Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Death Valley, Northumberland

tree, in charcoal and rainwater
gorge, in watercolour, rainwater and riverwater
There's a place we go for walks, driving west from Sunderland towards Carlisle. It's a secret place of ours, a gorge with a thundering river, deciduous and evergreen trees, damp ferns, blackberries and raspberries and hazelnut trees, squirrels, pheasants, foxes, voles, ducks, and hundreds of birds. We call it Death Valley, because it's so little visited by creatures who walk upright on two legs that we often see nature at work, and there are no park keepers to clear away evidence of the cycle of life. We love it there, and so do our children, and so did our dog, May, who we miss terribly whenever we visit there. May's four-paw-drive was essential for her scrambling up steep moss-clad slopes, over rocks, and in and out of the river there.
Over the weekend we found ourselves there, in the mizzle and wind. The kids didn't mind the poor weather, wrapped in scarfs and hats and gloves. While they skimmed stones and built lost-causeways in the river I paused to do these studies.
I never knew charcoal changed character so much on a page covered in rain.


Melanie Rimmer said...

Your clock is still on GMT. Can you change it to BST? PS Don't forget to change it forward, not back ;-)

Yellow said...

And I thought you were going to say something nice about my drawings. Huh! Thanks sis.

Yellow said...

Okay, I give up. How do I change the time on my clock?

Bill of Ballaugh said...

One of the lovely things about retirement, and my life here in the backwoods of County Limerick, is my total disregard for time; except in the general sense of morning, afternoon and evening, and even they are moveable feasts. I didn't notice your clock was wrong. How horologically taut is that sister of yours. I like your drawings, Steph, but then, didn't I always. Leave the bloody clock as it is. It'll be right again soon enough!

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