Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Horses and herons.

The morning disolved into chaos when I realised that the children had a dentist's appointment in half an hour and Hannah was in bed still and Tom was in Croesgoch at his dad's. So, quick movement and somehow we arrived in time, even Tom who had to cycle there.
So much to do, and I had another session of riding booked and the day was beautiful, so Hannah decided to come too. We rode into the valley just as a great gray heron lifted up into the sky. There were buzzards, and a buzzard and a raven sparred in the sky and the air was still and hummed to the sound of insect wings. And Hannah's horse hummed too. I have never heard a singing horse before. He has a tail like fire and he sort of hums to himself as he treks along.
For a while I have been wanting to draw horses so Al sent me off to a field where The Snowman had his herd. I walked across the field and they barely lifted their heads to watch me, though two young foals were curious.
Such beautiful creatures, I think I will be able to draw them and draw them until I have pages of horses. Hoping to sit in the field with my sketchbook now and again also. 
This time though I didn't stay long. One of the horses gave birth as I walked across the field. All long legs and afterbirth and beautiful fresh creature with fine legs. I watched the foal rise to its feet for the first time, saw it take its first taste of warm milk. If you look carefully you can see the fragile, elegant newborn searching for first milk in the picture above. All legs. Amazing to think that moments before it was curled up inside its mother.

Back home a message on the answer phone was from David who was collecting a painting, so I got wrapping very quickly while he drove across and collected the brown paper package tied up with string.

I may not have done much more work that looking and thinking and seeing and dreaming, but it has been a good day, and after the crazy start, a peaceful one.


  1. What wonderful timing to see the foal born... looking, thinking, seeing and dreaming is the best and most important kind of work.

    I used to have a pleasent young cob who hummed and sang while she ambled along the lanes. She did it when she was relaxed and contented on long hacks,and she used to hum in rhythms in time with her steps. I'd forgotten all about that until you mentioned your singer!
    I often think it would be nice to ride again one day, with my daughters when they're older.
    Carrie... :)

  2. Such a lovely post, the horses are so beautiful and so special to be able to see the brand new foal having it's first drink from it's mother. One of natures miracles.

  3. Beautiful horses. The foal is just sweet.

  4. Such a beautiful post and the horses are gorgeous. I think you'll paint beautiful horses, the ones you've already painted are lovely, so I'm looking forward to the next ones :D

  5. Wow, how wonderful to witness a new born foal. Don't you just love nature.

  6. A privileged moment, how magical! Those horses are beautiful, and I love the idea that horses sing for the pure pleasure of it!

  7. Watching foals being born are some of my most cherished memories - the moment it opens its eyes and pricks its ears is quite magical.

  8. You might like this man's work. I think the photos are beautiful and haunting, as ell as interesting -- the living forms abstracted by intense focus.

  9. I knew they danced, but humming horses -- what a magical thing!

    I shall be looking forward to horse drawings. I've always loved horses. Interesting that these horses belong to The Snowman. Maybe since you saw the foal being born, he will let you name it?

    We have herons here, too -- they frequent the playa lakes and the runoff reservoirs we have in many of our local parks. Great blue herons, and a smaller variety whose name escapes me at the moment. Such elegant birds. It seems strange to me that there are buzzards in green and beautiful Wales -- I always associate them with the desert -- but then it strikes me that their services would be welcome anywhere.

  10. The Snowman is the stallion, Wol. Beautiful, white and very enthusiastic in his duty. He particularly likes to 'perform' right by the gate I am told. The horses, or most of them, belong to a gypsey man called Ned.

  11. Beautiful creatures indeed, Jackie!

    And I'm so jealous of David's brown-paper package tied up with string!