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AN OLD Crack Willow has great presence, highlighted by the evening sun. I've painted it in watercolours on a couple of occasions. It has so much character that I feel I'm painting a portrait rather than a landscape. When I had a commission to paint Charles Waterton in the Guyana rainforest, with a fee that didn't stretch to a trip out there, I used this tree to hold the composition together. I had toucans, parrots and a Quetzal perching on it.
This evening its only companions are two rabbits on the adjacent mown grass by the stream.
Ants 'farm' aphids. Some flowerheads of Tansy are encrusted with black aphids and these are usually accompanied by brown ants, some of them walking amongst the aphids and a couple apparently standing guard below them on the stem.
Buddleias seem to have come, and all but gone, without attracting lots of butterflies. A Wall Brown holds its territory next to a Buddleia by a stable, a Small Tortoiseshell sunbathes on the wall while a darker butterfly, possibly a Red Admiral or a Peacock, flies past.
On one of the last remaining pools by the canal a Coot sitting on its nest appears to have eggs. But with binoculars we see that they're actually chicks.
The wheat harvest continues after dark. The combine rumbles on as I type this at ten. Its light flashes behind the trees in the valley.