Larch Cones

larch conesThese larch cones from Langsett have opened up since I brought them back to the studio.

larch conesI’m pleased at how my habitual set up for natural history drawing is working: a Lamy Safari filled with Noodler’s brown ink plus Winsor & Newton professional watercolours (formerly known as artists’ watercolours) applied with a water-brush. In my early days I’d always carry a dip pen and a bottle of brown Indian ink with me but this gives very much the same effect and is so much more convenient and reliable.

There’s not much colour in this though; I started with yellow ochre, as I so often do, then added neutral tint to get the darker brown. There might be the slightest hint of raw umber and burnt sienna which I’d been using earlier in the palette lid of my W&N bijou watercolour box.

Golden Hornet

golden hornetIt’s been a good year for apples, including the Golden Hornet crab by the pond which is covered in them. Last winter I didn’t get around to trimming off the long shoots growing up from the crown and, like the rest of the tree, they’re festooned in yellow apples. I’d normally try and prune it in the autumn but, as the tree is looking so spectacular, I’m leaving that task until the spring. The blackbirds and the mistle thrush will appreciate that.

Bracket Fungus

TrametesThis bracket fungus, Trametes veriscolor (formerly Coriolus versicolor), is growing on a stump at the Denby Dale Road end of the carriage drive in Clarence Park, Wakefield. When Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes Park were laid out as a public park by the Victorians, horse chestnuts were planted along this drive.