Monday, May 15, 2017

A Hare and a Fox and the Sweet Blossoms in May

Back again, is it really a whole month later!?  I'm sure each time I say I'm going to blog more I actually end up blogging less which is a little weird?
We've had beautiful dry weather here in Wiltshire since April and many of the flowers are ahead blooming this year. In between working, the days have been spent soaking up May's heady perfume, and imprinting the song of blackbird robin, thrush and lark like a precious seal on my heart and soul. I'm sure the sounds are healing. I'm just waiting for a scientist to prove it sooner or later? 
Beautiful May.  Hawthorn decorates the hedgerows with sweet  frothy creamy (and sometimes pink) boughs. Oh but they go too soon when that impish west wind plays games for fairy weddings and summer snow showers, scattering the petals beneath to create scented carpets for wood mice.

"Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There's crimson buds, and white and blue, 
The very rainbow showers
have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers"
~ Thomas Hood

The greening is all dressed up with lacy gowns along hedgerow and field. Here in the garden, the cow parsley is spreading nicely too. 
When the days have had a chill in the wind, I take my tea break in the greenhouse. Enjoying the warmth with the plants whilst they're busy growing. There is lots to plant out still and plenty of digging to be done. The ground has been very hard because of the lack of rain but the last two days have provided a few showers and refilled the water butts. 
I have a good view of goings on from my studio window. I can clearly see why all the peanuts have been disappearing so fast! ;)  Mrs squirrel doesn't mind me, but makes a swift run for it back up the plum tree when the cats spot her. 
The birds in the garden have been busy raising their young. I see them daily stocking up on food at the bird table and then they are off again. This precious soul found time to stop and serenade me with a spring song.
Here's some other wildlife captured on camera recently. The friendly chaffinch below I encountered on a walk yesterday near Avebury. The moth and may bug I found in the greenhouse and the heron and swans are a regular sight on the river. 
A couple of weeks back on the 1st of May there was definitely some 'Spring magic' in the air.  During a walk I encountered  5 hares, 2 foxes, and 2 deer.  But the best bit of all was seeing a fox and hare together. The fox walked through the hedge to the side of us then proceeded to walk down across a field past the hare. They looked at each other and the hare just stayed put and the fox just walked by glancing at the hare as he did so. Just seeing each animal on there own is a wonderful encounter at any time, but seeing 'both' well it felt as if it was my birthday or that Spring had gifted me a special moment. Here is the moment below, which I managed to capture very quickly. My camera is not the best at pictures from a distance but you can make out the hare and fox. :-)
And here are more hares.
Work wise this past month, I've been busy designing and turning work I've already done, into cards. these sets are both available in the shop. 
'Love the land and treasure the wild' and 'Love the Earth and all her creatures'
'May your dreams be filled with magic' and 'Believe in your dreams' 
I've also just finished these little 'Spring inspired' hangers.  
These will be going into the shop this Wednesday evening (17th May) at 7pm  (UK time)

Until next time, I shall leave you with a song from Lisa Knapp's brand new album, which has been my playlist daily for the merrie month of May and is just perfect I think. (link in my side bar to the whole album)
 Have a great week. x



Thursday, April 20, 2017

March blew away with the Dancing Daffodils

And  all of a sudden the frothy blooms of Spring arrived...
While outside the greening is in the midst of it's merrie dance, I have been busy working my way through my 2017 list of things to do. Most of March was taken up with making a new website. A job that had been years overdue and one I felt I could put off no longer. It's strange how days just float past you and merge into one another while you are so wrapped up in doing something. Before I knew it March had blown away along with the dancing daffodils. But with moments of my temper rising along with the sap outside I finally emerged from the other side and have a brand new website. The biggest change was the renaming. So instead of the old Karen Davis site, I am now officially
'Moonlight and Hares' It seemed a natural progression as many customers tell me they look for me under that name. So here it is... www.moonlightandhares.co.uk

It isn't completely finished yet, for instance I still have a shop to add. For now the shop button takes you to the Etsy shop but I do plan to get a separate one on the website as well.
Now April is here and the hedgerows are busy with birds feeding their young in secret nests. The apple blossom's divine fragrance perfumes the garden. New life is everywhere and the earth feels warm in the mild weather we have had.
The snakes head fritillaries and the sweet white violets have waved their sleepy nodding heads goodbye and now the cowslips and forgetmenots have arrived. The bugle is stretching up through the moss and ground ivy, lily of the valley, cow parsley and red campion are already blooming.
Over the Easter weekend we visited our local bluebell wood. A step into Faerie land...
It's so peaceful, no distant hum of car, just a blackbirds clear voice across the hazel tops, gentle woo wooing of wood pigeon and my own boots on last years beech leaves. Then the quiet is suddenly broken with the bark of a muntjac deer and we see it scamper lower down in the woods and a startled pheasant escapes into a clearing, fearful of who we are. The ransoms are beginning to come out. I take some leaves for a garlicky pesto for tea. In the meadow beyond there are cuckoo flower dotted in the damp patches.
Back in the garden I think I had a fleeting glimpse of a white hare, his two big long back legs showing as he leaped through the hedge. I believe he left me this... ;)
 My paint brushes haven't seen as much action this past month but I did do a couple of paintings.              'Replenishment'
A small canvas on the theme of recharging by starlight and moonlight. And...

'The Quiet Glade'

A unicorn for 'National Unicorn Day' a little while back.  Both of these images are available now as prints in the shop

Back in March whilst working on the website, I also did a little designing with my images for a set of magical nature notebooks which should be ready and in the shop quite soon.  I do love notebooks myself and have bit of a mild obsession with them and often can't resist buying another small book that I probably won't use for another year or so as I still haven't filled up my other collection of notebooks! 
It was fun designing these and I am already planning another set. 
That's all, I think, for now... I shall leave you with some raindrops on apple blossom and Mr Blackbird with his children's supper.

