I’ve had a couple of distractions this week!
First I was surprised to find that I had been (randomly) selected to take part in a face-to-face survey – one of 15 people in my area – to give the First Minister feedback on how, in my opinion, things are going in Wales!
Lots of questions to answer, some of them quite silly, eg 'how happy were you yesterday on a scale of 1 – 10?' But I went from thinking I didn’t have any comments to make on how our local council and the Welsh Assembly are performing to finding a several things to voice my opinions (aka rant) about, ranging from the slipshod way the potholes in our road are mended to the teaching of reading in Welsh Primary Schools.
In spite of this unexpected interruption - the letter about it didn't arrive until 10 minutes before the lady whose job was to ask me the questions! - I did manage to finish the Water Lily Birthday Card design, though I’ve only, so far, uploaded it on phone, iPod and iPad cases.
The second, much bigger, distraction was the hatching of the blackbird’s eggs in the nest just outside my dining room window!
I can only just see the nest now that the honeysuckle has grown so much, and that prevents me taking any photos. But on Thursday, I noticed one of the parents bobbing up and down while sitting on the nest, which I thought was very odd . . . until I saw a huge open beak appear from under the parent, and realised it was a baby bird struggling to get out from under!
There only appeared to be one chick for a couple of days and it seemed quite large. Could a cuckoo have laid its egg in the blackbird’s nest, I wondered! But thankfully, no; yesterday there were at least two heads visible from my window, looking very much smaller when they're sleeping than they do at feeding time!
Every so often I am distracted by a great clattering sound as one of the parents lands on or takes off from my plastic greenhouse, where they are nesting; this can result in some very wobbly drawing if I happen to be doing something delicate with my graphics tablet! And I’m just hoping that this isn’t attracting the attention of the crows that gather on my roof! I’ve had nests in my garden in previous years but they’ve never survived beyond the egg stage because of these predatory crows. So I’m very excited that ‘we’ve’ got this far!
But in spite of this excitement, I’ve made a good start on my Morning Glories.
I searched Google Images for some detail of the way they grow, as the photos I took last autumn were of just the flowers. I'm wishing now that I'd made some detailed drawings, though mine are never intended to be Botanical Drawings, which I always think somehow manage to suck the life out of flowers.
I found that there seems to be a variety of flower colours and leaf shapes all going by the name of ‘Morning Glory’ but I always think of them as brilliant blue. And I wanted to create a design in fresh, cool colours this time, after my recent pinks and purples and yellows and oranges. I made the leaves heart-shaped as that seems to be the most common shape.
However, in the meantime, the seeds I sowed indoors have germinated and reminded me that the variety that I grow has these strange shaped seed leaves:
I’m hoping that this design can be used as a Birthday Card for September and as a repeating pattern as well.
Working out the best way to position the repeats will be on my ToDo list for this week . . . as well as keeping my eye on those crows!
UPDATE on BLACKBIRDS
There are now at least three baby blackbirds in the nest and one of them is big enough to get out of the nest and sit on the side of it. It seems really big so I wondered about cuckoos again but read that the young cuckoo will kill any other nestlings, which this one hasn't. I also read that 9 out of 10 attempts by blackbirds to nest in the open end in failure because of cats, crows or bad weather. The weather has been pretty foul the past few days, with heavy rain and wind, and there are crows on my roof but none of the neighbourhood cats has been in that part of my garden recently as far as I know. So here's hoping!