Tuesday 30 June 2020

Newbold Comyn - the Wetlands

The aim of this walk in Newbold Comyn was to get to the wetlands, something we had not done before.

We looked at the map and then followed the river

at the end of the path we would reach the wetlands

lots of grasses on the edge of the path

which at times took us through woodland

but we invariably ended up being on the edge of the river again

it was glorious.

We reached the Hay Meadow, walked through it

reached this gate

and took the path that leads to the wetlands.

The Leam Valley Wetland, consists of 10 acres of wetland mosaic with pools, reedbed, marsh, wet grassland and wet woodland. Historically, this area was farmland until planted with trees in the mid-1970s. In 2001 the trees made way to create a wetland, more suitable for land situated within the floodplain of the river Leam.

the river flowing on our right

a profusion of wildflowers

The church of Radford Semele in the distance

We have reached the first bird hide

not a water bird in sight - we hoped we would be luckier when we reached the second bird hide

we continued on our way

and reached the second hide

Again, nothing, not a single water bird.

Here, you can usually spot kingfishers; black-headed gulls; swallows who visit from late March until October; reed warblers who come to visit in the summer; swifts who visit in the summer; mallards; mute swans who nest here in the spring; tufted ducks; shovelers; grey herons; snipes; lapwings.

We moved on. This path leads to the end of the nature reserve, and then another path takes one back

to the Hay Meadow.

Loads of dandelions here

but they are tiny - I have never seen such small ones.

Having walked through the middle of the meadow this time, we eventually reach the river again

took a different route this time

came across this pond which is covered with algae and which attracts many aquatic animals such as the common frog, smooth newts, dragonflies and damselflies. Large numbers of banded demoiselles can also be seen during the summer, as well as the white-spotted damselfly.

Finally, we walked through the woods and then it was time to go home. A wonderful walk.

Thursday 25 June 2020

The Stratford Gallery - Spring 2020

The Stratford Gallery, spring 2020 exhibition.

Lockdown restrictions are being relaxed in England, but it's too early, the infection rate and deaths are still too high, and I think that the government is doing this for the wrong reasons. So, I have no intention of changing anything in my behaviour, not yet anyway, but I decided to make an exception with some galleries, as I have missed looking at art and ceramics, and felt that it would be as safe going to a gallery as going to the supermarket.

So, we went to Stratford last week and it was wonderful. We had a long walk by the river and then visited two galleries that exhibit ceramics. This one, featured a number of makers and I have taken photographs of some of the pieces I particularly liked.

Katherine Glenday:


Wash Cup

Tanya Gomez:

Ice grey table vessels, (porcelain)

Mitch Pilkington:

Large blush vessel (handworked stoneware)

Small grey vessel, (handworked stoneware)

Medium white vessel, (handworked stoneware)

Maki Imoto:

Bottle (handmade glass)

Bottle (handmade glass)

Margaret Curtis:


Lara Scobie:

Oval vase

Prussian blue vase (parian clay)

Tall oval vase

Lisa Hammond:

Tokkuri with two guinomi (soda fired stoneware)

Jessica Thorn:

Peter Wills:

Medium agate ware bowl

Large agate ware bowl

River grogged porcelain tea bowl

same bowl, different view

Small agate ware bowl

Sim Taylor:

Various, (anagama ford porcelain, natural ash glazing)

Kirstie Macrae:

Machete, (earthenware, slips, oxides, glazes)

Abstract, (earthenware, slips, oxides, glazes)

Guinomis by various makers:

James Hake:

Nuka bottle (stoneware)

and two paintings:

Kerry Harding, Quay Steps Again.

Kerry Harding, Chapel Valley.