Monday, 30 June 2014

A hoopoe in my garden!

This bird is a hoopoe, and it is feeding in my garden!     Hoopoes are quite exotic birds.  They have a crown of feathers on their  heads,  a long tapering bill that can be opened when probing into the soil due to a strengthened head musculature , and an undulating flight rather like that of a large butterfly. Their diet includes insects, small reptiles and seeds and berries, and is a solitary forager.    Hoopoes were sacred in Ancient Egypt. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Painting by Claudius Denis of a garden with urn.

This is an oil painting on a wooden panel by Claudius Denis, a French artist born 1878 in Lyon. He was seriously injured in his foot during the lst World War, and was also badly affected psychologically. He died in 1947 and is buried in the grounds of his country house in Hauterive (Yonne) in France.