Saturday, 24 May 2014

New life

I am sitting watching the birds and they have been looking at my window watching and waiting for me to give them their usual scraps. We have two brown blackbirds with spotted chests, young birds that are getting really tame.

A cheeky blackbird or two, the usual sparrows and a blue tit. Some pretty collared Doves to name a few all fighting over it. A large magpie flew in yesterday which is not good news as they steal eggs from other birds nests. As we are so pleased to have found we have two nests in the garden, a Robin and a Wren, both sitting on eggs. You would laugh if you could see me trying to capture a photo of the birds feeding, way to quick for me! The photographer managed it.

Each time I have been for a walk I have found eggs, just there on the ground, some on the railway station, some on the shore and some on the road. A walk by a river and one through a footpath in the woods all had some egg shells on the ground. I collect them, wrap them in a tissue or whatever I have and hope they arrive home, some do and others are just crushed up pieces.

The tiny white ones with speckles of reddy brown belong to one of our smallest birds, the Wren. I found them at Kirkby Lonsdale. After sitting and enjoying the beautiful valley of the River Lune, famously known as Ruskin's View, we went down the many steps to the river walk. It was here on the bank I found the little white egg shells.

So I am going to watch and see if the Wren in our garden has a tidy up and throws the hatched egg shells out of the nest. I had hoped to draw them but my eyes are not yet allowing me to. It is taking time to adjust to my new glasses. But I did paint these last year, and enjoyed learning more about the shapes and patterns on lots of different eggs.

I really love the colour of this next egg found in the woods on Thursday. Two eggs obviously just been stolen from a nest as there was still fresh runny yolk inside one. The expert said it is a Song Thrush, now that would make sense if you had heard the beautiful birdsong in this wood. We had actually gone to see a Heron nest high up in the trees but we could not find it, I suspect the growth of all the leaves was making a thick green canopy and it was too hard for us to see. Someone shared her sighting of it and said you could see the young birds poking their heads over the nest. The Heron was seen flying up to the nest and gave it away where she had built and had her young. Never mind we discovered a new walk by a river and heard such a lovely bird chorus, all in the rain along with such big fat blobs of rain dropping from the trees.

Every year I marvel at the sight of a bird's nest, so delicately made and woven with their beak. We have seen so many this year in the hedgerows and on our walks, I have to say all spotted by the expert. My sister has a blackbird's nest with five blue eggs in her greenhouse, we can view it through the glass window as it is hidden behind plant pots. And then a dove sitting in her apple tree, on what looks like a flat plate of sticks, her nest. She had a Dove's nest last year and that is the white egg shell on my first photograph.

I have been collecting other shells, snail shells from on my walks. I love it when the brown outer skin peels away and blue and grey patterns appear. They seem to be everywhere and I have to stop myself collecting them.

Then we have found some new treasures on the shore at low tides. The sand is moved and shifted around and it uncovers pieces like this, oh I love finding them. I really am thrilled each time I wash the new pieces and see the patterns and the crackles in the glaze, more to add to my growing list of things to draw.


A blue sheen on the duck feather and a blue shell were my finds on a shore walk. See how good I am just collecting two things.

My two skeleton leaves from the garden, so many beautiful things catch my eye. My photograph of Ferns and bluebells and white bells. I managed to capture the big bumble bee visiting the flowers, it has been literally buzzing with them.

And I know you must be wondering if I have anything to show you that I have been drawing, yes I have, one of my favourites, the Lords and Ladies I found on a walk.

I saw so many wonderful specimens, a couple of fallen ones came home with me, stems eaten by snails.

And added to my zigzag book of the life cycle of the Lords and Ladies.

I had gaps in the pages so drawings had to fit the space.

The brown sepia study with a dip in pen looking good in my book alongside last years drawings.

And then some interesting sketches of the young green berries and the purple coloured finger, as I peeled back the skin and revealed the structure. I like them best when they are in their bright red clusters about September time. Sadly we have had some thunder storms and such heavy showers, this usually sees the end to many of the plants as they rot and collapse and the snails do the rest! I am keeping my fingers crossed there will still be lots that have survived and continue to grow and develop.


What wonderful sights and views we see living here, always changing ,and always amazing , one very atmospheric sky we have witnessed.

And a very pale blue like the colour of a bird's egg.

Thank you for the lovely comments, I do enjoy reading them. Millyx



acornmoon said...

This post brought back so many memories, growing up in Bury Lancashire and day trips to the River Lune, Morecambe bay via the Troughs of Bowland. Possibly one of England"s best kept secrets- until now!
Your book is a treasure, lovely lovely specked eggs.

Julie Clay Illustration said...

I love the birds eggs, such a lovely colour blue. Shame about the song thrush eggs, it might be the naughty magpies, I once helped a song thrush build her nest?? yes I did, I kept wetting an area of ground for her, she gathered the mud and built her nest right next to our little conservatory, it was raided by magpies, nothing left, so sad, especially as their numbers are dropping. My garden is sooo green, never been as good, with all the rain :)

RH Carpenter said...

You really must have a keen eye to see all these small treasures. Thanks so much for sharing the photos and the drawings. (We have a nest of house finches in our light fixture above the front door. Too high to see them other than just movement when they are being fed.)

Pondside said...

There are so many beautiful blues in your collection today. Our snail shells are a rather boring beige. If I found a blue one I'd definitely keep it!

Frances said...

Milly, what a pleasure it's been to see this post. You took me back to a childhood memory of discovering bits of robins' eggs under the tall oak trees in our back yard. What treasures those fragile shells were!

Thank you for teaching me more about different egg shell characteristics, and birds' nest-building techniques. Earlier this spring, on one of my Central Park walks, I distributed some little bits of left over yarns on various branches of shrubbery, hoping that some birds might want a little subtle addition to their nests. Nothing too bright, of course.

To find such lovely pieces of old blue and white china would amaze me. Yes...much to add to drawings along with the skeleton leaves, the snail shells with their harmonious hues, and the subtly colored feathers.

Beautiful all! I do hope that you and your new glasses will continue to get better acquainted. Meanwhile, the drawings you added to your accordion book are fantastic.

Best wishes. xo

Melody said...

So happy to see you here again! I never tire of your seeing your finds, and am delighted to see a bit of art again too!! I am greeeen with envy that you found such beautiful chunks of pottery! Loooove the blue and white best! thanks for sharing!

Diana said...

HI Milly, I enjoyed your post so much. I hope you are doing better with your eyes and glasses. You have so much to draw in your lovely delicate way. Love all the egg shells and your finds, so beautiful. Take care, love to you,Diana

Claire said...

Hi Milly, what beautiful finds,love the birds eggs. I never seem to find these but I will look harder! I hope it won't be long till you can capture your treasures on paper xxxxx

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Milly - what great collections of bird's eggs and shells. I found a lone robin's the other day. Made me sad because I knew some marauding bird stole it. Your drawings of the Lords and Ladies is beautiful. Your skies were glorious too. Thank you dear for sharing. I so enjoyed my visit. Have a great week.