Nature and Art in North Devon

I have spent most of the morning trying to get a photo of the small birds flying around the bird-feeder in our garden, but without much luck!

There seemed to be hundreds of them, flying about and having a good time. Every time I got the camera out, even from inside the house, they flew away. I tried leaning casually against the wall outside, but they just disappeared, and I got very cold, waiting. I tried shooting from upstairs, but that was no good – then just as I got settled and one or two birds began to return, a large, very noisy vehicle with flashing lights came along, and some men started digging up the road behind the garden.

I bought the bird feeder before the winter started, because I felt sorry for them and wanted to help them through the winter months.  It can be difficult for birds to get food when there is not much vegetation, and the ground is cold and hard. Admittedly, winter is never terribly severe here in North Devon, but nature and wildlife are also under another threat to their existence:  a continuing onslaught of ill-considered ‘building developments’.

I managed to get a couple of photos through the window.

Once they got used to it, one or two birds started to come to the bird-feeder – then a few more, and a few more – and suddenly, quite a crowd started to come. Their names I do not know (I am not good with names), but include all the traditional garden birds – sparrows, dunnocks, finches, bluetits and great tits, robin, blackbird… It has been fabulous to watch them from my kitchen window early in the morning, and to listen to the beautiful song of the blackbird, telling the world that Spring is on its way.
I have been amazed how quickly the bird food has been disappearing. More and more birds are coming all the time.  It even includes a family of excessively friendly wood pigeons, who really shouldn’t be here, but they have been driven here by the destruction of their proper woodland habitat.
Where have all these birds come from?  I never saw so many, before we got the bird-feeder. Some of them must have come from miles away. Do they have some sort of secret interconnected telepathy going on? Or is it because birds can fly up high, and can see what is happening far below?
There is a downside to having all these entertaining little visitors: they are destroying the plants, especially our flowering clematis arch, where they love breaking off the twigs and scattering them on the ground. Plus… they have covered the ground with a multitude of little white droppings!
Which do you think is best – which would you choose?
a) a lovely clematis arch with lots of flowers in the summer,  
or b) lots of charming little birds, who sing nicely?

I have been very much enjoying everybody’s images, sent in for the Winter Workshop. I enjoy recognising the processes of nature everywhere and feeling the creative connection between all of us members.
It is great to have this opportunity of seeing people’s artworks from many different countries, and I am intrigued to know more about them!
More locally – I would like to mention a super exhibition, ‘Wave/ Particle’ by my friend, Duncan Hopkins, who lives nearby, down the road. I am not a painter, and this is not my usual type of work – but I was captivated not only by his skill, but by his amazing ability to convey, in paint, the fleeting moment, the power, the movement and the infinite transformations of nature – especially of water and light.
Duncan’s work comes from years of deep, close attention to the elements in this landscape – earth, air, water, sky – and most of all, light.
Although I took some photos of the exhibition with my phone, I decided the best way of giving you an impression of his work was to give you this link to his website:
Thanks, Duncan for permission to reproduce.

And thanks everyone for reading. Looking forward to hearing all your news!

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
This entry was posted in North Devon Coast, painting. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nature and Art in North Devon

  1. Linda Gordon says:

    You are right! Everything is interconnected. But my birds eat the plants before they have any flowers! 😦 Also they destroy the twigs for their nests! Maybe when they have finished eating the food I give them, they will drop the seeds on the ground and more plants will grow. Last week, from my window, I made a video of snow falling fast, accompanied by the sound of many birds singing loudly.. They were extremely excited and surprised by the snow.


  2. rooszwart says:

    What seems better the birds or the flowers, both as flowers can feed the birds. The fruits that come after flowering feeds the birds. The best would be the smell of the flowers next to the sound of the birds.
    However when come to choosing it will be the birds.


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