Spring Fires Ahead

What a wonderful time of year it is! Our garden is alive with birdsong and life. Each morning a hare visits our lawn and browses on the overgrown grass which is a great excuse for me not mowing it! After moving he will not normally return again until the grass is four or five inches. I might plant some wild flowers in a section of the lawn next year and let it  grow wild, the hares love the security of the longer grass to feed in. The “weeds” will not have to be planted! Hares nibble the plantain and dock leaves I’ve noticed.

The mistle thrushes visited our garden this week for the first time. I have not seen them since their fledglings were killed by the magpies last summer. They feed in a very different manner to their smaller relatives the songthrush. They hop forward in powerful bursts and hold themselves very erect in such a proud manner.

The willow warbler is a relative newcomer to our property. I only started noticing these birds frequently about five or six years ago but now there are at least two pairs in the garden. They are staying with us now during the winter as well as far as I can make out. Their song is wonderful and bubbly and is a great addition to the blackbird and song thrush.

I took a walk along the banks of the river boyne at the end of March and was lucky enough  to spot a magnificent dog otter feeding on eels. I tried to sneak towards him for a better photo but he was aware of me and kept working his way downstream. The early morning light on the water that morning is still vivid in my mind and I would love to paint a picture of this scene sometime. I plan to head back next week with my gear and see if I can get a closer image. I will keep ye posted.

I live within a stones throw of the bog. Some of the local farmers burn strips the bog every spring to encourage sweet  aftergrass for their stock.Unfortunately some of them burn into the month of April which causes damage to bird nests and young hares.

I took a walk in some native woodlands last week. I was trying to get some photos of jays which I IMG_9318 IMG_9303 IMG_9217 IMG_9173 IMG_9172 IMG_9157 IMG_9004 IMG_8943 0O8A9279 0O8A9251 0O8A9234 0O8A9181 0O8A9188 0O8A9223had  spotted on a previous occassion. They are very wary birds. I finally heard their chatter and was motionless under an old oak hoping that they might swing my way. I suddenly had the feeling that I was been watched. Out of the corner of my eye a fox was sitting on his hind quarters calmly looking at me. We exchanged stares for about two minutes before he tottered off. I had never seen such a relaxed fox.

I have not bee at my easel for some time now due to family matters. I have managed to get back in the swing of things this week and have been busy catching up on commissions. I will try to post some pics of my recent work shortly.

My next show will be Shanes Casle BASC Game Fair on the 27/28th of June.









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