Don't forget for more updates in between blogposts you can find me on Facebook and Instagram. :) 

X

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Across the River Severn to Wales for a Day.

It's been a mixed bag of weather this past week. Last Saturday felt like the warmest day so far this year. We walked along the canal and it was the first time that I took my coat off as the sun felt warm. It was hard to believe it was February but the masses of catkins reminded us.
Sunlight shone across the glassy water and there were shoals of little fishes with red fins. I think they may have been young Roach?
I spotted a wonderful Fungi growing on an old tree stump . 

Hoping the weather would stay fine, on Sunday we crossed over the Severn bridge into Wales to Cardiff. Only an hour away from here. A day of ticking off one of my 'to visit' places off my list.  Not Cardiff itself but St Fagan's National History Museum
It's similar to the Weald and Downland Museum in Chichester that I visited last year. Cottages and farm buildings that were threatened with demolition or falling into disrepair have been moved here and preserved.
The weather sadly didn't match the day before and instead it was grey and drizzly. That didn't matter  though, as it was cosy inside the cottages.
I love that feeling of stepping back in time, the smells so familiar seem etched in my memory from my ancestors?
There was lots to photograph, but the simple compositions caught my interest the most. An old sewing machine, an iron, shells in a window sill and the simplicity of the lime washed plaster and wall paper.
A wonderful old white washed church, enclosed within a white washed wall looked as if it belonged in a fairytale.
Before being moved to St Fagan's, St Teilo's church was originally from Landeilo Tal-y- Bont beside the river Loughor. It is believed to date back to the 12th century and is said that as recently as the 20th century, that some worshippers still reached the church by coracle on the river. It's a little sad that it had to be moved, but if it means preserving it then that's a good thing. Plus it did look so at home surrounded by the trees.
Inside was a beautiful space,  warm and filled with angels.
It has been been rebuilt and redecorated how it would have looked in around the year 1530. The original paintings that were uncovered have been preserved and kept by The National Museum of Wales.
It was a calm and very peaceful place to be.
In the gardens of St Fagan's I met some rather interesting folk made of stone. 
 I wonder if they wake up at night and wander the lawns by moonlight? 
I love the crouching young maiden and the young boy, with the look of sheer wonder on his face.
As it was February when we visited  unfortunately the main house was closed for winter work and cleaning, so I think I may have to return again one of these days. I love this house and seeing it and some of the other ones at the museum has inspired me to add some to future new paintings.
Thank you all for your kind comments left on my last post. It's still very quiet in the garden with out Robin Goodfellow. I've named the new little Robin 'Puck' and had a good chat with him today.
Have a good weekend whatever you are up to.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fly Free with the Stars Little Shining One

The day is warm and bright. It's only February but feels like April today. The trees are filled with Robin song. There are four in the garden now, swift, full of energy and zest for life, darting from tree to tree, chasing one another beginning the Spring dance. I stand at the sink washing up the breakfast cups and plates and glance out of the window. High up in next doors pear tree sits a little red breasted soul serenading me with morning beauty.
After finishing the washing up, I wander into the garden hoping for a glimpse of my special Robin friend, but sadly my little tame Robin Goodfellow has disappeared... It's been almost a month now since I last saw him and now fear that the winter queen may have fallen in love with him and her icicle hands have gently stolen him away. Did she release him to fly up into the silver light of the January sun. Did she whisper to him to fly higher and higher, up to where the rainbows are born, so that when the red of dawn rises and golden sun sets, my red breasted feathered friend will shine his light   forever, for all to see.
Although my heart hurts that I may not see my little friend again, I am also filled with a deep joy at having been so blessed to have shared so many days with him  and to have earned his trust and friendship. I have shed tears for him before. I buried him, or one that I thought was him. A tiny feathered body laid down to rest in a grave filled with primrose petals last Spring. I remember sitting sadly on the wood stump later that afternoon, only to look up and see my friend gazing down at me from a branch. What's wrong, his intelligent bead like eyes questioned, here I am... 
They had looked so much alike, I kept a feather. Now I will wear it. A feather from a brother or sister, in a silver locket beside a picture of my sweet friend. 
Of course I'm secretly hoping that he may have taken wing to find new territory, or paired up already with a mate? But as I mentioned before Christmas, sadly he was losing feathers around his head and neck which probably made him vulnerable to the cold? Only time will tell... 
And so the garden life goes on, filled with chatter of a new season, but it feels lonely without my friend to greet me each day and follow me around for snippets of cheese and mealworms. I miss the way he would sometimes try to stop me leaving the garden, by sitting on the gate while I opened it on my way to the post office, as if to say... hey, feed me first before you go. :-) 
                                          Robin Goodfellow when I first met him September 2014
That first week when he disappeared, was it really just my imagination that the birds were singing more loudly as I walked from tree to tree looking for a sign of him. It felt as if they knew and were somehow telling me? The blackbird whom my Robin was often seen with, was perching near to another much younger looking Robin, with looks so similar to a young Robin Goodfellow. Could it be a son that his ebony friend is now keeping a fatherly eye on? I like to think so. 
And do you know, within a few days this new young robin had already come up to me and taken food from my hand. Now surely that must mean he has watched his father do it? 

The clouds have almost all blown away now and the sky is a clear forgetmenot blue. 

I will leave you with a small film clip which was the day before Christmas eve 2016.  A magical moment, when he let me stroke him. I believe it was my Christmas present? :-) 

'Fly free with the stars little shining one'