Ducks

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Well a duck and drake actually. Bog standard Mallard ducks, but I do think they look smart. The male (drake) has the green head and ring round his neck. The female duck has neat brown feathers bounded by white edges. These were photographed on a cold day about a month ago.

It’s soon going to be time for little ducklings to emerge from their eggs. In a few weeks time I might be taking pictures¬† Of some of them.

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy this image of nature.

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Photo walk

About 5 years ago we went on a photo walk around the north of the city of Stoke on Trent in a town called Tunstall. The idea was to do a circular walk encompassing greenways around the town that used to have a rail line and that runs between terraced houses on a raised path. There are bridges over paths and tunnels driven through the ground.

I used my old phone so the images are not brilliant. The day started overcast then it started to snow as we walked along the path. We came out onto the side of a newly built section of road then followed the path round up a hill before coming out at an old pub (can’t remember it’s name) where we stopped off for lunch and sat next to a real coal fire to warm up. Then off through local streets to finish near where we started outside the local health centre.

Photos include trees, train signals, walking along the path. A terraced house. The corrugated side of one of the tunnels. One of the metal greenaway signs, a dandelion growing on the side wall of part of the path, and bracket fungus growing on an old wooden post.

I’m hoping to go on another photo walk, may be when the weather is a bit better. The idea of looking at industrial and post industrial landscapes fascinates me.

Winter trees

Branches and limbs thinning and curving

Straggling twigs like fly away hair.

Skeletal, swooping and sweeping

Black trunk against white clouds.

Old birds nest up high

A roost for a crow?

Like an old venous or arterial system

Your juices are not flowing now

Sclerotic and tired

Can you be rejuvenated

Will your sap rise again?

Are buds hidden,

Waiting to burst-

Stay a while and see

Wait out the winter

Then explode like a firework blooming in light.

Rode Hall snow drop walk.

Gallanthus, the Latin name for Snowdrops. They are out in force at Rode Hall gardens near Scholar Green, on the North Staffordshire/ Cheshire border. It’s off the A34 between Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton. The snowdrops are in flower right now and you can buy little bags of them (in the green) wjuch means you get bulbs with the leaves and flowers and you plant them directly into the ground under trees so they can spread out. They have many different sorts of the flowers that brighten the grounds of the hall. The snowdrop walks are on till March 3rd? And open till 4pm.

We walked through the grounds and gardens of the hall. Winding paths lead through bushes and trees, up and down little hills and slopes, past pools and woven willow sculptures down to the lake at the end of the longest path. There you can see a wooded island where Herons are starting to nest. I got blurry shots of four herons flying around the tree tops.

Back up past the hall we had a meal and coffee at the cafe and then on to an old barn to see an Exhibition by three local art groups that is on till the start of March.

It’s great to get out into the world and see it changing. The snowdrops were in such great clumps on the ground that it truly did look like they were patches of snow under the bare trees. It’s a great place to explore.

 

Today I should be drawing

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It’s windy and sunny today. I should be out in the fresh air drawing with urban sketchers. Instead I’m inside with a runny, snotty nose and head cold.

I could still go out, but I’m tired. I have a friend visiting tomorrow and the house needs tidying.

The cat just came and stretched up and sharpened her claws on my leg (her way of being friendly) ow!

Shall I go or stay? Or just go back to bed….

Get some asprin or paracetamol and decide….. To sleep

It’s cold in here.

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I’m sitting here this evening feeling cold. I put on the electric fan heater after putting on a thick jumper. Also fluffy slippers. I didn’t understand why the temperature was falling. Yes it’s cold, wet and windy outside but the central heating was on. I checked to make sure the door was shut…. Yes, all OK.

Then my husband who was gently toasting his hands over the oil heater said….

Oh I left the window open upstairs!

Brr……

Grr……

Now I’m getting too hot.

Funny what shutting a window will do.

An Exhibition of Blue

The Exhibition of Blue opened tonight at Spode Site at Eleanora Street in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent..

As you can see from the photos there was a great variety of work on the breif Blue. Everyone had to produce art in Blue with only the addition of white, black and grey.

There were glass and resin pieces, acrylic pours and paintings. Drawings and photos, installations with blue lighting and wall painting and fabrics. We were also entertained by an artist with a beautiful voice who sang the blues.

There were also blue cocktails for people who attended the exhibition. The only real downside was the temperature. The Spode studios are inside an old pottery building. The place was once filled with pottery kilns so it was not built with much insulation. It can sometimes be colder inside than it is outside. The exhibition continues till at least Sunday. It may continue next week but it has yet to be decided.