🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.
Monday, 17 September 2012
Journal of a Season
“I am enamoured of my journal!”
- Sir Walter Scott
For half the year my garden lives a life of it's own. Then it's Spring and I can savour the blooms of successes - and cut my losses. Anything that gets killed by Winter doesn't get re-planted, I'm not a sucker for punishment!
Pic from an old 1970's 'Victoria' magazine
I try and record most of everything that goes on in the garden from new plantings to removing dead items, which birds are new or just visiting or nesting, deaths and births, what the chickens or hedgehogs are up to and I also do sketches of new lay-outs in my Gardening Journal or new features I might want to add.
This way I get a preview of how it might look and also scribble reminders of when the Bougainvillea or Clematis has to be trimmed back. It's really a scrapbook-in-progress of my house and garden combined, also containing new building and decorating projects as well as (on-going!) renovations.
Insects play a large role in my garden and I have quite a collection of beetles, moths, butterflies and scorpions. And something some people find a bit weird - I have a large collection of skeletons and skulls of rats, birds and lizards. Whenever I find something dead, I place it in a bucket, wait for it to decay and then pick out the skeleton, wash and clean it up and leave it in bleach for a couple of days. Voila! A perfect specimen, which I showcase in plastic boxes.
Exoskeleton of a scorpion I found in my garden.
A few skulls from my collection (below) - the left one is that of a Kestrel, the two top right ones are from rats and the bottom one on the right is from a Laughing Dove.
My journal also serves as inspiration for some of my sketches and watercolours, like the White Eye that frequents my garden on a regular basis.
Cape White-Eye - Pen and ink sketch with colour wash in my Moleskine 'Nature' Journal
My favourite pencil (below) for jotting down notes is made of a twig with lead inserted into the front.
Writing things down not only acts as a 'release', reducing stress but also allows for a moment of contemplation that allows a clearer perspective on events to emerge. In high school my friends would make fun of me - you're doing your man diary again! So I was always trying to translate experience into words.