Only nature is able to take the most incrugious collection of colours and knit them together in the most harmonious way possible. Orange and blue is not a colour combination that features heavily in my home or even at all actually, even the suggestion seems a little garish in taste.
But the Nuthatch easily carries this combination off in their most beautiful plumage. A palate of creamy orange and pale slate blue arrangement works to stunning effect. Who or what this advantage was designed for we will never know, but the human eye can marvel over it none the less.
When you are next walking around your local wooded park, you may likely see one of these agile birds climbing up or down the bark of a tall tree. They have a way of arching their backs to look up whilst climbing down a tree which is quite distinctive.
The are fond of adopting old woodpecker holes to make their nests in, and will spend quite some time re modelling the front entrance with mud to make it narrower to suit their needs.
About 6 – 8 eggs are then laid by the female and both the parents will feed the young until they fledge at about 24 days. They will then still continue to support the young for about 10 days afterwards.
I love the way this bird has turned out, and with the black band across his eyes reminded of the pop star Adam Ant from the 80′ s. That’s not something that you can say very often.
This bird will be available at our exhibition in the ‘ Crafts in the Pen’ at Skipton Cattle Auction Market on the 21st and 22nd November. Please come and visit us if you can. We would love to meet you.
The Nuthatch photograph at the top of the page is one of David’s and he has started his own photoblog if you would like to check out more of his work please click here
I thought I would write a little about the historic mill where my studio is situated, Higherford Mill, Barrowford, Lancashire. Whilst once of a day workers in the mill would toil away at the cotton looms, now they toil away creating various works of art.
Higherford Mill was built by a wealthy local man, Mr Christopher Grimshaw in 1824. It was designed as a water powered cotton spinning then weaving Mill. It suffered a bad fire a few years after it was built and was partly remodelled . In 1932 it had steam power installed to supplement the water wheel to improve power to drive the looms.
This combination of water and steam power in the Mill was quite rare and helped to secure its future when after the looms finished working in 1971 it later became due for demolition.
The Heritage Trust for the North West, and local support managed to secure funding for the future of the mill and they acquired it in 1999. Future successful funding bids, enabled the building to slowly become a space for creative industries.
Today there are over 20 units and a central atrium, where exhibitions and events are held on a regular basis. I am tucked away on the first floor of the Mill and have a lovely view over the river. Standing outside the building looking up Pendle Water we can see the picturesque medieval pack horse bridge and the seventeenth century cottages along side it.
Looking up Pendle Water from outside the mill
If it is a nice day I walk along the river by the old water races that fed the water wheel, there are sometimes Dippers in the water and if you are lucky a Kingfisher. Its a lovely place to get inspiration for my bird art and reminds me how lucky I am to be so close to the countryside.
If you would like to find out more about the artists and future events at Higherford Mill please visit its facebook page here or blog page here