Pheasants and Poppies

Wednesday, 7th June 2006

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These goldfish can mean only one thing: yes, I'm back at the dentist's for my regular check-up again.

I wanted to photograph these poppies in the border before the petals fall.

pheasantThe poppies can fend for themselves but some of the perennials that we put in under the bird feeders are getting knocked about a bit by the pheasants. As he ambles about his long stiff tail catches on the new plants. If they can get established the new plants will be able to shrug off such 'knock me down with a feather' scrapes.

The new salvia, a relative of the sage, seems immune to all the activity and is already a mass of purple flower.


Barbara's pleased with the way this hanging basket which she planted up for the patio is coming on.

young greenfinchIt's a lovely evening to sit outside for our meal. The birds are now so used to coming to the feeders that they don't bother about us. The chaffinches and greenfinches are usually about, a few feet away from us, although the goldfinches seem to be more shy, watching from the top of the crab apple tree as if they're waiting for us to go in.

The woodpecker hasn't come down while we're there yet but it has become a regular when we're not sitting out. It appears mornings and evenings but also at times in between (when we're less likely to be about to spot it anyway). I say 'it' but there are at least two great spotted woodpeckers visiting, a male and a female, the difference being the patch of red on the back of the head of the male, which is just plain black in the female.

Male pheasant 'grockling': a sudden gobbling cackle, followed by a shake of the wings. The garden would be SO peaceful without birds!!


The lupin is one of the plants most effected by passing pheasants as the stalks of the palm-like leaves keep getting broken.

The poppies have closed their petals again by this evening. I can't draw them without thinking of Art Nouveau designs of the early 20th century, so I find myself adding a border and lettering to make my sketch more of a design.



cocksfoot grassBesides the visit to the dentist's we have lots of errands to dovetail in and I'm amazed when I get everything done by 11, in time for a coffee break.

But as usual I take my small shoulder bag and snatch each chance I get to draw.

The view through the door at my mum's hairdressers and while my mum pops into the pharmacy I have chance to sit on a sunny grassy verge and draw cocksfoot grass in flower (there are little stamens hanging from the flowerheads, they look like tiny figures hanging from ropes). Next Page

Richard Bell,

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