Tuesday 26 July 2011

Week 29

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon I set off to walk on the shore and to collect for week 29.   I had a wonderful surprise,  the steam train was about to pass through our village.   Along with many other people, many armed with cameras and video recorders, I took my position on the railway bridge hoping for a great view.  The smoke billowing and a loud hoot hoot had everyone excited as we all watched the beautiful old steam engine approaching  and then pass under the bridge.   It seemed so appropriate to see this after talking about the railway line last week.  I have a photograph,  for the moment trapped in my camera,  due to a lost connection lead!  It is quite an attraction for tourists, locals and the train enthusiasts,  everyone gathers to watch as we have such a perfect view as the train snakes around the estuary.
It was a lovely bright day.   I walked my usual route and  timed it to see the tide pouring in and quickly filling up the wide tidal river.   I was amazed at all the feathers I saw,  there seemed to be hundreds. Then I found the place at the edge of the bank where the geese have returned to,  the evidence left was the many pellet shaped poos, small fluffy feathers and the flat edged larger goose feathers scattered all around.  We heard the geese one morning through the week so I  knew they had returned although there was no sign of them now.  Each morning we hear their familiar calling.
The sheep are also back with the lambs now grown to a teenage size,  soon they will catch up to their parents as they eat the lush grass.  I kept thinking of my Dad, seeing all the sheep muck which we used to collect with a garden trowel and place in a sack to make a fertiliser for Dads tomatoes.  It also reminded me of the mushrooms which grow on this grassy shore in the summer months.  A pastime we enjoy each year collecting them.   I don't like them to eat but love to draw them. They grow tall in the grass and have such lovely patterns on the underside.   All alone on my walk I had lots of thoughts of the past,  as a child in the school summer holidays  when I spent lots of time on this shore, we all did.
Just as I was leaving the shore with my collection of objects...feathers, sycamore, snail shell, a crab apple, a piece of china and some plants .....there it was,  a single mushroom.  I bent  down and picked it,   yes,  that will go nicely on my page. 
I sat outside in the garden on Sunday and drew it in pencil and then added white ink with a paintbrush. I have tried to capture this lovely opening flower head picked by the railway line, using black ink.  I  placed it in an old bottle found on the shore last year at low tide.   A few other little finds on the page  were drawn in pencil and then painted with acrylic ink.  Hope you like it.  Mean while, I have been washing some of my feathers and drying them in the hot sun today.
Thank you for your lovely comments.                                 Millyx      

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Week 28

Here is my double page for week 28.   I have had a short break and stayed at Whitby on the east coast.  As I am on the west coast it was strange to see how different this shoreline was from where I live.  When I returned home it made me look at the shore and make comparrisons.  So on Saturday  I took my camera and I am showing you some photographs to capture some of the characteristics of my shoreline.   It is an estuary and  the sea comes in twice a day and depending on the size of the tide we fill up with water.  The train runs very close to the shore, the large limestone barrier is to stop erosion and hold back the water so it does not flood over the train lines.  The bankings are eroding at a fast pace, huge chunks are breaking off and falling into the sand.  The railway is vital,  as it weaves its way around the estuary  across the bridges over the tidal rivers  and seashore,   to journey up the west coast.  The sea has to be held back,  as we have seen it flood at high tides and the damage it causes.  
The limestone is now patterned with acid yellow lichen and seaweeds.  The banks of the railway line home to so many different wild flowers and insect life.  The shore is an area of special scientific interest because of the birds and wild life.   As I collect my objects each week I learn more and more about this place where I was born and grew up.   It is familar to me and yet it becomes more interesting as I record my weekly walks.  I am getting to know it more. A wet tangled up piece of seaweed,  so different when washed and drawn on the page.  I like the not knowing what I will find,  the strange assortment of objects that are found in the tideline and end up together on my page.  Hope you do too.
I will leave you with a picture of Whitby,  the opposite side of  England to me and a very different shore line to mine.  I brought home a limpet shell I collected at Robin Hoods Bay,  a brooch made from Whitby jet and some nice memories.  Thank you for your lovely comments.                 
Millyx                            p.s. my husband took the Whitby photograph.

Monday 11 July 2011

Week 27

Here is my week 27 page.   It is a strange mix of objects all found on the shore line yesterday.   We went down for our walk about 8pm.  It was a cool evening and the light was  poor. The sky was heavy with large white Cumulus clouds, all swelling and somehow filling the sky, blocking both the light and the view.  The place had an unusual atmosphere,  helped by a red hue of the long grass and a  stillness.   We walked along and as usual followed the fresh tide line,   I don't know what causes it,  but the sea had left brown frothy foamy over a foot deep in some places,  and large pieces of it were scattered about.   There were lots of little shrimps, tiny crabs and feathers stuck in or around the tide line and just a few small pieces of sea weed to be found.   I instantly stopped in my tracks when I saw the sycamore seeds and I had to have them to draw.   Then,  so many different leaves, fresh yellow and acid green trapped in the sandy foam line.   The colours were so bright in this dull light.  I collected many lovely feathers, lots of striped ones, my favourites.  I found just one black mermaids purse, it has been a while since I have seen any, and I picked up a single tiny pink shell.
It has been a week of mixed weather, hot sticky days and then on Thursday a heavy thunderstorm with thunder and lightning.  We have had really heavy rain showers and a strong breeze so it explains how the leaves and seeds could have ended up on the shore. 
We heard a real squabble going on in the sky above us as a black headed gull chased a  Heron, as  they both shouted back at each other.  The swifts and swallows were skimming the water and as usual and the ducks were swimming  near to where they always congregate.  We could see the railway workers getting ready for another weekend on our bridge.  As we walked back through the long grass I picked two pieces of the  coloured stems, which are making the whole shore appear  as a red drift.  I don't ever think I have seen this before.  The evening sky was mostly hidden by the clouds, but as the sun set,   thin  bands of red peeped through.  The huge billowing white clouds sank lower into the gaps between the hills.  The clouds dominated the sky,  no stars tonight but the sound of the railway men and their bright lights  on the line as they work through the night to finish our bridge.
My page contains some of  my finds from yesterday.  I used acrylic inks and a fine paintbrush. 
I set the task of choosing the giveaway with my husband,  he put all 21 names on a ticket,  put the names in a hat, and with eyes closed chose    .........Michelle Palmer.   She will get the little painting of the two feathers.  Thank you for all the comments and kind wishes, I am feeling better.
Hope you like the page and seeing the real objects.                                          Millyx