I’m not sure whether this is the hoof fungus, Fomes fomentarius, or a Ganoderma bracket fungus. It was growing on a softwood deciduous tree, probably birch, at Dubbs Moss Cumbria Wildlife Trust nature reserve, southwest of Cockermouth.
Hoof fungus, also known as tinder fungus, was once considered to be mainly confined to the Scottish Highlands but it is spreading south.
I’ve drawn the old scouring mill at Horbury Bridge several times this year, not because I’m particularly interested in the old buildings but because of the attraction of overlooking the mill, scribbling in my sketchbook as we wait for coffee and croissants at Di Bosco, just across the road.
Overlooking and scribbling . . . (with apologies for that terrible link) . . .
Arthur Pearson, a scribbling overlooker, worked in one of the woollen mills at Horbury Bridge until shortly before the start of World War I, when he started working for a large woollen cloth manufacturer in Freiburg, Bohemia. After getting into an argument about the Emperor and the Kaiser in the local barber’s, he was interned from March 1915 until December 1918, when he made his way back to Yorkshire.
Speaking to a reporter from the Leeds Mercury, he said that in Vienna ‘food and clothing were only purchasable by the very rich people; in fact, money at times could not buy food, and he had seen gold watches given in exchange for a loaf of black bread.’
Tea was selling at £2 per lb, salmon 30 shillings a tin, jam 25 shillings per jar and rice £2 per lb. A suit of clothes sold for anything from £80 to £120, but, Mr Pearson noticed, ‘the cloth was of very poor quality’.
Scribbling was the initial process of combing the wool prior to spinning it into yarn.
War Office Casualty lists for 8 October 1918, a little over a month before the end of hostilities, listed Private B Clark, 46532, of Horbury, who was serving in the Durham Light Infantry. In the previous month Private J Heald, 40981, of Horbury Bridge was listed as a casualty on the 10th.
In June two soldiers from Horbury Bridge had been listed as casualties, Private W H Osterfield, 48495, of the West Yorkshire Regiment and Private D Hall, 242319, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
J Armitage was a dramatist, whose plays ‘received the compliments of many distinguished people’ according to a photo feature in the Leeds Mercury, dated Saturday, 7 June, 1913.
A Jesse Armitage appears in the 1911 census for Horbury; then aged 24, he was employed as a railway clerk. He lived in the family home, at 4 Mortimer Row, Westfield Road with his parents Sarah, aged 50, and John, aged 55, a railway platelayer. Also still at home, his younger brother Harry, aged 20, worked as a house painter and decorator.
Ten years earlier, in 1901, Jesse, then aged 14, was working as a railway telegraph boy. When Jesse started at school, aged 4, the family had lived on Queen Street, Horbury. In 1913 he married Amy Bower, aged 25 or 26, a dressmaker from nearby Tithe Barn Street.
There’s a record of the death of a Jesse Armitage, aged 40, in the Wakefield area, registered in the first quarter of 1927.
And that’s about all I’ve been able to find out about our local dramatist so far. I’d love to know whether he wrote dramas or comedies.
Harvey is our joiner Simon’s border terrier, so I got another chance to draw him today as work on our new bathroom continued.
Harvey likes two things: to watch the world go by and to find a warm spot to settle down in, so our patio windows are a favourite for him; sometimes snoozing with head hidden behind the curtains for bit of extra seclusion.
After spending time drawing from photographs, it’s refreshing to get back to drawing from life again. Frustrating too of course, because Harvey the border terrier wouldn’t settle for long, however I think that attempting to piece together several poses gives more of an impression of the character of the real, live animal than a carefully studied photograph can.
This small, delicate-looking fungus was growing under deciduous trees, on a sparsely grassy verge by the track around the lake at Newmillerdam Country Park. They remind me of the little folded-paper parasols used to decorate a cocktail but this isn’t the parasol mushroom.
The caps in the background appear to be the older ones and, like the inkcap that I drew the other day, they are turning black around the gills, although I suspect that these aren’t closely related.
The young wild boar is learning fast, perfecting its ability to turn up in the wrong place and cause a bit of a stir amongst the herd. It’s a wild boar’s survival strategy to push its snout into everything, so this is good practice.
I would have assumed that the big male boar would be in charge of the herd but he doesn’t seem to get his way with the sows, who emphatically stick up for themselves with a lot of outraged vocalisations.
In this iPad drawing from a photograph, I’ve limited my colours to three mid-tones, finishing off with a darker shadow version and an off-white tone for highlights.
My pen and watercolour wash drawing is just a couple of inches across. I soon realised that I should have had a better light on such a dark subject. When I bought the camera, I could have chosen the model in silver but, on the rare occasions when I’m photographing a subject behind glass, the black doesn’t show up in reflection.