The thing I like most about the nature blogs I follow is the photography. I am not brave enough or knowledgeable enough to risk putting any pictures amongst my prose, but today I have put new photo's on the edges of the page. I have done this so that you can have an idea of what an extraordinary life I lead. Not!
During the course of today, when I should have been out drawing portraits, Sadie the German Shepherd and I went for a walk to the village. Nothing very exciting happened.
I did get a soaking as we passed by the huge sprinkler system which has been crawling up and down the rows of potatoes. In fact as it has been such a hot day I found it quite refreshing. Well all right to be honest with you, I walked under the spray deliberately. Sometimes I behave like a big kid. I tried to persuade Sadie to join me but she is far too intelligent. It wasn't until after I had refreshed myself in this way that I began to worry about what might have been added to the water. Suppose it had fertiliser in it. Or worse, some horrid chemicals. I had a good sniff of myself and, oh my word, I smelt terrible. However, on reflection, I decided that I didn't smell any worse than I normally do. So I carried on with the walk.
Inspired by the nature blogs, I had my camera with me, and so when I spotted a couple of ladybirds I attempted to photograph them. I say that I spotted the ladybirds. This is true in one way and false in another. They already had their spots when I spotted them. The spots were none of my doing. They were spotted ladybirds. It might have been possible, if I'd had a paint brush and some paint with me, that I would be able to add spots. But I didn't. The spots are genuine. I'm going to get off the subject of ladybirds for now. It's getting out of hand. Anyway they are very small insects and I can't even see them in the photo.
On reaching the park and still being of a mind to capture some nature shots I became excited when I spotted, no not spotted, noticed, a bee entering a buttercup. Quickly ordering Sadie into the sit and stay position I dropped to my knee's. I must remember not to do that again. My knee's don't like it. Very painful. However I was down now and slowly and carefully crept up on the bee. Oh dear! I do wish people would clean up after their dogs. The bee must have flown off as I was setting my camera to close up. Never mind, I'll try again tomorrow. I made a mental note of the time. Hopefully that bee is a creature of habit.
Despite my creaking knees I managed to catch up with Sadie, who had completely disobeyed my order to sit and stay. She had been tempted by a strong desire to sniff at the rear end of a passing spaniel. I understand strong urges, so I let her off with just a mild scolding in this instance. The spaniels elderly owner had sadly got herself worked up into a bit of a strop, and surprised me by employing the descriptive talents of a drunken sailor, as she explained exactly what she would like to do to my big brute of a dog. Really madam! A little decorum please.
So it was that Sadie and I made it to the village shop. Where, using the knowledge gained from years of service as a merchant mariner I managed, after several attempts to secure her lead to the bike rack. Sadie always looks sad and forlorn when I leave her like this. So I was not surprised to find as I left the shop, that she was being fussed over by an attractive woman. This happens a lot with Sadie, and it is always women who are attracted to her. I have not yet worked out a strategy for deflecting this attention away from Sadie and on to me, but it is something I am actively working on. Perhaps if I tied myself to the bike rack... Hmm! Might be worth a try.
Another chance for a fantastic nature shot occurred as we made our way back across the park. I saw a pair of birds sitting on the grass. They may have been standing. I couldn't be sure as they were some distance away. Camera at the ready I tried to look nonchalant and uninterested as I drew nearer. One of the birds saw straight through this bit of trickery, and flew off, but to my surprise the other one stayed where it was. I got within a few metres and it very kindly allowed me to take several photos before Sadie came galloping along and finally the bird saw sense and took off. It's so easy this nature photography. Obviously the secret is to pretend you haven't noticed your quarry. Simple!
Sadie's claws had scratched me yesterday as she asked for a biscuit, so we walked the rest of the way home on the pavement. I think the tarmac makes a good job of filing her sharp claws down, and it saves me struggling with the nail clippers. She is not fond of having her nails clipped.
This way home enabled me to take a few shots of the local scene to share with you. Unfortunately it also allowed Tricia to see me coming and gave her a chance to ask me to fix her bike which had got stuck in gear. I got Sadie safely home and turned my attention to the bike. After a couple of hours it was fixed enough for her to ride, and she cycled off to work.
I was by now ready for a cup of tea, and had just put the kettle on when the phone rang. It was my handsome son George needing to be picked up from the station. Good heavens! Is it that time already? How time does fly.
George wanted a football kickabout when I got him home. I don't like to miss these rare opportunities to spend time with him, so we spent a happy hour or so as I demonstrated my phenomenal skill as a footballer.
He then went off to have something to eat, and I was finally able to make myself a nice cup of tea.
Yesterday I was commissioned to paint a portrait of a dog. So I now spent a bit of time dithering about whether to start work on it, before finally deciding that it could wait until tomorrow. Not out of laziness you understand. No! It was just that I had seen some birds in the hedgerow and was keen to photograph them. Which is why I have included these snaps of the hedge. There are birds in there somewhere but I'm blowed if I can see them. Actually, please forget about the hedge photos. I can't find them. Sorry to get your hopes up.
Suddenly it was time for me to get ready for open mic night at the Winterton Arms. I hadn't eaten for hours and decided that I would eat something at the pub as I had no time to prepare anything. The kitchen at the pub was shut by the time I arrived. However despite my hunger pangs the evening was very enjoyable.
Now I am back home. Not much to eat here either but I managed to rustle up a cheese and onion sandwich. A wonderful concoction to go to bed on. The indigestion has already kicked in.
That's about it then. Another productive day over. So I will wish you goodnight. I must get to bed. There is a busy day ahead tomorrow. I shall get such a lot done.