Follow by Email

Monday, 9 January 2017

Shapwick Heath, habitats, and migrant wildlife

On Boxing Day we went for a family walk to Shapwick Heath Nature Reserve, in the Avalon Marshes, Somerset Levels.  I have been there at other times, but I never had experienced the light and the colours in the Reserve as I did in that sunny, cold, winter day.

A quilt inspired by those colours unfolded in my mind. The next day I put some fabric colours together and started working on it.

The point of the nature reserve is to create habitats that provide shelter and food for the many animals, birds, butterflies, insects, etc. that need it.  Some species are residents, others are winter or summer migrants.  The most noticeable of them all are the starlings, and in January up to nine million migrant birds join the residents and form the most extraordinary 'murmurations', flying in changing organised shapes all over the area.

The reeds and open water are home to many birds and waterfowl, and there are other visitor attractions, such as bird hides.  See more in the captions to the photos.

So full of colour! I can see greens, yellows, reds, blues, and all shades in-between. 

The fern colour changes according to whether the leaves are in the sun or the shade, illuminated from above or from behind.

Amazing colours on the autumn leaves underfoot.

Downy birch wooded areas next to meadows.

The reconstructed Sweet Track - as it says in the photo above. Not very easy to walk on! Just as well that if you miss your step you just fall into a path covered in autumn leaves, and not onto swampy waters, as it would have happened 3,000 years ago.

The reed beds and open water, home to many waterfowl. And a view of Glastonbury Tor.

More reed beds shining in the sun.

My first attempt to a colour palette for my new quilt in the Habitats : Species series, focusing particularly on migrant wildlife.  

The quilt is nearly ready, but not quite.  See next blog post for details of construction and finished product.