Friday 19 June 2015

Artist in residence

This afternoon, following a 'coffee and cake' business meeting at a nearby cafe (it's a tough job, but someone has to do it), I popped into the hide at the RSPB's Loons reserve for a spot of West Mainland birding. Actually, that's not strictly true, as I mainly spent my time using my bins to scan the vegetation at the water's edge for damsels and dragons.

A vague thought went through my head (yeah, they're all fairly vague, to be honest) that I wouldn't leave the hide until I had seen one.

There were three other folk in the hide: a couple on holiday, happily counting fluffy ducklings and wishing bad things upon the Great Black-backed Gull that was threatening to eat them; and an artist painting a panoramic mural of the immediate area, complete with all manner of flora and fauna. 

I was absolutely awestruck. It's one thing to have the talent to paint, but it's several others to be able to create readily-identifiable wildlife in intricate detail, in a public place, whilst happily chatting about all manner of ecological what-have-you. Not to mention suppressing the urge to ram a paint brush in the eye of the eejit leaping about, taking photographs for his blog.

Sorry :o(

Curlews emerging from the undergrowth
Coot and Bogbean
A smorgasbord of artistic potentiality

Lapwings flying onto the wall

Snipe and Toad
A lady with more patience than I could possibly contemplate
Whilst discussing pond construction, the conversation produced this gem...

"I'm experimenting with bentonite."

"You're experimenting with Ben tonight?!"

It's a wonder I didn't inherit a paint brush in the other eye.

On the plus side, I could now leave the hide, because...

Large Red Damselfly
Whilst typing this blogpost, I have remembered that this isn't the only Orcadian hide to be blessed with such wonderful images. About six weeks ago, we visited the new building at RSPB Cottascarth, which celebrates the moorland realm of the Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl.

Thanks, AB, your work is truly inspirational.

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