Tag Archives: llamas

Ewyas Harold Arts Fest 2017 @Temple Bar Inn

Once again I was kindly invited by Gill Jinman of the Temple Bar Inn, Ewyas Harold, to display some of my photos in  their cracking exhibition space which is also used for get togethers, wild parties and other stuff – the all purpose meeting place for the local community, in fact.
It was all over in a flash but while we were there it was great fun – setting up and taking down is all part of the exhibition merry go round and as much fun as the actual ‘show’.



Last time I was there it was a straightforward exhibition of ceramics, glassware, paintings and photos. This time the whole village was involved at 5 or so different venues dotted about the place and it became obvious that there is a lot of artistic talent in this neck of the woods !
Visitors were treated to a shuttle service provided by Dore Community Transport, whose drivers tirelessly ferried people from one end of the village to the other.

The local children were involved in a scarecrow building competition and on the ‘scariness’ scale they didn’t disappoint! I only captured a couple of them but here they are

The next two images show the beautiful facade of our venue –  the restored Temple Bar Inn, with a scarecrow on sentry duty (albeit sitting down on the job!) (in the right hand corner, in case you think that’s a local a bit the worse for wear!!).

This event took place over the 3 days of the Bank Holiday weekend, coinciding cannily with the Hay on Wye Literary Festival, which is a stone’s throw away. Graham Powell kicked off with the opening ceremony – one of his last duties as a local councillor,  and here ably assisted by Gill’s husband, Peter, chairman of the parish council.

During our exhibition, the theme of which was  ‘Inspired by Nature’, local water colour artist, Richard Bavin, unveiled a  four metre painting of Lea & Paget’s Wood, created with public participation during h.Art 2016.

Figuring out how to hang a painting this big, so that it draped well and looked resplendent, called on the ingenuity of those involved and Richard enlisted the help of fellow exhibitor, Jill Barneby, printmaker extraordinaire and owner of the Print Shed in Madley where the painting took shape on the grass outside the workshop. Over a hundred volunteers (and one dog, apparently!) worked on it, each adding a little bit of magic, to create this stunning piece which Richard is hoping will raise lots of dosh for the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust – maybe by the time of writing this they will have achieved their aim – I hope so!!
See http://www.herefordshirewt.org/ for information.
So after the opening ceremony and the awarding of prizes to the scarecrow creators (everyone’s an artist in this village!!), proceedings being monitored by some local llamas whilst they chewed contentedly on some hay (there is a llama farm just up the road in Walterstone where if you feel so inclined you can load up your llama with packed lunch, waterproofs etc  and take a tour of this picturesque landscape)

our visitors wandered this way and that to enjoy a fantastic display of arts and crafts, ranging from weaving to glass blowing to textiles to painting to furniture making.
The weather was mixed but that didn’t matter – there was good food on offer throughout the venues, live music at the Temple Bar Inn, story telling and lots of other activities going on. Below is a shot of  a talented duo called the Pyschedelic Hearts Club Band, who performed a mixture of Beatles’ covers and their own material – they were great! a real treat.

The Ewyas Harold Festival of Arts was very well attended, particularly on Bank Holiday Monday. It was made possible by a fantastic group of people who care deeply about their local village and community and were prepared to go the extra mile to make the event a success.
I am  delighted to have been invited to participate again and marvel at the spirit and energy of the locals – they must have two bowls of porridge for breakfast!!
Here is some of the work on display at this year’s event from these artists and makers: Julian Stanley (furniture maker), Sally Guest (oil painter), Jacky Edwards (glass ware), Jill Barneby (printmaker) Richard Bavin (water colourist) and Sue Fernández (photographer)


Here’s to the next one!

Kington Owl Centre


A favourite place of mine to take photos is Kington Owl and Rare Breeds Centre, and it so happened that this year (2014)  the weather for the weekend of Mothering Sunday – March 29 and 30, was great so I decided to make the most of it by spending an entertaining few hours at the centre in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside

An  added bonus at this time of year is that there are lots of baby animals and birds to see as well and they are high on the cute-ometer.
The first thing you see as you walk in are three or four owls on perches. They are tethered but they’re tame enough to stroke.

entrance6Obviously, these owls have been rescued as babies and are very amenable but there’s no getting away from the fact that they are still equipped  with sharp talons and beaks. Next stop -for me anyway- was the cafe to stoke up on cherry cake and coffee and plan my campaign. You can buy some very cute cuddly toys in here – ponies, owls and llamas,  and all sorts of books and games, and also specially formulated food for the animals.

Outside I headed along the row of pens containing rare breed sheep, miniature ponies and a pair of Kune Kune pigs, who could clearly smell the buckets of food being swung about by excited children.


It would have taken a brave child to feed this pig, though – he grunted and squealed and looked like flattening the gate altogether as he rose up on his hind legs in his efforts to get at those buckets.

now whereOpposite there was a  paddock with some far more attractive creatures – a small herd of alpacas, who to me always look a bit bewildered, especially when you see them in the English countryside – they seem to be saying ‘Hang on, where have the Andes gone?’

Back inside I came across some tortoises, an array of rodents including chipmunk, mice and guinea pigs and then passed the owl incubators, containing two balls of downy feathers,  and went back out into the sunshine around a series of walkways and cascades which housed the ducks, like this lovely mandarin duck, preening those beautifully coloured feathers

geese and a pair of very serene black swans, who were obviously practising tai-chi as they each balanced elegantly on one webbed foot.

tai chi swan

At the top of the field were several aviaries which were home to some exquisite Asian pheasants with  exotic plumage and beautiful long tails.


pheasant9.jpgIt’s such a shame these creatures have to be caged. I felt the same way about the tiny red squirrel I came across later, which, for reasons best known to the keepers, was located inside the Owl Garden – in a separate enclosure, of course, but it seemed a bit like putting  a sheep in with the wolves.


For me the best part of the centre is the Owl Garden – a collection of aviaries housing rare and striking owls from all over the world.

greatgrey camuflage

Most of them sit on their perches and stare implacably out at the world – even the arrival of supper in the form of day old baby chicks, didn’t cause any commotion – apparently they prefer to wait until visitors have left for the day before they tuck in. (I’m sure most visitors would rather it that way too!!)

But I was lucky to come across two young Ural owlets from Scandinavia.  They were about 10 months old, and compared with the rest,  were very feisty, flying up to the wire fence to peck at the camera.

owl7       owl8


We should find these nocturnal creatures with their silent flight, amazingly penetrating eyes and spooky, swivelling heads frightening but instead they are endearing, comical even,  because they have been caricatured in  popular  literature.

And who hasn’t read ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’  by Edward Lear?

Here it is again :

The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,

Wrapped up in a five pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above

And sang to a small guitar,

‘O lovely Pussy!  O Pussy my love!

What a beautiful pussy you are

You are!

You are!

What a beautiful pussy you are!

Pussy said to the Owl,    ‘You elegant fowl!

How charmingly sweet you sing!

O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a ring?’

They sailed away, for a year and a day,

To the land where the Bong-tree grows

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood

With a ring at the end of his nose,

His nose,

His nose,

With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

Your ring?’            Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’

So they took it away, and were married next day

By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,

Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

They danced by the light of the moon,

The moon,

The moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.