All day long yesterday and today we could hear the distant mournful cries of cranes as they fly North from their winter feeding grounds in Spain and Africa, up to the Baltic States to nest and breed during the summer months. They fly above the house twice a year when heading either north in Spring, or south in Autumn. It lifts your heart to hear that raw chorus of raucous cries, for they are heralding Spring…..hoorah!
The mass migration can last up to a month, but it’s always exciting to hear the first vanguard. There were hundreds and hundreds yesterday; we rushed out to watch them shielding our eyes against the glare of the sky. Every year we are mesmerised by clouds of birds whirling round whilst caught up in the thermals, losing direction, swirling round and round until they find their bearings, then within a few seconds they fall back into that familiar V formation, then onward they fly slipstreaming and calling, day and night. It is not easy to find the strength to pull yourself away from watching this phenomenon which has been repeating itself for thousands of years, and will continue long after we are gone. No frontiers for them, they have the freedom to move when they wish.
To the casual observer these photos are probably just a load of pictures of the sky with a few black specks, but they remind me of our insignificance in the great scheme of things.
In my last post I showed some acrylic colour sketches, I’m not sure I like working with acrylics. I suppose I must persevere though, because I am working in a confined space and the oil solvents are affecting my throat. As it’s still cold, (we have had thick frosts the last couple of days) I am working in the house when I get the chance; I only hope those cranes know what they are doing, it doesn’t feel any warmer to me!
Here are two 10 x 10 canvasses painted with acrylic, they have a different feel from oils. I am tempted to work some oil over the top, but I am leaving them for a while. The tomatoes aren’t quite finished, as you can see the stalks need emphasising.