Thursday, 1 December 2016

Portrait in progress

I've taken some photos as I did Sam the Border Collies portrait. I used Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic paints - Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna and Alizarin Crimson Hue Permanent. I thinned the paints with water and Cryla Flow Enhancer. The portrait is painted onto Daler Rowney Studland Mountboard.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Friday, 18 November 2016

It's too early for snow!!

Woke up to a couple of inches of snow - when they forecast snow on hills it means us! Been enjoying lots of hot buttery toast with homemade jam to keep our spirits up.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Up to now Autumns making quite a spectacle of itself, the trees glow beautifully in the late afternoon sun and slime moulds and fungi are making surprise appearances in the fields. The oaks seem to have produced a really good crop of acorns this year, the fieldfares and redwings are back and every evening the starlings fly over us on their way to roost.

Slime mould ?

Fungi in field

Autumn leaves

Spangle galls

Murmuration  on the way home

Monday, 19 September 2016

Autumnal butterflies

There is a definite nip in the air first thing in the morning and last thing at night but midday is as hot as any summer day we've had and the butterflies and bees are making the most of late flowering blooms to prepare for hibernation. My garden might be looking a bit past its best but theres still lots of lovely colour to make the most of and gladden the heart.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Autumn webs

Its dark now when I get up at 5.30 - really sad winters on its way again, but once the suns up we can see the valley full of mist and the dew glistening like tiny jewels on the spiders webs that festoon the thistle heads  and fences.

Friday, 5 August 2016


The garden is full of flies, hoverflies and bees, they are especially fond of the marjoram and thyme and we noticed this fantastic fly looking more like a bumblebee. We think its Tachina grossa apparently it takes caterpillars for its young to feed on. Lovely.

Update - I now have a pet fly! Like bees it love s sugar water.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Recently completed this dog portrait - couldn't show it till now as a surprise present!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Lychnis Moth Bell Sykes

Driving to Bell Sykes we noticed several Lychnis moth larvae feeding on the seeds of Red Campion.

Reminds me of a visit to the Black Sheep Brewery.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

We recycled old tractor tyres to make into flower beds and the wildflowers have really romped away. The little pond we made from an old water cistern has two resident frogs and a visiting toad who like to sit in the cool shade near it.

Cornfield wildflower mix in tractor tyre filled with molehills.

Looks so relaxing!

Wildflowers love the gravelly area under the trees.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Stinkhorn fungus

 Stinkhorn fungi are bursting out under the trees,  the flies love feeding on the sticky caps.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Friends of Bowland walk

Friends of Bowland organized a "Wildlife Wander" from Cross of Greets bridge. The weather fined up and it was lovely and sunny which brought out the grasshoppers, dragonflies and beetles. Lots of Meadow Pipits and Whinchats and possibly saw a Hen Harrier circling above. Found Bog Asphodel and Sundews.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

(Pink) Kittens with wings.

Had the moth trap out Monday night and caught several Elephant Hawk Moths and Small Elephant Hawkmoths. They just make me happy!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


The fells around Bleasdale looked amazing, clear and bright in the sunshine, lots of curlew, lapwings and lambs.The old blonde stems of the rushes shimmering in the breeze. Saw my first swallow of the year. Its in for a shock this weekend - back to winter for a bit.

Bee flies are back.

Beautiful bee flies are back in the garden feeding on the primulas. All we need are the swallows back now!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Nearly every Bumblebee I saw in Slaidburn on Wednesday had lots of mites clinging to them. On the Bumblebee Conservation Trusts web page they say that generally mites are harmless. The mites will probably have hibernated with the young queen and when she makes a new nest they will feed on wax, pollen, nest debris and any other small insects. At some stage they will hitch a ride on foraging worker bees who carry them to flowers where they wait to attach themselves to another visiting bumblebee and so travel to a new nest.

Heavy infestations might make flying difficult for the bee and they suggest trying to remove some with a childs paintbrush...

There is another mite Locustacarus buchneri that lays around 50 eggs in the bees respiratory system where they hatch and develop, the trust says its not known for sure if they are harmful but that must be one heck of a head cold.

Monday, 11 April 2016


Butterflies are back, not easy to stop in the first photo, just looks like a dead leaf when its wings are closed.



Saturday, 9 April 2016

Frogs and Bees

The frogs have found the pond we made last year, one male has been sat in it croaking away and must have been successful as there are several clumps of frog spawn in it. I found an exhausted bee in the garden one evening and gave it some watered down blackcurrant jam and sugar water and after about 15 minutes of licking it up, it started to come round, had a poo and flew off ! The micro moths hatched out of a bag of owl pellets I left on a windowsill. I think they might be Skin Moths which feed off dead animals, owl pellets and the grot in birds nests.

Early Bumblebee enjoying jam NOT a Vampire Bumblebee

I think these are Skin Moths