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albion-squirrel

image credit: Veronica, Beachlands, Pevensey Bay

THE ART AND NATURE COLUMN
ALAN EVERARD
From JMW Turner and Flatford Mill to the albino squirrel pictured in Beachlands, Pevensey Bay
Pevensey Bay Journal. Edition 27, July 2019

On the 1st June this year we left Pevensey Bay for our Spring holidays in Suffolk, lovely County

We set off to the accompaniment of the song of that wonderful songster the Blackbird. Our local Blackbird had been brightening our days for a while before.​ When we arrived at our destination we were greeted by another Blackbird singing its fluted song and so it continued through the week.

Adding to this, just behind our bungalow, was the now rare sight of a wild flower meadow with mainly Ox-eye Daisy offering a beautiful white haze through which peeped the reds and blues of other wild flowers.

Whilst there we visited Flatford Mill, home of that wonderful artist, John Constable. Whilst greatly admiring Constable, my most admired English artist is J.M.W. Turner, especially for his wonderful sunset pictures. Back to Flatford Mill, Constable’s father’s watermill and granary are set alongside the river Stour. We have, in the past, stayed in the granary on holiday.

Just down river from this is a wooden footbridge which has been rebuilt by an American philanthropist to the exact design of the original which existed in Constable’s time and before. Swallows in their numbers entertained us as they swooped and skimmed over the surface of the Stour, their iridescent blue/black wings, and back emphasised by the flash of red in their face, as they took their catch to their young in nests built under the bridge, magic moments ! Our friend, Hazel, told us on our return that she had seen these beautiful birds near the beach here in Pevensey Bay.

Staying in Pevensey Bay, Veronica who lives in Beachlands had the great luck and quick thinking to take this rare photo of an albino Squirrel in her garden. I wonder how many other of you have seen this rare animal, Thank you Veronica !

Finally, whilst weeding in our garden, I had the sad sight of a young Herring Gull walking up the garden path from the beach, dragging what appeared to be a broken wing. He stopped at our shallow pond for a long, obviously, much needed drink. I let him finish, then with great care and using a towel I picked him up.

It probably had carried the injury for some time for it offered no resistance nor did it attempt at any time to escape. I placed it in a large cardboard box on the towel with another box covering him. Then took him in our car to the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service at Whitesmith, a short twelve miles away. To my great relief I have just picked up on my answerphone a message from them telling me that he is O.K., just had his bandages removed and is being allowed to build up the strength in his wings when he will be released.

So I am happy to share this good news with you. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated group of people who do so much for wild animals in distress. It must be said that I now know that they do not wish people to deliver injured animals to them but to call them on 07815078234 as their premises are not constantly staffed. It’s always good to end on a happy note and we certainly have this time.

Enjoy Nature in all that it offers.

Alan Everard


Alan Everard is a local artist specialising in Thames Sailing Barges and Nature. He says he ‘feels lucky to have a wall of his own in the Ocean View Bakery & Restaurant’. His one man exhibition comes to the pocket art gallery at the Bay Hotel in October 2019, as the ‘featured artist of the month’. An online gallery of his work can be browsed here at Rachers on Canvas: http://rachersoncanvas.co.uk/local-artists-alan-everard-gallery/