I haven’t been using my diary pages for some time, but in the last few days I’ve been so surprised by nature that I’ve decided to start afresh. On Saturday I was enthusiastically clawing my way through a wild corner of the garden, just a few metres from the house and realized something very close to my hand was looking directly at me. It took a moment to see her, a female pheasant sitting on her nest, absolutely still, but her eye was on me. In the following days we acknowledged each other every morning – and I fenced off my vegetable garden. When she was absent from the nest I counted the eggs and amazed to see there were fifteen. Then yesterday there were five hatchlings out of the nest. Today they are all gone, with the remains of all the empty eggs. I now see the the family tucked away in a shrubbery, the mother fending off a jackdaw. I wonder how many of the brood will survive.

The colours of the pheasant, the eggs and chicks amongst the twigs and dry grasses of then nest were a lovely range of browns and inspired me to mix theses tertiary colours using purple, yellows and white for this painting.

garden to hills

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