Cat portrait

Decided to have a go at drawing Cat's portrait using Derwent Studio coloured pencils, I just haven't used them for a long time and thought it would make a change from acrylic painting. I graphed Cat out as I was worried I'd lose my place with his markings. I've managed to make him look a lot sterner than he really is, he's a big softie - although the mice in the barn probably think differently....
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Portrait in progress

I've taken some photos as I did Sam the Border Collies portrait. I used Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic paints - Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna and Alizarin Crimson Hue Permanent. I thinned the paints with water and Cryla Flow Enhancer. The portrait is painted onto Daler Rowney Studland Mountboard....
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Elizabeth Mills 2016-11-02 21:12:00

Up to now Autumns making quite a spectacle of itself, the trees glow beautifully in the late afternoon sun and slime moulds and fungi are making surprise appearances in the fields. The oaks seem to have produced a really good crop of acorns this year, the fieldfares and redwings are back and every evening the starlings fly over us on their way to roost.Slime mould ?Fungi in fieldAutumn leavesSpangle gallsMurmuration  on the way home...

Autumnal butterflies

There is a definite nip in the air first thing in the morning and last thing at night but midday is as hot as any summer day we've had and the butterflies and bees are making the most of late flowering blooms to prepare for hibernation. My garden might be looking a bit past its best but theres still lots of lovely colour to make the most of and gladden the heart....
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Flies

The garden is full of flies, hoverflies and bees, they are especially fond of the marjoram and thyme and we noticed this fantastic fly looking more like a bumblebee. We think its Tachina grossa apparently it takes caterpillars for its young to feed on. Lovely.Update - I now have a pet fly! Like bees it love s sugar water....
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Elizabeth Mills 2016-07-21 21:34:00

We recycled old tractor tyres to make into flower beds and the wildflowers have really romped away. The little pond we made from an old water cistern has two resident frogs and a visiting toad who like to sit in the cool shade near it.Cornfield wildflower mix in tractor tyre filled with molehills.Looks so relaxing!Wildflowers love the gravelly area under the trees....

Friends of Bowland walk

Friends of Bowland organized a "Wildlife Wander" from Cross of Greets bridge. The weather fined up and it was lovely and sunny which brought out the grasshoppers, dragonflies and beetles. Lots of Meadow Pipits and Whinchats and possibly saw a Hen Harrier circling above. Found Bog Asphodel and Sundews....

Bleasdale

The fells around Bleasdale looked amazing, clear and bright in the sunshine, lots of curlew, lapwings and lambs.The old blonde stems of the rushes shimmering in the breeze. Saw my first swallow of the year. Its in for a shock this weekend - back to winter for a bit....
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Elizabeth Mills 2016-04-15 10:23:00

Nearly every Bumblebee I saw in Slaidburn on Wednesday had lots of mites clinging to them. On the Bumblebee Conservation Trusts web page they say that generally mites are harmless. The mites will probably have hibernated with the young queen and when she makes a new nest they will feed on wax, pollen, nest debris and any other small insects. At some stage they will hitch a ride on foraging worker bees who carry them to flowers where they wait to attach themselves to another visiting bumblebee and so travel to a new nest.Heavy infestations might make flying difficult for the bee and they suggest trying to remove some with a childs paintbrush...There is another mite Locustacarus buchneri that lays around 50 eggs in the bees respiratory system where they hatch and develop, the trust says its not known for sure if they are harmful but that must...