Summer In Yorkshire Print from Raspberry Thief
Summer In Yorkshire
“I tried to find beauty there where I had never imagined before that it could exist, in the most ordinary things, in the profundities of ‘still life'” – Marcel Proust
By the time Summer came upon us, drawing and journalling everyday had become a welcome habit. From the epiphany I had in Spring, the sense of new beginnings and learning, to a feeling of natural habit. The feeling of making leaps in my watercolour and drawing technique, purely through the act of drawing and painting everyday (you can see my progress through the #the100dayproject ) .
The act of noticing, noting and documenting what I’d seen on my travels across Yorkshire became second nature, and the more I did it the more I saw. Keeping a nature journal has been instrumental in my appreciation and thirst for knowledge of the natural world.
Summer, from the Dales in the West, to the Yorkshire coast in the East were filled with treats that anyone can see. Walking in June up Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, seeing swallows flying under barn doors and wheatear hopping along the beck and limestone pavements of Ingleborough.
The star of the show though for Yorkshire had to be breeding spoonbills at my local nature reserve RSPB Fairburn Ings. It’s the first time spoonbill have bred in Yorkshire for 400 yrs, and they’re back again this year with 4 babies hatched. You can still catch sight of them if you take a trip, a special viewing area has been set up. It’s odd seeing such an exotic bird sat in a tree in an old mining area of Yorkshire.
Fairburn Ings Spoonbill illustration.
The Yorkshire coast does not disappoint in Summer. We camped along the cliff top near Flamborough. As well as seeing the vast cliffs full to the brim of puffin, gannet, razorbill and guillemot at Bempton. We also had the privilege of watching a beautiful barn owl, silently flying in front of us along the cliff edge. The tops of the cliff are full of six spot burnet this time of year, that are happy to be held by inquisitive kids.
There has been an increase recently in the awareness that we are losing our connection to nature (Robert McFarlane’s Lost Words book addresses our loss of nature language), but also a huge decrease in actual population of species (George Monbiot’s recent article explores our ability to lose connection and therefore our empathy for the massive loss of biodiversity). However, there is still so much to see and connect to in the natural world, my year of travels around Yorkshire proves that not all is lost.
The only way we can inspire and encourage people to care is by rebuilding those connections that have been lost. Naming trees, plants, animals and birds gives them power and presence. Rebuilding our connection to the seasons, which sadly have become marked by consuming goods rather than noticing the intricate changes that affect our surroundings. Keeping a nature journal is a simple way to start building those connections again, you could start with your own garden or local park, you’ll be amazed what you notice when you stop and look.
I hope my ‘Seasons In Yorkshire’ print collection inspires others to get out and take notice of the changes over the year. The butterfly in your garden is a ‘profundity of ‘still life”. It has struggled, take notice, care.
You can find my ‘Summer In Yorkshire’ print on Etsy, along with the rest of the seasons.
Summer In Yorkshire Print
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