Knapweed

2.55 p.m., 51°F, 11°C: I didn’t get around to mowing my small meadow area this autumn but I’ve got plenty of time to catch up with that before it bursts into growth again in the spring. As a bonus, I’ve got these bedraggled stems of knapweed to draw: a perfect subject for pen and ink.

There’s no breeze so I can get involved in mapping out the relative positions of leaf, seed-head and stem without the plants getting fidgety. The stems are the most difficult to get right as they have to curve gently but still end up at the appropriate junction of leaves. It’s like drawing a freehand map of major cities and joining them with gently the meandering connections of rail and motorway links.

Lamy Safari with Z24 converter and broad nib, filled with Noodler’s Black ink.

I’m using my Lamy Safari with the broad nib, as it moves easily across the paper, building a spidery network of stems and leaves.

This is common knapweed, Centaurea nigra.

Sing, Rattle and Splutter

A song thrush at the edge of the wood runs through some outlandish improvisations, in contrast there’s a dry rattle from a mistle thrush in a neighbour’s garden.

There’s the usual explosive spluttering outburst of indignation from a blackbird. A male blackbird flies down briefly to a nearby veg bed then it flies up into next door’s apple tree and settles on a perch, just watching the world go by for a few minutes.

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