Hogsback Holiday

In April we took a short holiday to Hogsback to commemorate our 40th wedding anniversary. What a change it was compared to our dry and barren karoo. It is a wonderful jewel of forests and waterfalls and “fairies” ! It inspired these 2 forest scenes, and even a little Samango monkey sketch.  We saw so many of them in the trees around Hogsback, and even in the village itself. We stayed at beautiful Nibelheim.  Hogsback is an extraordinary place!!

Hogsback Forest.

To the Fairy Meander.

Samango monkey.

Hogsback. Swallowtail Falls

Beautiful river and falls and paths to explore through the forests of Hogsback

Swallowtail Falls.

The Amazing Bar-Tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

First study, of the Bar-tailed Godwit

Recently I came across this delightful wader in some photos taken by a friend, Wessel Rossouw, on the SE coast of South Africa. But only after I had decided to paint a series of this bird, the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), did I discover what an amazing long distance traveler it is during its annual migration. Here are the links (sciencedaily) & (birdlife) of the two websites that give details of its amazing stamina for long-distance flight. It set a record in 2010, for a single non-stop flight of 11,000 kms from Alaska to New Zealand.

Bar-tailed Godwit resting

Bar-tailed Godwit resting. Study 2

         Here are the 3 studies that I  made to celebrate the achievement of this truly extraordinary bird.

Bar-tailed Godwit in flight

Bar-tailed Godwit in flight. Study 3

The Spotted Dikkop

We have a resident pair of Spotted Dikkops ( Burhinus Capensis ), that nest not far from our house. I was fortunate to capture a photo of them last year, and have since been longing to turn it into a small painting.

The Spotted Dikkop

Our resident pair of Dikkops

Salted Lambs

A little experiment with salt to achieve a different texture, on this sketch of 3 lambs.

Three Lambs

Salted Lambs


Our favourite Swallows

We are always delighted when our favourite swallows, the Greater Striped Swallow ( Hirundo Cucullata ) arrives for the summer. We love their contented warbling song/chatter, and wistful call. Now that the summer is almost over, they will soon be leaving for northern parts. They are delightful residents of our verandahs, with their mud nests characterized by long tunnel entrances. We call them ‘Red Caps’ due to the russet colouring on the top of their heads. This year, I was able to get some good photos of them, which inspired this little study. We also have the Whitethroated Swallow, ( Hirundo Albigularis ) , but the Red Caps are our favourites.

Greater Striped Swallow

Our favourite Red Cap swallows