flocking in the distance.

I sat on a white metal garden chair, strong but cold. I ended up folding up my scarf to stop my bum going numb with the cold. Within a few minutes I was shivering and then I got used to it although my hands started to go numb with the chill. Luckily there was hot tea available. It was very kind of the artists that live there to let a crowd of about twenty urban sketchers come round and draw everything from trees to stone dogs.

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Westport lake visit

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Late visit to the lake for coffee and oatcakes. Then took half a bag of Swan, duck and goose food for a short stroll round the small lake. We were mobbed by  Canada geese who got a bit aggressive, and one bold Swan who stepped onto the bank in front of me. I threw a handful of food onto the ground and it pecked at it before the other birds got a chance. The pigeons were not as lucky as the food was in large pellets. I tried to break them up a bit but they were to hard to split. I probably should have thrown more in the water but when you are being mobbed it’s hard not to give in and throw it down quickly.

As we walked round the lake I noticed the path was muddy and it looked like it has washed over the pathway at some stage recently. In the field by the children’s playground a large pool of water stood waiting to drain away. Buds were starting to burst on the smaller scrubby trees, bright green against the black and grey twigs. I also spotted something like dandelion (coltsfoot?) yellow ragged flowers, just a cluster of three below a group of trees. Coots and moorhens were also on the lake together with mallard ducks. The sun that had been shining all day had gone behind the clouds and only peeked out as we walked back to the car. Low and bright, dazzling us as we drove away.

Street trees

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I have just written to my local Councillor about a stand of about eight trees that have been cut down as you approach our City centre.

I wrote:

Dear Councillor__________
I was concerned today as I was driving into _____from _____, that a whole stand of mature trees has been cut down on the corner of the ________opposite the new hotel and ____field site (on a patch of land next to the traffic lights). I have always liked those trees and am shocked that the council has removed them. There seem to be more and more of these acts of environmental vandalism. In a time when we should be planting more to mitigate the effects of climate crisis why are you implementing this? I’m sure they were not all diseased. Please consider replacing any trees on a two for one basis. Street trees are recognised as a way of cleaning urban pollution. It has recently been reported that thousands of people die every year from pollution. And as the most congested city in the world last month it should be important to your administration to mitigate these problems.
Yours Sincerely

 

Two sunsets, two days

A few days ago there was a reddish sunset, today it was more silvery. Each one was beautiful.

I like the glow in the sky on the second one. I’m sad when the sun goes down in the winter because of how long it is until the sun returns in the morning. As the days go on I look forward to longer days.

I’m already noticing the  change of position of the sunrise and Sunset, gently moving along the horizon, gradually changing the time it rises and sets.

The weather should look very different on Sunday. A storm called Keira is on its way,  due to give gale force winds.

In the meantime if I see more beautiful skies I will post pictures. X

Yorkshire Poster

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My hubby came home today with this print of North Eastern Railways ‘the Yorkshire Moors’…. Tranquil solitude. What is interesting is its a railway poster, with no railway visible!

Yorkshire is the largest county in England. It is home of the National Railway museum in York and is crossed by the North Yorkshire moors railway which runs through wooded hills and moors from Whitby on the coast to Pickering in the heart of the moors.

All of the East coast of the county is interesting. There are towns like Scarborough there. A lot of the coast is not very stable. There are cliffs where landslides occur and parts made of mud, called blue lias which is crumbling and full of fossils. You can find Whitby jet in it which is fossilised monkey puzzle trees which is jet black.

Whitby Abbey was a setting for the Dracula story and every year they have goth and steam punk festivals there.

Last decade had highest ever recorded temperatures.

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Three maps, dated 1970-74, 1997-2001, 2015-19. There were others but I didn’t snap them in time. So we are getting hotter. Life will change, and possibly catastrophically if we don’t do something. I remember doing a collage about population growth in the 1970’s. I did a picture of earth with a line of people snaking away from it towards the moon. I’ve always been conscious of the environment. I was a tree warden in about 1975 and told people off for damaging trees. I think I got carried away once and really told some boys off about their behaviour. Fast forward several decades, and things are only getting worse. X