compared to neighbouring villages a mile or two nearer the coast, the migrating painted lady butterflies have largely ignored Bale. I have seen one on the bean field near the wood, three in Cake’s Lane, one at the top end of Clip Street, and one in my garden. yet eighty in two hours have been counted on a path two miles away. they are pretty flighty and not easy to photograph; my only butterfly photo so far this year is of a female orange tip feeding on some self-sown rape.

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as it is female it doesn’t have the orange tips to its wings.

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perhaps the solitary painted lady in my garden had spotted this, the one thistle-type flower which is out. it is a hard head, I have a lot of clumps of it, but the rest are still tightly budded.

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the ox-eye daisies are out, along with buttercups, yellow rattle and sorrel.

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one of the prettiest flowers, I think, is the common plantain.

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I have been fairly busy making bottles, I made twelve in the reconstituted red clay, and then realised that this shape would work in porcelain, of which I have two bags lurking under my work table. I am trying the Audrey Blackman, which is very white and transulcent, but is more liable to crack than some less white types.

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it’s nice to work on a smaller more delicate scale for a change. two have big cracks though, and probably will not survive; my experience of porcelain is that once it does this, it goes on unwinding and opening out more the higher it is fired.

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I have been having fun with a bit of texture on some; this one is marked with a small nail-scrubbing brush.

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I will have to work out my glazing policy with these pieces – shiny or matt? opaque or transparent? how much do I want to use the translucency and purity of porcelain, in contrast to my usual crusty style? I do have an opportunity to fire some work in an anagama and in a wood-fired soda firing later this summer, and I think that putting in a few porcelain pieces would be very interesting.