A little Madness in the Spring

“A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.” Emily Dickinson

It was with great amusement, that we have been watching some rather unusual behaviour from our neighbours. We observed neighbours exiting and entering their house under large umbrellas on a sunny day, a business man, whirling his suit jacket wildly above his head, people ducking and weaving, a woman holding a clipboard on her head and my father, visiting with magazines atop his head.

It was all very funny, until, the swooping magpie parents, turned their attention to our side of the street. Going out to check the mail box has become a thrill seeking adventure. You cast your eyes about, then swiftly run to the mailbox. To your horror you hear tck tck and feel a brush of wings stir your hair. I now wear a hat to collect the mail.

In order to share my experience with you, I have been fairly brave. I stood photographing the magpies, standing my ground, until the last moment, I ran shrieking inside.

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A magpie in our tree, with me hiding under the safety of our porch.

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Magpie pretends not to be observing me.

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Here she comes, I hold my ground.

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A blurry magpie but I was not going to stand and focus.

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Hidden safely in the shrubbery, the prince or princess awaits their lunch.

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Ah, lunch is approaching…

 

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Getting my creative drive back

This year, I’ve been feeling a little down. It has really flattened my ability to dream and get in a state of flow through my art. So, to try and kick start the process, I purchased a beautiful pad of 100% Cotton Rag Water Colour paper and some artists’ inks which I have not used before. They sat in a paper bag for a few weeks. I peeked inside occasionally but didn’t take them out.

On Monday, in my art class for people with Intellectual Disabilities, my 80-year-old volunteer Judith, brought in a book of nursery rhymes from her childhood. It was beautiful. The rhymes were on the right side of the book, on the left were illustrations, all surrounded by lovely borders of tiny flowers and curlicues. I don’t know why, but into my head popped the idea of drawing Budgerigars or Budgies as we call them in Australia, bordered by a lovely edging.

I have decided to set myself a goal of creating 50 of these. The first one I abandoned half way through as I managed to smudge the pen and I wasn’t really happy with the oval shape. You can see my first completed effort below. I wish I was a speedy illustrator, this took me rather a long time. A feathery look was quite challenging for me, I really wanted to capture the softness of the little Budgie. What colour should I paint next?

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“Hello my pretty” 1 in Winter Owls Shop 

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I planned the border first, then I painted a very soft pink background and sketched the Budgie in pencil first.

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I’m quite happy with this for my 1st effort, stay tuned to see the next 49!

Look who is back in town

A raucous bunch have been hanging around my local park. This is a group I’m always pleased to see though. I knew they had arrived from the overhead screeching that shattered the peaceful afternoon. The Galahs were back in town.

I’ve written about these beautiful funny birds before. You can read more about them here:

https://winterowls.com/2013/08/21/pink-and-grey-a-perfect-colour-combination/

galah closeup

Hello my handsome

galah 1

I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.

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Flying free

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It’s time to take a bow.

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day to all! This year, take a leaf out of the Little Corella’s (Cacatua sanguinea) book; sit up and take notice of your surroundings. Hang around with friends, walk and drink in nature, chat and swap stories or simply enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream.

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Sit up and take notice

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Hang around with friends

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Walk and drink in nature and swap stories

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Enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream

A festive feel in the garden

In my garden, I don’t have red holly berries and snow in December, but I don’t miss out on a festive feel. Kangaroo paws as tall as me, are a blaze of red above strappy green leaves. The shy Little Wattlebird comes to visit too, dipping his beak into the flowers. As quick as a flash, he flies away.

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Three black ravens and a pink cockatoo

Does it portend anything when three black ravens fly over your head? I sincerely hope not because it happened to me today. Please don’t write in to tell me it’s a sign of bad luck as, I’m going to think of it as an opportunity to enjoy their glossy black feathers. Perhaps I have been thinking about Halloween projects for my classes too much.

My last three posts have featured the colour black, so here is a blast of colour to change things up. I’m hoping to do a series of Australian bird paintings, here is the first one. It features a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo. It is the only Australian Cockatoo that is salmon pink below and white on top. It also has a sneaky crest that appears to be white but has bands of gold and red when unfurled. It’s larger than one of my other favourites, the Galah but not as big as the Sulphur crested Cockatoo or Cockie as we like to call them in Australia. I hope you noticed that I also snuck one of my other favourite things in, the doily.

A little getaway part 2

In the late afternoon we walked around Lake Daylesford, past a gushing waterfall to the completely still lake. What really struck me when looking at the lake, was the contrast between the native bush of the Wombat Forest on one side, and the bright green leaves of the European trees on the other.

We came back to the lake on the next day before we left for home. The wind had picked up turning the lake into a mass of ripples. Water birds were everywhere along the shore. We saw Dusky Moorhens, white ducks, ducks with beautiful iridescent green heads and the stunning black Australian swan. I was lucky enough to snap a photograph of a swan spreading it’s wings and rising out the water. Beautiful and strong at the same time.

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Lake Dayslesford

ducks

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swan flapping