Starting afresh

I've been blogging for over 10 years (you can find my previous blog posts here) but over the past year I've posted less frequently ... my work routine and interests have changed and social media has moved on. Recently I've enjoyed posting photos taken on walks on my Instagram, although I can write a lengthy caption I can't include clickable links and I missed the narrative of a blog. So, instead of adapting my old blog I've stated afresh with Herbationes ... a word that's been hovering at the back of my mind since visiting Uppsala last summer.

Walking upstream beside the Stour Brook 

By the way, if you click on the photographs you can view them at a larger size.

The first few weeks of 2018 have been buffeted by a series of storms, days have been short dark wet and windy. I've been waiting to start this blog but wanted to to begin with my local 'herbatione', walking and looking along a track that follows the Stour Brook upstream nearly to its source on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border. And I wanted to start on a bright day that hints that spring is not far off . . .
Looking towards Littley Wood

This is the walk I do to stretch my legs and get some fresh air, I saw the Buzzard ... she's often perched on a dead tree in the hedge on the far side of the field. As she takes off I see her distinctive cream belly and thigh feathers ... Buzzard plumage varies in colour and this one is particularly pale.

A network of Ash branches against the blue sky

I walk past Ash trees on the bank of the brook, their bark is grey with ochre coloured lichen enhanced by the clear blue of the sky.

Ash tree shadow across the field

I'm interested to look at the colour of winter trees ... tree trunks are rarely brown. Littley Wood, crouched on the curve of the low hill changes colour by the weather ... blue/mauve/grey on cold dark days, purple/burgundy at sunset ... today it is speckled with yellow/lime/silver.

I'm carrying my small sketchbook, water-colour markers and aqua-pen. Sketching focusses the mind and makes you look in a more analytical way. I'm not aiming to create a finished work of art, I'm describing what I see. There's no 'going wrong', it's a record of a narrative in my mind ...

 The fields of Winter Wheat are curved shapes of bright green.
The field in the distance is slightly paler.
In the foreground the wheat looks blue-green.

 The sky is a clear bright blue, paler towards the horizon.
The wood undulates along the top of the hill, 
the tops of the trees are yellowish.

Behind me are a line of trees, their shadows stretch out across the field
the shadows seem to almost reach the wood.
The bare twigs of the hedges shine red/burgundy/purple.
The base of the hedges is dark Payne's Grey.
The dry grass along the headlands is a thin pale yellow ochre line.
In the wood I can see dark vertical tree trunks.
In the far distance is another wood and two large trees,
they are blue/grey.

There are some Pine trees in the wood. 
They are solid blue/green patches among the network of greys/ochres/pinks.
The sun illuminates one side of the wood, 
making the yellows glow.


  1. Love the name, look forward to reading more x

  2. OK, I have bookmarked Herbationes and added you to my reader.
    I like the way you tell us what you've sketched, and how; very helpful for someone new to the idea of walking and sketching.
    And Happy new Year!

    1. Thank you D, sketching really helps you to look, the finished picture isn't important ... but is often interesting.

  3. I will follow your new blog. Liked the notes along with your water colour pen drawings.

  4. It's amazing how much you see when you take the time to look. What a brilliantly blue sky; I like the light on the ash tree.
    Looking forward to following your new blog.

  5. Gosh, I enjoyed that tutorial very much, thank you Celia. I like the fresh new look of this blog and the premise behind it. I will add it to my reader and look forward to reading your next posting.

    1. Thank you. Not all posts will include sketches but I will definitely be doing more.

  6. Beautiful! I love the countryside photos and your sketch. Glad you managed to find a break in all the drizzle and cloud xx

    1. Thanks for visiting, the bright days have been few and far between this January.

  7. Celia, it has taken me a while to treat myself to visiting your new site. I have completely enjoyed this view. I really feel as if we are sitting in a cafe and you are showing me your sketchbook and talking about your beautiful part of the world. xo

    1. Thank you for visiting my new blogging place, Frances. I hope I'll blog more frequently now I have a clutter-free space to fill.


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