A Basket of Plums

Sunday, 22nd August 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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While we're here, we're not going to turn down my Mum's invitation to pick a few Victoria Plums. I spot this basket, a leftover from a large dried flower arrangement, in the summerhouse and it doesn't take me long to pick these. Some of the branches are hanging festooned with ripe plums.

I sketch them as plain outlines, variations on that simple shape, but they look like a lot of soap bubbles so I can't resist adding a touch of shading in the darker spaces to explain what is going on, followed by shading on the surrounding plums because they now look too flat.

By this time the drawing looks solid enough, in fact it looks like a basket of potatoes, so I've no choice but to get out my crayons and add the colour, without which plums would not be 'plums'.

The basket is too large and too repetitive for me to draw in the time available so I draw in the bit which appeals to me most: the handle. I like it's definite structure and the twist, like a Celtic torque.

Barbara goes Scatty

fox scatBarbara looks out on all the work she did on the flower border yesterday and exclaims that there must have been a dog in the garden overnight. In fact it's a fox that has left its dropping - a fox scat: you can tell by its clayey look and that wisp of a 'tail' at one end.

Foxes like to mark their territories so that other visiting foxes will know who's about so they choose changed features, particularly rather smelly changed features, which they know other foxes won't be able to resist investigating.

pansiesThe large cigar-sized dropping is there in a little scrape on display right at the front of the arrangement of autumn-flowering pansies Barbara put so much effort into planting.

Ground Force eat your heart out.

painted ladyBack to the Fuchsia

Visiting a colourful garden border, a fresh-looking painted lady is the first we've seen for several months. If this migrant butterfly has appeared I wonder, is there a possibility of an influx of hummingbird hawkmoths?

Hummingbird hawkmoth, copyright Allan PidgeonAs if to answer me, Allan Pidgeon from Kings Lynn e-mails me these photograph of one that is currently visiting a Fuchsia in his garden. The one on the left in particular looks uncannily like a hummingbird.

Kings Lynn is on the east coast so, if there has been a fresh invasion, there's a possibility of them reaching us during the next week.

My thanks to Allan for sharing these. Next Page

hummingbird hawkmoth, copyright Allan Pidgeon

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Macroglossum stellatarum, photographs © Allan Pidgeon, 2004.

Related Links

Jörg Kolibri's Hummingbird Hawk-moth page

Hummingbird Moth or Sphinx Moth? by Thomas “Hank” Hogan

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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