Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

An interlude of calm at the turning of the year

. . . between the busyness of the pre-Christmas retail extravaganza and the cookathon of Christmas itself . . .

Although for me Christmas is actually a quiet time of year, now that the main focus of my work is selling my prints and cards (rather than working on projects for publishers) I am swept up in the pre-Chritsmas retail extravaganza - and that is well under way by October!

So now there is a little lull. The weather has been relatively mild with only slight frosts and no snow, but a procession of dramatic gales is sweeping across the UK. Here in East Anglia we get the tail end of them, brief periods of heavy rain and strong gusts followed by clear skies again.

This morning we drove to the Fens in bright sunshine under clear blue skies and set out for a walk. But soon the clouds rolled over us and rain fell . . .

. . . swiftly followed by a rainbow. 

As I was carefully picking my way around a muddy area by some fencing, I looked down and spotted a broken stick . . . NO! not a stick, it was an antler . . .

On all the walks I've done over the years I've wished to come across a shed antler and until today, I never had. This antler is quiet small, but beautifully tactile, I guessed it was from a Roe Buck – their mature antlers have 3 prongs, this one has 2 and knob lower down (near the palm of my hand) which means it's one of his second pair of antlers. A Roe Buck sheds his antlers in November and starts to grow the buds of the new antlers in December, he will be starting to grow his first full set this winter.

Near the end of our walk, Cliff spotted movement in a field of rough grass . . . I zoomed in with my camera . . .

Yes, a deer! But I was unsure what sort. Luckily it turned and I got some more close-ups . . .

Large black edged ears, a black muzzle and a white bottom. I'm familiar with a Roe Deer's auburn summer coat, but back home I did some research and this is definitely a Roe Deer with it's grey-brown winter fur.

I can't see any antler buds on its head and it has a large area of white fur beneath its small white tail, it is also fairly small (not much larger than a greyhound) - so this is probably a young female.

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year – from now the days will start to get longer . . . 

. . . and even though the coldest weather of the winter is yet to come and Spring is 3 months or more away, there is the a tiny hint of optimism in the air – here in our garden the snowdrops are already pushing their way through the decaying leaves.

Whatever Santa brings me for Christmas, I already have 2 lovely presents - a Roe Buck antler and I have mended ankles – thanks to excellent treatment, advice and special insoles from Nats-the-physio and Paul-the-Podiatrist . . . I'm enjoying inspiring winter walks once more :-)

I hope you can find time in the run up to Christmas for an interlude of calm between the storms.



  1. Oh my goodness, what a find! I have set up my cabinet of curiosities in the dining room (without necklaces). Now I will be searching for my own antler.

    Oh and SNOWDROPS!!!

  2. So glad your ankles are better and what a wonderful find that antler is, something I've never managed to find. Have a lovely, relaxing Christmas and a brilliant 2015. X

  3. Oh Celia, what a lovely day. So lucky to get a lovely photo and some treasure to remind you of your day.

  4. Well done on all counts! And you have an antler.
    Glad your ankles are better. It's a pain not being able to walk, isn't it.!Happy Christmas to all at The Peas.

  5. enjoying your walks, lovely! I wish you some kind weather to match.

  6. Celia, what a marvelous post. Mended ankles lead to a walk, where you get a little damp, see a rainbow, find an antler and see a beautiful dear who perhaps even realizes that you will treasure that antler.

    I could definitely believe in Christmas magic!


  7. An antler! How we all hope we will find one ...one day!
    Pleased to hear you're walking comfortably again too.
    I will take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas - from one Celia to another!

  8. What a wonderful find and lovely to see the deer. We have sometimes very briefly spotted a muntjak in the distance, but never managed to get a photo!

  9. So pleased to hear of the mended ankles, you must be relieved.

    All is calm here, other than the howling wind and the rain-lashed windpws. Have a good Yule.

  10. So glad to read that your ankles are mended. And what a find that antler is!

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year Celia, and only good things in 2014 x

  11. Love the deer pictures. I have seen many fallow deer and red deer in Scotland but never roe. I am so impressed too by the fact that you had your camera. You can pretty much guarantee either that I will not have mine when I see something interesting or if I do have it somehow I will forget in the looking until it is too late to do anything about it.


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