First Warbler

cormorantChurch by Trinity Walk centrewarblerFollowing the Aire into Leeds, we walk through a snow shower but as it clears and the sun returns we see our first warbler (chiff chaff or willow), just flown in from Africa, checking out the branches and twigs of a riverside willow.

A cormorant laboriously takes off flying upstream, into the icy wind before veering around and heading off down the valley.

manThe goosanders are diving so close and in such a good light that we can see the bottle-green iridescence on the drake’s head.

One more colourful item bobbing along on the Aire; Barbara’s wooly hat which blows off as we come to a wind-gap between the riverside blocks of flats. It’s close to the bottom of the eight foot stone embankment but as the nearest available branch is just three feet long we have to leave it, blown downstream by the icy wind.goosanders

Red Deadnettle

red deadnettlesketchbook pageAfter this winter, I’m right out of practice with botanical subjects so, determined to make a new start, on the first of March I dug this weed up from one of the veg beds and put it into a three inch pot to draw in close-up.

I tried going for a looser approach with pencil and watercolour but felt that I was losing my grip on its appearance.

red deadnettlered deadnettleThe pen and ink study made through the magnifying lens of a desk-lamp gave me definition but became too tight.

This last, loose drawing with an ArtPen is less of a botanical study but is in the sketching from life style that I feel more at home with.