A FEW drops of rain . . . followed by the heat of the June sun, but I sketch on regardless in my new pop-up shelter: it makes a perfect bird hide and portable mini-studio.


It has an advantage over my fishing umbrella; I always end up with one arm wrapped around the pole when I'm drawing using an umbrella, which isn't all that comfortable. In the past I've tried a carp fishing shelter and even an Ikea kiddies’ tent (see 15th July 2006) but this Ninja Corporation Pop-up Shelter is the neatest portable bird hide/drawing shelter that I've come across, thanks to the ingenious design.

Pop-up, Roll-down


It folds down into a circular black bag the diameter of a car tyre so, when I first tried it, I’d underestimated its size (in fact I can sit comfortably in it on my canvas chair with plenty of headroom) and decided to try setting it up in the living room . . .


It rapidly unfurled, like a life-raft being inflated, to fill the space between the sofas! In the confined space I found it difficult to fold it up again and I didn’t want to force the springy struts so, starting to panic, I phoned Netto’s head office (they’ve currently got it on sale at a bargain price). They couldn’t help so I was just about to e-mail the manufacturers (see link below) when I took a deep breath and tried once more, this time successfully: it rolls up like a multi-dimensional Swiss roll and fits snugly back in the carrier.


More pop-up tents at: The Ninja Corporation


Online suppliers of Pop-Up Tents: Perris Archery,
Quicks Archery, Jacksons Camping

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With your own personal bird hide you not only get close views but you also get to hear things in close up - like the sound of a sparrow drinking and bathing in the pond just a few feet away.

Another brief waiting room sketch.

Thorncliffe Farm Shop, Emley Moor

Pop-up Shelter

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Tuesday, 17th June 2008

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Ox-eye daisy, knapweed & compost bins.