Sunday, 25 May 2014

Beetles, books & bikes in buildings!

Hope everyone's enjoying their Bank Holiday weekends so far, the rain is lashing down as I type but tomorrow promises to be brighter so hoping to get out for a wander with our fluffy Malamute buddy.

This last week has been mostly busy with newt and bat surveys. I was away with work for a couple of days and, as any fellow motorbikers will know, the question of bike security can often prey on the mind when needing to leave them parked up for any length of my very understanding boss (who used to ride motorbikes) came up with this solution before I did, much to my relief!

A snug fit...a vase of flowers was on the table on my return,
you'd never have know she was there!
Anyway, onto a few of my findings while out and about this week:

Cinnabar Moth
A Clouded Silver in my room!

A Great Diving Beetle larva, quite ferocious looking critters.
This one is taking oxygen in through a spiracle on its back end!
One of the hundreds of tiny pond snails we encountered at one pond,
that little speck to the top left of the photo is a baby version.
A pair of Great Crested Newts, the female I'm holding was huge
and longer than my hand!
A Stickleback fish
My reference books are coming in very handy these days,
especially the old Observer's Pond Life! Puffins still ongoing
in the background, working on them today.

Only a three day week for me this next week as I'm off down to that London to deliver my Gorillas to the Mall Galleries, it's literally only just properly sunk in now and it's a tad daunting! Country bumpkin in the big Smoke...but it will be good to go back as I used to visit it quite a bit when I was younger. I've no doubt we'll enjoy it, it's going to be an amazing experience amongst so many like-minded and talented folk, all raising money for the fantastic cause that is the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

I'll be posting here all about my visit so keep your eyes peeled!

Ciao fer now :)

Meg x

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Aradia event, upcycling, orchids and newts!

Good afternoon! What a lovely week of weather we've had. Lots to talk about this week, I wish I had more time to post more than once a week but this seems to be the easier to keep up with at the moment...

So firstly, Aradia, the little gallery come home of delicious Tuscan treats, is holding a special event on 21st June, the Summer Solstice. A Facebook event has been created by the host and anyone is welcome so if you can make it we'd love to see you! Tickets will be £6 on the door and a fiver in advance, please email Karen at for tickets.

Aradia's wine-tasting event linky

A £50 gift voucher is being given away for anyone who brings 9 friends or more and £25 for anyone who brings 5 friends or more.Twelve new wines are being presented as well as the opportunity to see some of my work on display. I will have my Puffin Study completed by then too so I'll be bringing it along with me on the night!

A few pics from my travels out surveying last week...

Male Smooth Newt in a bottle-trap

Two male Great Crested Newts

Not ID'd these yet but there were loads growing out of dumped manure piles!

An Iron Bru river!

A whopper of a Drinker Moth caterpillar!

Pretty beetle & I'm pretty sure it's Carabus nemoralis

Northern Marsh-orchids

I took a trip to the Decorative Home and Salvage Show at the weekend in the hope of finding something a bit unusual for the bathroom but no luck, I did however manage to find a bargain couple of old boxes made of French oak...not sure if you can class it as "upcycling" but with a bit of hammery & sandy jiggery-pokery I turned them into shelves! We've needed a spice rack for ages so I was pretty chuffed with these :)

New spice rack & shelves!
We also took a trip to Gaping Gill in the Dales but I'll save that for another blog post as I've nattered on quite enough for one afternoon! Enjoy this lovely warm spring weather we're having, such a contrast to last year :)

Meg x

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Competition Shortlist Catalogue now online!


I said I'd keep you posted regarding the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year that my Mountain Gorillas drawing has been shortlisted for...the online catalogue went live yesterday!!! So you can now see all the shortlisted works which are going to be exhibited in the Mall Galleries, London from the 3 - 7 June. So much gorgeous work to be seen and I can't wait to see it all in person when I go down to London for the Preview night on the 2nd June. Much excitement!

The link to those works being exhibited

There's also a selection of equally lovely work in the "Selected but not Hung" category, found here

A couple of screenshots:

Highlights from my surveying work as an ecologist this week include:

A pond we were torching for newts had quite of few of these, Amphibious leeches!

Fields of oilseed rape while out on a water vole survey

Common Field- speedwell I think!

First Drinker Moth caterpillar of the year

Pretty apple blossom
Also spotted my first Swifts of the Year yesterday and one at home today! Summer is most definitely here :)

Ta-ra for now!

Meg x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Aradia Summer Exhibition & some Ecology

Evening! So a very busy couple of weeks has absolutely flown by, keeping very busy in my new ecologist job at the height of the survey season and the art is juggling along on the side too, I'm buzzing about like I don't know what of late but far better that than sat about twiddling me thumbs!

The latest news on the art front involves my new exhibition at Aradia, a source of exquisite Tuscan delights and a gorgeous space to present artwork. I am so pleased to be Aradia's "Summer" Artist of the Season until 1st August. On Wednesday I spent a few hours preparing my display and this is how it looks!

Just to give you an idea, much better if you can see it in person!

Aradia Global Ltd.
Chapel House, 70 Jagger Lane, Emley Moor, Huddersfield, HD8 9TF.

Aradia is situated almost directly below the Emley Moor Transmitting Mast so you can't go wrong finding the place :) Here's a picture I took the first time I visited, couldn't fit it all in the photo, my bike looks tiny!

Emley Moor Mast - A Grade II listed building and the tallest freestanding structure in the UK

 Anyway, enough about the mast! I have a selection of originals, prints and mugs on display and available to buy from Aradia until the 1st August. Aradia (Emley Moor, Huddersfield) will be celebrating this exhibition along with the presentation of some new wines on Saturday 21st June (Summer Solstice) so if you like art and more importantly, good, scrap that, amazing Italian wine then keep that date free in your diary!

Read more about Aradia and it's gorgeous array of Tuscan produce online here

And a few photos taken while I've been out surveying in my ecology job which I'm loving so far!

Translocating a female Great Crested Newt

Handsome Male GCN

Patterns in nature (acted of their own accord!)

A very obliging Field Vole, not camera-shy!

Heath Spotted-orchid I think, not yet in flower

Stunning Cowslips

Water Scorpion

That's all for now, hoping everyone is enjoyng spring in full flow! Nest building and chick feeding is all a-go-go in the garden, I'll leave you with this recently fledged Robin who was having its tea last night while I was doing the washing up, waiting patiently for its parent to come back with juicy green caterpillars! You can still see what's left of its bright yellow gape :)

Counting down the days until I deliver my Mountain Gorillas portrait to the Mall Galleries in London for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition!