"June 1. North-west wind. Heavy thunder-storms morning and afternoon." Edith made entries every day the first six days of the month--20 in all for the month. There were all sorts of wild flowers in bloom for Edith to write about and to draw. She noted the many nests with eggs and hatchlings, as well as different kinds of insects as she continued her nature walks and cycling down country lanes. On the 12th she noted it was the 11th day without rain. She saw her first wild rose in bloom--which I've endeavored to draw and paint from her diary, which you will see later. She also notes on the 28th that an earthquake occurred the day before in "some of the Western counties of England and South Wales, extending from Bristol to the Mumbles."
This month's episode on the DVD brought all of this to life.....the owl she saw flying across the garden on the 8th, the cuckoo beginning to change his tune which will later be "cuc-cuckoo" instead of "cuckoo." Did you know that we do not have cuckoos here in America?
In the DVD, which covers Edith's diary for 1906, they will occasionally have events take place that belong to another year. For instance, the June episode shows Edith's mother death when in fact it happened in 1904. They also show Edith meeting her future husband, Frederick Smith, at the London exhibition of several of her oil paintings. He was a sculptor and appreciated her skill as a painter. The pair are shown on romantic nature walks together. But this does not actually happen until 19ll. In the DVD Edith tells Frederick, as she's written in her diary on the 24th, that "If when you hear the Cuckoo, you begin to run and count the cuckoo's cry's; and continue running until out of ear-shot, you will add as many years to your life as you count calls;--at least so the old women tell you in Devonshire."
Ragged Robin's Nature Notes, Part 3, takes you to the Olton Mill Pool where Edith saw her first Willow Warbler of the year in 1905 (which I have also drawn and painted below).
Bunny Mummy's June post highlights Edith's 1905 diary. There are lovely June photographs of the English countryside.
I have come across a Country Diary website that I think you will enjoy. Here is an audio interview of Rowena Stott, Edith's husband's great niece who inherited the diary and saw that it was published in 1977. Check out the other links on the website for other interesting tidbits about the book. It also tells how the 1905 diary came to be discovered and published in 1988. You will also see that the diary is now available in ebook form from iBooks. It contains pop-ups where you can get additional information on towns and definitions, etc., as well as some animation of her drawings (birds flying).
I practiced my first drawing from "The Country Diary Learn to Draw Nature in the Style of the Edwardian Lady". . .
Since the instructions are only for colored pencils I decided to choose a drawing from Edith's diary to paint. I wanted to do the wild roses so I picked the drawing on the first page for June which also includes birds--a Willow Warbler feeding her young. I realized that part of the loveliness of Edith's paintings in the book are due to the "aged" paper they are on. My stark white background gives it an entirely different feel. I am fast realizing that leaves and grasses are not my forte! This is my rendition of Edith's lovely June painting. . . .
The Country Diary Herbal arrived this past month. "It is a complete guide to growing and using herbs--their symbolic lore, medicinal uses, cosmetic applications, and cooking secrets. Fifty herbs from agrimony to yarrow, with all the details from cultivation secrets to delicious recipes." Edith's drawings are interspersed. It makes a lovely edition to my Country Diary books collection.
I also purchased The Country Diary Book of Creating a Wild Flower Garden by Jonathan Andrews. I'm hoping to plant wildflowers along a split rail fence at the back of our property. This book is illustrated with Edith's paintings and tells me all I need to know about planting a variety of wild flower seeds. It is organized by the month in which the flower will bloom. . . .
If you are new to my Web Journal you can go HERE to read the previous months' Country Diary entries. Just scroll down to the bottom to January and work your way back up.
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