Trying to draw rain on a dry day! This was for todays #bandofsketchers prompt ‘rain’, I drew Westport Lake and then added strokes of pen to indicate rain and dark clouds above. It was a black and white drawing but I decided to add watercolours to it when I got home. Beyond the front line of trees is the A500 and the main railway line. Above that the hill leading to Newcastle under Lyme.


The plants are turning red in places, golds too. The rushes by the lake have dark heads. We are just starting to head into autumn. I took a photo through the glass on the balcony of Westport Lake Cafe. The cafe is a few meters above the lake. It is curved wood like a boat standing on massive metal legs. It is built into a slope because of the way the land falls away. The entrance is at ground level on the side opposite the lake. There is a white curve in the just above and to the right of the middle of the photo. That’s a reflection. Not sure what caused it.

Another idea

I might do a painting based on this photo that I have added texture to in the Photodirector app. The wildflowers were all in bloom at Westport Lake today. I could not identify many of them but they did make a lovely show. I managed to get a few thousand steps in for a change, I haven’t been doing enough walking recently. It is the season for bees and butterflies. We actually saw a few today.


On our walk we came across a green metal table. There were fish and chip wrappers discarded on it at one end, but also these pottery shards, like an archaeological dig. I didn’t want to disturb them but I took a photo. If you live in Stoke-on-Trent you might look at the backstamps on the back of pottery. I just zoomed in on the mug base it has a green lion printed on it, a scroll or banner shape under that and then just about decipherable ‘Maddocks and Sons Ltd’ there were other words below I couldn’t read. People who look at the bottom of pots sometimes say they are part of the ‘turnover club’. I haven’t looked at the image much yet but I can see a dark band that would encircle a plate with a white interlinked chain on it. Perhaps these came from the waters edge? The small lake at Westport, next to the table, looks to have a lower water level than normal so they might have been scavenged from there.


Well trained Weimaraner dog seen on our walk round Westport Lake. Trained as a therapy dog, it was very capable of following orders. The colour was a grey brown and its eyes were a mixture of yellow and blue.. Its owner said that as it got older the colour might become more amber. I might do a painting of it as I have a closer view of it. One thing is because of the way I took the photo its head looks a little too big because if foreshortening. It looks more in proportion on the other photo.


I think this was a coot chick (could be moorhen chick) we saw yesterday. I goy a reasonable photo of it although it’s beak seems to disappear into the stony soil on the side of the lake. It’s mum was just out of shot swimming on the lake. I guess they have to be as independent as possible as quickly as they can so that they can go out into the world. But this is a little fuzz ball and it’s still without feathers. I hope it survives to full fledge.

Out all day

Long day, a walk, a yoga class, singing. I feel exhausted. The walk was just round Westport Lake on a windy day. There were more geese than I’d seen for a long time. Mostly Canada Geese. But we are not allowed to feed them, because of bird flu. The Westport Lake Tearoom does not sell bird food anymore to try and restrict the spread of the disease. We just walked past the birds and felt sorry for them. Clearly they are used to being fed so they congregate together, so the disease can spread.

Later I went to yoga class, I’m limited in what I can do, so I try and do the movements sitting on a chair. I modify the positions to fit in as well as I can with the rest of the group.

Then later we practiced songs at choir. Some of them are joining the performance at Bethesda Chapel in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday. The show is called Animal Apocalypse. It is about the extinction and loss of animals in the world. It was quite a good practice. All in all a very busy day!

On a nest

Can you see the bird on the nest? I think it might have been a coot or a moorhen, but it was hidden under the overhanging branches of an alder tree, floating on the small lake at Westport. We also saw two Swans with eight cygnets swimming behind them. It’s that time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when nature renews itself. You see ducks with their ducklings too. I hope we get hedgehogs in our garden again too. Their babies are called hoglet’s.