I adore willow catkins, and on my dog walks it’s great to see the bright lemon yellows stand out against the ubiquitous grey. I noticed a fiery variant on one tree: it reminded me of a firecrest, with the bright orange and yellow:

The pewter grey is stunning – I’ve never seen catkins like it, and I’m not sure if it’s the tree or where it’s growing; it’s sitting in a permanently wet ditch as willows are wont to do. Here are a couple of willows from elsewhere along the same hedge line:

Willows are very promiscuous and hybridise freely, so don’t necessarily conform to the crack, grey, white species identification, but they are all fabulous pollinator plants, and their foliage is a favourite for many moth and butterfly caterpillars.

I chose a square of Khadi paper for painting the willow twig, as it has a nice rough texture which means the paint grazes the surface, giving a fluffy look. I struggled a bit with the yellow as I am down to a dried-up tube and it didn’t show up terribly well on the grey. I truncated the twig slightly so that it would fit on the paper, but that of course is the beauty of painting…

I now have quite a collection of twig paintings:

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with them but they are nice to look at. I have a big new project to work on now so the nature notebook will have to wait but I’m excited to get back to the birds. Watch this space, and follow my blog to keep up to date.

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