Tor Falcon: Diary of a Wild Place

Or, an artist's unscientific study of the natural world. Copyright Tor Falcon http://www.torfalcon.co.uk

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Beyond the poplars lie acres of winter ready earth, trimmed hedges and cut verges. But here in this wild place summer hasn’t ended, flowers still bloom and insects still shimmer. Here, is a larder brim full of fruit and nuts and seeds. And also this year, of voles! I’ve never seen so many voles in my life.

Matt and Suzanne squeeze out the last drops of summer on their boat, the forester has gone fishing but I prefer to sit here, in a field amongst seed heads, in rose gold September light listening to the final encore of crickets.

With his chainsaw, Billy has sliced through a clump of alders like a marzipan covered cake, revealing the cool dark centre veined with stems. The stumps have faded from livid orange to mellow pink and the wood is stacked ready for the winter after next.

At the end of April I fell asleep. The last thing I remember before yawning and closing my eyes was hawthorn blossom. I thought the world was perfect in white and green and then I drifted off. Four months later, it wasn’t a handsome prince who gently awoke me with a kiss, thank goodness! Instead, a shock wave of crimson hawthorn berries has woken me with a start.

In amongst the drunk late summer greenery is a perfect circle of scentless mayweed. It marks the spot where, last winter, cows stood on an ever rising dais of their own dung around a bale of hay. From shitty to pretty via house keeping with a tractor and a shovel. 

group-eight:

Tor Falcon will be showing her new work at Wiveton Hall in North Norfolk.

www.wivetonhall.co.uk

group-eight:

Tor Falcon will be showing her new work at Wiveton Hall in North Norfolk.

www.wivetonhall.co.uk

I’m sitting up to my shoulders in mint. As I draw it I’m aware of  wood pigeons cooing. It’s the wonderfully fat sound of English summer. As I listen, the cooing gets throatier. It gets deeper and more intense. It’s not cooing ,it’s wooing. I can just see the wooer and his lady in an ash tree to my left. He sings, she moves away. He adjusts his tone. She hops to another branch. He follows. He puffs himself up. He’s big and soft and every colour of grey under the sun. He tries again, deeper. She doesn’t move. He’s so deep and throaty now, I’m almost falling for him. She goes right to the end of the branch. He’s there next to her……the branch cracks and they scrabble to the nearest solid perch. He stands on tip toe and resumes his plea. Always the same old words but there can be no mistaking the meaning. She’s still resisting. I can’t believe he can go further. He’s producing sound through pure bubbling honey. I can’t bear to tear myself away. How much longer will she make him go on for? How much lovelier can his singing get? But I have to go. I leave the lovers to it and return home with my little drawing of mint which will forever remind me of the love song of a wood pigeon.

Tor Falcon

torfalcon:

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The rowan is a tree of the mountains. It’s the brave clinger on of steep gullies. Sown wherever a bird can perch, it’s a speck of colour against black rock. It can even grow in the cleft of another tree.

They’re magical trees too. In Scotland rowan boughs were placed over the door to keep…

torfalcon:

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Damselflies, so insubstantial, so bright, so horizontal and so difficult to draw. I love these strange insects. They flit round the edges of summer like shards of electric blue glass. They live for two or three years under water, rapaciously gorging themselves. Hungry, grey, ugly larvae which then emerge into the light as slim, polished darts. With only two weeks in such splendid guise, they must dance and shimmer and skim and mate and die.