and I have not even posted until oh dear it’s almost July …

there are so many beautiful flowers in the hedgerows now

I hardly need to write much in between the photos

we have been taking some longer extensions on our regular walks (we being the dog and I) through Sharrington towards Brinton and then turning down a tiny lane with the most enormous hedges

and semi-wild pasture behind the big thorn trees

then turning up past Hill Farm through Swan Lane, a lovely green lane, back to the road that leads down to Bullfer grove. it adds an extra mile, and even more excitement for Bims when a hare crosses our path.

all the green lanes have been cut, some twice, so they are not hard to walk.

I hope the hedge verges don’t get cut too many times

I have been painting a lot, a slight worry, since I will be moving this year and I am just creating more stuff to take with me.

perhaps I will sell some, you never know.

just continuing the puzzle of how to make paintings work.

the garden is full of wild flowers too, this is woundwort, used since the ancient Greeks to make a poultice and stem bleeding.

knapweed is a favourite for insects, this red tailed bumble was foraging over the whole clump

hard to get a good photo

yellow rattle helps to keep the grass from dominating as it’s parasitic. the seed-heads do rattle!

more greens than ever in my paintings

this is one where there’s so much texture built up by successive paintings that in the end

I can achieve a complex abstract evocation of landscape with a few thin coats of paint and expressive brush marks.

and then this is quite different. again, there is considerable build up, but then I have glued on some already painted paper torn into shapes and then blocked in the dark brown and the grey, leaving some of the last goings-on to show, and suddenly it’s a still-life, “lustre cups on a table”.

this complex abstract is the final of three attempts at my Pool in the Wood theme. it’s so easy to over do it and make them too fussy. I’m pleased with this now, but my ambition is to keep them simpler.

a large box canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm, over a yellow painting I did in April. the yellow really helps everything going on over the top. again, a pool, The Last Pool of Darkness, a theme in tribute to Tim Robinson (see previous blog post), that’s the title of one of his Connemara trilogy. but also I have to admit to a big influence from Idris Murphy, the Australian landscape painter, who often paints waterholes and dams. it does mean the sky part of the landscape can be in the middle, or at the bottom of the painting.

back to the lanes and the hedgerows, a couple of weeks ago the grass was in flower, with these extraordinary red/pink colours

colour often surprises me

these luminous dock leaves

and the rusts and oranges

they are very bright

similar colours, yesterday I saw the first silver-washed fritillary by the wood. he wasn’t very cooperative and I couldn’t get closer. the females are paler and more leopard-spotted. I haven’t seen them this early before, usually it’s late July.

these are marsh thistles, should be good food for butterflies

another of my walk extensions is to take the back lane from Bale to Hindringham, then through Hindringham to Moor lane and back across the fields to the wood, and Cakes lane.

the footpath across the fields runs alongside a ditch

and it is full of wild flowers

scabious and meadow sweet, St John’s-wort (Perforate), white bryony, bindweed …..

I’m not sure what this tall thing is, I will have to check again when those buds have opened more. some damp-loving thing – now I have taken the trouble to leaf through Simon Harrap’s very thorough and useful Wild Flowers, I’m pretty sure it’s a figwort. could be green, water or common. I’ll have to get in close and inspect it properly.

I’m quite surprised there are so many wild flowers in this narrow passage between a field of wheat and another of barley, especially as one is informed by a warning sign as one enters the wood, that these crops have been sprayed.