Windows on Wilderness

Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary, Thursday, 5 August 2010

willowherbchimneyBARBARA'S MUM gets to come home today - she's keen to get back after nearly three weeks in hospital. Once we've done a bit of sprucing up in her house, I sneak off into her back garden, sit on the weathered timber edging of the raised bed and start drawing a garden weed; this small willowherb.

I feel myself unwinding as I slip into botanical mode. For these few moments this flower is the most important thing on the planet.

But of course this doesn't last for long! Darn! The next door neighbour has spotted me and calls across the fence to ask me for an update and to give me a 'welcome home' card for Betty.

hawthornhawthornPretty soon the patient herself is back and my communing with nature is over; but fading into the background in the kitchen, I can get a sneaky view back into the natural world; craning my neck to look out at the raised bed I can check on the colour of the willowherb flower; basically pale magenta but whether it comes down on the rosy side or cooler blue-violet side merits some attention.

I sketch in ArtPen and Noodler's ink whatever fragment of the natural world I can glimpse from this limited viewpoint, adding watercolour as soon as the ink is dry.

garden shrubhawthornpigeonThis constrained window on a tiny fragment of wilderness - if you can call an overgrown old boundary hedge wilderness - isn't the same as being out there, surrounded by nature. It would be great to have more time to get out and draw again.