Between snow showers there were hares
This morning, to my surprise it snowed. A light covering which after an hour disappeared except for shady spots out of the sun's warmth.
Traces of the early morning snow in the shade of the hedge.
After eating my lunch I noticed the sun was shining so I decided to go for a walk with my sketch book. Although once I was outside the shelter of the building and gardens on the edge of the village, the North wind was stiff and cold and the distant clouds probably hold more snow.
I'd barely crossed the first field when I spotted a hare. No , not 'a' hare but a meeting of 5 hares ... maybe 6. The Buzzard I often see on my walk, was on her favourite perch on the remains of a dead tree. She took off and soared around high over my head. I crouched down on the edge of a ditch and tried to film the hares (if you double click on the video you should be able to view it full screen) ...
Hare and Buzzard watching ... apologies for the buffeting wind.
Two hares crossed into the next field so I continued my walk and keeping close to the hedge so I was as unobtrusive as possible, I watched again. I hope you can spot the hares racing about over the green wheat shoots in the sunshine.
Hares enjoying the sunshine.
March is the traditional time to see hares meeting up and boxing (the females box to fend off unwelcome males), in recent years I've noticed that the local hares seem most socially active in February.
One hare rejoined the 'meeting's the far field and I continued watching the single hare, she lolloped about nibbling blades of wheat. Then she stood on her hind legs shadow-boxing, practicing her moves with a flurry of fore-paws. She then skipped along the hedge boundary, across the ditch and into the far field.
Try to spot the hare move into the next field.
The hares were a lovely distraction but I wanted to do some sketching and those clouds were about to dump some more snow. (Click on the images to see them larger.)
I plodded on upstream next to the Stour Brook. The fields were sodden with water from the melted snow.
I found a bank of dry grasses in the shelter of a hedge, a perfect spot to shelter and sketch the line of the hedge and the distant woods ... and those clouds.
I've recently been looking at the Suffolk landscapes by Rowland Suddaby, he was a Yorkshireman who moved with his family to Suffolk at the start of WWII. During the 1940s and 50s he painted the landscapes of Suffolk and Essex, later in the 60s his work became abstract. I particularly like how he uses colour in lose patches which build together to evoke the landscape and the light and weather conditions. I love how he depicts trees in winter.
This is the sketch I did today. The hedge was made up of a mix of warm reds, ochres and purples. In the distance is a willow, the tips of the branches glow orange. The woods and trees in the far distance are blue/grey. And the Ash tree in the foreground is dark grey in the shadows with the sun shining on the bright yellow ochre lichens.
On a practical note, I found that I could use the still wet darker paint as a palette to dip my aqua-brush into to paint the delicate pale colours in the background.
Time for a brisk walk back and then a mug of hot tea ... I just made it back before the next snow shower.