Blackthorn Blossom

Coxley Wood

It’s been a good year for blossom. The splash of blackthorn at the edge of the wood has lasted well and is still looking at its best.

Most daffodils are looking seedy, crocuses have vanished and as I write this I’m looking out over weedy veg beds that are crying out to be planted.

It’s National Gardening Week here and we’ve got a long Easter weekend ahead so I better get started.

Parking Lot Fossils

fossilsI decided to go for pencil and wash for this illustration for a forthcoming Dalesman article. HB pencil seemed more appropriate for grey forms and I thought that pen and ink might flatten the forms.

I picked these up at Nethergill Farm, Langstrathdale, last summer amongst the crushed limestone of the parking area. There are three fragments of sea-lily stem, a darker fragment run through with the fossil coral Lithostrotion and, at the back, a fragment of one of the valves of a fossil brachiopod.

They date from the Lower Carboniferous period, some 350 million years ago when a tropical sea covered the Yorkshire Dales.

Bird Stop

squirrel and chaffinchesSince we came back from our short break in Germany we’ve been catching up with things but I did manage to put pen to paper when we stopped at the Riverside Cafe near Hathersage on our book delivery rounds.

wine table and cushions

We can’t always find a table within a few feet of an array of well-stocked bird feeders but after our tour by rail and ferry I’m back in the habit of drawing whatever comes my way.