The Queen of the Broads

Saturday, 21st May 2005, page 2 of 2

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Drawn on a Broads cruise from Wroxham (colour added later)

grebegrebeGreat-crested grebes feed their stripy young. One adult swims low in grebe youngthe water as a chick, who now looks too grown up for that kind of thing, rides along on its back.

grey gooseEgyptian goose

marsh harrier

cootCoot and mallard have young . . .

. . . as do the greylag geese. Egyptian geese, pale birds which have red around their eyes, stand on the bank in a quiet backwater of one of the Broads.

A marsh harrier flies across in front of us and heads for the reedbeds of the RSPB reserve.

ternsLodden LilyTerns dive for fish in the River Bure.

At the water's edge at the RSPB reserve Lodden Lily, which has white bells, grows two or three feet tall.

BroadWindmill StudioThe Queen of the Broads offers something like a coach trip; a comfortable and informative introduction to the Broads. You couldn't see so much from a road - or even from a footpath.

The skipper points out so many points of interest, so many of the traditional features of the broads. For instance, there's a thatched cottage set back from the river which once belonged to 1930s singer and film star George Formby. An old windmill by the riverside was converted into an artist's studio.

Model Sitter

portraitThe upper saloon which I've chosen as the best place for drawing makes me think of the Mississippi riverboats of Mark Twain's era. I've soon got an audience of four girls sitting around my table watching me draw and, as we turn around and head back to Wroxham through a heavy shower, I draw the mother of two them, a woman who tells me she once worked as a life model in Kings Lynn art college.

The drawing doesn't turn out terribly well which is my fault; I was chatting away as I worked. Next Page

Richard Bell,

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