Tag: Natural History
Here’s a new drawing lesson – how to draw a whale. I’ve learned a bit doing this. Cetaceans are warm blooded mammals and the skeleton of their front flippers show that they once lived out of the water and had forearms with five digits. Returning to the water, their back legs almost disappeared. There are vestigial bones to show that they once had them and a pelvis too. That is why the Whales tail is different to a fish. It is horizontal. A fish tail is vertical. So now you know!
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Spring is very late this year. I’ve been looking out for celandines for weeks. They face the sun and only open their flowers when it shines, brightening up the last days of winter and marking the first days of spring.
At last I’ve found some, on a bank on the side of the road that winds its way up to the cottages I’m staying in. I had to stop the car and leap out quickly to take the picture, mainly to show my Mum who also looks out for celandines… she usually sees them well before me.
I woke up feeling quite exhausted this morning. I tried to to some writing, but didn’t seem to get anywhere. I’m staying at my Father-in-law’s in Poole, as I’m doing sessions at the new Hamworthy Library opening tomorrow. He’s off on holiday, so I’m here all on my own with Jaffa the very old ginger cat. Jaffa sleeps most of the day, but when he wakes up he wanders around the house meowing his head off, looking for someone to make a fuss of him. It’s quite endearing, but not at three in the morning!
I decided to walk the beach this afternoon. It was glorious – almost warm. Well, not cold. I found one or two shells that I liked. The razor shell had a pattern on one end which I thought made it look a bit like a Viking carving. I also found a complete oyster shell, which is really rather beautiful. There were lots of lumpy shells on the waterline. They seemed to be lots of shells stuck together. I found one I really liked. I was about to put it in my pocket, when one of the shells moved. Most of them were still alive! From one angle they looked like a paw or a fist. I’ve got a pocket full of other stuff. I was going to photograph them, but I was distracted by a cup of tea and a slice of cake!
If you are near Poole, come along for a story tomorrow lunchtime at the fabulous new Hamworthy Library.
No, nothing to do with Twitter – I can feel a change in the air. Spring can’t be that far away and my pond was not looking too inviting for the frogs, so I got out in the breeze this afternoon and cleared out the gunk and detritis.. Mmm – lovely.
I have a feeling the frogs are getting twitterpated themselves and will be along quite soon to lay the frogspawn. It makes me feel quite chirpy!
The birds are singing in the Forest. It’s been so quiet since I started walking with my camera after Christmas. Spring is in the air – as you can hear by playing the video above.
I noticed quite a bit of rubbish today. Someone has been scattering their vegetable peelings on the paths! I’m not sure who they think they are feeding – the Boars? I still haven’t seen a boar – but I hope to one day.
One path I walked up was strewn about with fallen branches. Walkers have trodden on them skinning the bark down to the wood in places, making an attractive pattern that makes you feel like you are walking across the bone of a beached whale.
The cold weather seems to have broken, but they’ve brought a very grey, miserable rain with their joy.
Here is a lesson to help you draw a bat – c’mon – you know you always wanted to! I realised that I’ve been drawing them wrong for quite some time. Amazing what a bit of research will do! As ever, if you like it, please rate it with the stars in the top left hand corner. Enjoy.
Today marks a bit of a milestone in my drawing school- I’ll hit 25,000 videos shown on youtube. I think that’s quite good – i’s not like I’m showing videos of sneezing pandas or children getting bitten. It took me a year to get 2,000 views and abut four months to get the next 23k. My viewing graphs show a really nice curve, that statisticians would find very satisfying. Many thanks for all your views.
Any ideas about how I might improve would be gladly received. I don’t have a lot of time for it, so I do tend to do it in a bit of a rush.
You’ve seen the compare the meerkat and you’ve watched Meerkat Manor so now get a pencil and some paper and learn how to draw them for yourself. It’s simples, peeps!
As ever, please rate it with the stars in the top left hand corner if you like it. Many thanks. Yo can embed this in your own website if you like.
We had a day out shopping in Cardiff today. I saw the pair of shoes in John Lewis and thought they were a pefect example of form over function. They are not exactly perfect for playing basketball in!
The Daffodil hat was in the window of a shop selling everything Welsh. I imagine there must be rows of human daffodils that turn up to rugby games at the Millenium Stadium.
I took a short cut through a little garden park in the centre and was almost bowled over by the scent from a tree that I think might be a witch hazel.
On the way home, we were preceded by a fabulous rainbow that danced across the road in front of us. I can’t remember when I last saw such a bright one.
The trouble with going downhill is that you have to go all the way back up again. I was determined to find where two paths meet, so I carried on downhill until I got to the bottom of the valley. The circular route back up was very steep, but at least it opened out into this view across the forest.
I think my favourite tree is the Beech. I love their root systems, they way they twist and turn, making little caves and hollows. The bark has a metal quality, it looks as strong as iron. When I was a boy we woulld make little villages in the caves and garages for dinky cars at the bottom of a huge beech tree.
The edge of the forest is often used as a garden rubbish dump by locals. I came across this cyclamen, which must have been dumped there at some point. It’s not a wild variety.
Walking down the hill, I came across the barred up mine entrance in the picture. The Forest is riddled with mineshafts and quarries. This quarry will eventually break through to another, massive quarry behind it. A lot of the landscape is made from quarry and. Watch where you are going!