Pocket Hitchhikers – Autumn
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. by Robert Frost
How many times have you come back from a walk and found your pockets full of little treasures of nature?
It seems that some of us can’t help but pick up stones from the beach or conkers from the woodland, small tactile pieces of nature that make us feel good.
I remember as a kid spending hours throwing sticks up at chestnut trees to gather as many conkers as possible, sorting through them, examining them for the perfect shape and colour. The smooth feel and nutty brown colour seemed so beautiful, the perfect size for a child’s small hand. Gathering Sycamore seeds (or helicopters as they were known in Hull), throwing them up into the air, and watching them magically spin to the ground.
Now my own children have taken on this all important hobby. We have sticks, stones, sea glass, shells and seeds from our walks and travels. Memories of days spent on beaches, collecting just the right stone. We all have our own idea of what ‘just the right stone’ is, mine will always be grey with a white quartz stripe through, I’m always drawn to that perfect stripe. My youngest daughter goes for something smooth and with sparkle, mica flecked pebbles, or shiny quartzite. Our one joint love is finding a fossil, the hunt to be the first to find a stone that was once a creature millions of years ago.
In recent years I’ve started sketching and painting those treasures too. Some painting on location, an attempt to not bring everything home in my pockets.
Porth Meudwy beach finds
Hell’s Mouth pocket hitchhikers
Beach pocket hitchhikers
Other times painting in order to capture their beauty before they rot or fade in colour.
You can see a quick time lapse of painting the oak leaves here.
As I mentioned in this post , ‘Keeping a nature journal has been instrumental in my appreciation and thirst for knowledge of the natural world’. However I think that first started as a child, first started with a pocket full of conkers!
So I want to encourage you to go out and see what wonders you can find, that perfect stone, or beautifully coloured leaf, and share your ‘Pocket Hitchhikers’. A photograph, or even a sketch or painting. I’d love it if you could tag me @raspberrythief and use the hashtag #pockethitchhikers on Instagram so we can share those wonderful finds. It would be interesting to see how similar or different our finds are across the world.
I decided to turn the ‘pocket hitchhiker’ sketches I made last Autumn into a print, capturing the beautiful colours of Autumn. You can find it in my Etsy shop.
Pocket Hitchhikers – Autumn