Farmyard Goose

farmyard gooseAt the car park at Cannon Hall a gaggle of about a dozen farmyard geese, mainly white, graze on the grass verge until a couple of walkers arrive with a bag of breadcrumbs.

The domestic goose is descended from the greylag but stands more upright than its wild relative because it has been selectively bred to be three times as heavy and to accumulate fat around its rear end. One of the geese had a dewlap and a similar flap hanging between its legs. This is a feature of the Toulouse, an old French breed.

In the American Pilgrim goose, males are always white and females grey.

daffodils‘Denied the opportunity to forage [geese] are uneconomic,’ writes John Woodward in The Field Guide, ‘for they have large appetites . . . the income derived from geese rarely justifies the use of valuable pasture.’

A toddler with a large bag of breadcrumbs is next in line to feed them.

Jumbo Grip Pencil

Oak at the corner of the car park, Cannon Hall (pen and watercolour).
Oak at the corner of the car park, Cannon Hall (pen and watercolour).

My drawing is a composite as these geese never keep still. I started with the head and worked down. When the birds set off in a different direction I kept adding to the sketch, transposing the shapes as if I was mirror-writing. Sometimes I’d be drawing one of the white geese, sometimes the one with the dewlap but the greyish-brown geese did have the white rear end, as I’ve drawn it here.

I drew the goose with a Faber-Castell Jumbo Grip pencil (below). With its triangular cross section and its rubberised ‘SoftGRIP’ stipples, this is one pencil that you’re not going drop even if you’re working in gloves. The matching pencil sharpener is easier to use on location than a craft knife. There’s a pencil-thin slot in my art bag that it fits neatly into so it’s not going to lose it’s point by getting jammed in with my pens and watercolours.

jumbo grip pencil

I’ve used various clutch pencils, otherwise known as propelling pencils, but they don’t have the bite of  a real pencil. The Jumbo Grip is rated B for hardness and is described as ‘ideal for learning to write’. But I like it for drawing too.

Link: Jumbo Grip Pencil

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