For many years now I have visited Bosherston Lily Ponds & meandered my way lazily around its edges peering into its life crammed water & watching its inhabitants. Sometimes its a shoal of tiny inch long Roach fry, thousands of slivers of miniature fish, often a shoal of larger Roach flanked silver blue & red finned perfection. In the shadows where the sunbeams dance with the dark & twisted branches reach for the lake bed like Witches fingers, Perch can be seen in their striped pyjamas or one of Bosherstons more sinister residents, old Esox, hanging motionless but for the gentle waft of pectorals fanning circles in the clear water.
|Perch in the shadows wearing striped PJ's.|
|Old Esox hanging in the dappled light.|
Lillies were rising from the silt on their journey to reach the sky. Stunning colours reminding me of those fruit salad sweets that I loved as a child, set against a backdrop of hazy Turquoise green.
|Lillies on their quest for the sky.|
|A tiny Tiger striped Pikelet.|
|Another little beauty among a jungle of fruit salad Lillies.|
|One more just below the mirrored surface.|
As we continued our explore of the edges, dipping our cameras in here & there & marvelling at the shoals of Roach & the quality of light ( its an Artist/ Photographers thing ) filtering through the Turquoise depths we came to a spot that looked so inviting for a future painting. A large overhanging tree, sunlight dappling the surface between the branches & a clear rocky lake bed below with jagged sunbeams making lightning strikes ripple along the silt & rock strewn floor.
I could see that the bank was undercut here & would make a perfect backdrop for a potential Pike or Perch painting. I lowered the camera in for a quick 360 degree film before lifting it out again. As I did so I noticed the large dark shape of a big Pike hanging in midwater a few yards out. At about 3 & a half foot long it must have been getting on for about 20lbs in weight.
|The dark lair of a big Pike in an undercut bank.|
|I was so excited to capture this.|
Returning to the clearest part of the ponds hardly being able to form words yet both babbling on about what we had just witnessed & the image of the Pike appearing every time I blinked.
The light, softer now, the sun lower & the colours of the Lillies more intense bathed in beautiful hues of pink, orange & olive green set against a cooling faded hazy blue green fog with Lily shadows cast softly as feathers along the silty bottom.
A male Mute Swan which Rhian insisted on naming drifted over & we were presented with another opportunity for some underwater footage. We named him Vesta.
|( Swan ) Vesta|
An afternoon i'll never forget, one of those red letter days full of close encounters with wonderful wildlife & planting so many seeds of potential paintings. Do have a look at Rhian's photography page on Facebook if you get a chance at Rhian Mai Photography.
I'll leave you with a couple of Perch paintings that I did earlier this year & also apologise for the very long gaps between my blogs. I try & live life at a reasonably slow pace to allow me to enjoy it more, to notice & appreciate the little things.
|' In the dappled light, Perch ' Oil painting 48" x 30"|
|' Stripey Gangsters ' Oil painting 36" x 28"|
|' Marauding Perch ' Oil painting 1 metre square|