Friday 29 March 2013

I have been rumbled...

I must confess to not really knowing my godwits from my guillemots.

Someone much cleverer than me pointed out my failings (in the kindest possible way) and thank goodness they did because it absolutely would not do to have an information board showing information that was not quite right.

I would like to apologise to Mr Dunlin and Mr Godwit for not painting them as properly as I should.

Feeling a little bit humbled and armed with the Hamlyn Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe (which incidentally is much clearer than google images, my own bird book, a friends' borrowed bird book and the real thing) I set about rectifying my wrongdoings.

I am proud to present a new and improved dunlin (nicer beak, more accurate markings) and a new and improved godwit dressed in his proper summer plumage.

If you want to play spot the difference(s) my original-little-bit-wrong-birdies are in my last post, Waders and Worms.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Waders and Worms

Here are my birds for the Discover Mersea project.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

A newsy update

I've got a nice job at the moment illustrating some information boards for West Mersea Town Council.   The Council have been awarded a grant from Natural England to highlight some of the island's heritage and special places.  First up, St Peter's Well Meadow.

The boards will be a collaboration of the Council's words and my pictures. I have started with the layout and  spent an inordinately long time moving words and pictures around to work out the best composition;  in the car with scissors and blutack (whilst stuck by the tide) and at my desk digitally with photoshop (which is where I should be).
I must say it has been a bit of a struggle fitting it all together but I think at last I have done it.  Here's how the rough layout looks right now:-

 I am looking forward to the next stage and getting some paint out.

Now for a final little footnote to say 'gosh me!',  my pictures are in the East Coast Marine Services website! Do have a click here and a look around. It's full of useful stuff if you are boaty and from these parts.

(...and another even more final footnote -if you can have such a thing-  to say that Leafy Dumas does not claim to be useful stuff herself.)

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Swallows and Amazons

I am a big fan of Arthur Ransome's world of utopian childhood adventures.

We are jumping up and down with excitement here at Leafy HQ because a new Swallows and Amazons film is going to be made.  The producers are looking for boys and girls aged 6-13 and filming starts this summer.

"Offer them your children," shrieked the good people of Classic Boat magazine (obviously as excited about this as I am).

Now I'm not certain I will do as they suggest because although my Salty Seagirl is fully qualified to be a fine Amazon (or indeed a Swallow -she'd rather be Titty than Nancy) she is not one for jumping up and down infront of a camera.

Here's something they call a concept trailer.

Except it's not here anymore because all of a sudden it became padlocked and private and the good folk of Harbour Pictures say we cannot watch it without permission which is a big shame.  I am sorry about that.

I am now feeling bad for having found it, looked at it and posted it in the first place.  I didn't know I wasn't supposed to and I am very sorry about that too.

Oddly I can't remove it.  It's stuck here like a big embarrassing boil.

Monday 11 March 2013

Snow Flurries

The weather man said there would be snow flurries on Mersea Island today and he was right.

"The sheets were frozen hard and they cut the naked hand.
The decks were like a slide where a seaman scarce could stand.
The wind was a nor'wester,  blowing squally off the sea,
and cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee."

Those are Robert Louis Stevenson's words.

This is the view from Leafy HQ,
(well almost...  actually it's the view from just around the corner).


My daffodils don't know if they are coming or going, and I am bracing myself for a lifeboat exercise tonight which is going to be rather a chilly affair.

I am completely in awe of the fleet of children sailing their optimists only yesterday, right here, competing in the Volvo Gill Optimist Spring Championships. A huge well done to each and every one of them. They're an incredibly tough and dedicated lot.

Can you have a fleet of children- or is it just a fleet of boats?

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Starlight Adventure

I have strayed to the other hemisphere, learnt a bit about the stars (and how to add a copyright sign to my work).  Can you see the Southern Cross?

These are not my home waters but the New Zealanders might recognise the Poor Knights, the Pinnacles and the Sugarloaf.

The Southern Cross looks like a sideways kite with two pointer stars as it's tail. The biggest and brightest is Acrux, the next brightest is Mimosa, and the only other one I can name is Gacrux (on the left of the kite).  A line from Gacrux through Acrux should intersect with the horizon in the direction of the South Pole.  Jolly handy to know if you don't know where you are.

There you go, celestial navigation in a teacup!