Monday, 24 March 2014

Woodland scene, Beverley and, .... spotting a slinky sinuous stoat.

Plein air oil on canvas 12 x 10"
 I wanted to use the pochade box I made recently rather than the French easel. This makes things easier as there is not so much to carry. I walked over the Westwood, looking across and down towards Beverley town centre. The sun was bright even at this early time making it feel warm after a frosty night. I could see the dark silouettes of St.Mary's on my left, Beverley Minster centre and Black Mill on my right. Approaching the edge of the wood, and looking at the ground one could see dense icy patches reminding me of the hailstones which fell yesterday. Once inside the wood I soon spotted this view and set up. Birdsong indicated bluetits, great tits and chaffinches as well as the drumming of woodpeckers. The mewing of buzzards seen last week could be heard, though this time I did not see them. Walking to the site I spotted a pair of rabbits nervously run off. A couple of people came by with their two venerable collie dogs and we chatted for a few minutes with the sun lighting up the wood. After working for a time I was surprised to see a handsome stoat run in front of me, it moved from right to left in that strange, half hopping gait, its sinuous body and short legs belying its competence to travel vast distances. I wondered what it would do and as I watched, it reached an ivy clad tree up which it climbed without slowing down. It disappeared into the canopy of thick ivy forcing chaffinches to flee. Facinating to see so close. The sun was causing problems as it penetrated the wood causing shadows to move around. I decided to pack up, and walking back saw two grey squirrels on the forest floor scurrying about one chasing the other - a sign of spring? Short video here


H A P P Y  P A I N T I N G
Detail 1

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Detail 5

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