Alert chicks!

Nesting swallows (II) – growing feathers

A quick update on our Barn Swallow nestlings, as I’ve just been outside to check with the zoom lens. They certainly are growing fast and look much more alert! It’s now very clear that they have their eyes open and feathers are growing. And is that a tinge of russet colour? I can tell from…

Feeding frenzy

Lucky us – we have nesting swallows!

I’m happy to report that the good fortune of our house is assured for the summer at least. This is due to the presence of a little swallow family nesting in the porch by our front door. We did try to explain to them that it wasn’t the quietest of locations, but neither parents nor…

Vrboska diary – a painter’s view

It’s fun to take my sketchbook along on a walk instead of the camera, although it doesn’t half slow down progress! But what I lose in distance covered and numbers of images, I gain in terms of the quality of the scene imprinted on my memory. Places that I’ve sat and sketched are much more…

Red roofs in the sunset glow, Vrboska

Red roofs in the sunset glow

Since I wrote my article on Red roofs as part of the landscape last month, I’ve been looking with different eyes at buildings – and paintings of them. So many artists over the years have taken architecture as their subject, including red roofs (Camille Pissarro) and even blue roofs (Paul Gaugin). So let’s have a…

In through one door… and out through another

The word for a door in Croatian is vrata, which comes from the old Slavic word vorta. It’s always plural, in the same way that trousers or pants are in English. And vrata means both the opening, and the object we use to close it up. Now that may be a wooden door, glass door or wrought-iron gate, inside or outside, in the house or garden or field – vrata covers all types.

Dalmatian shutters – stylish and so practical!

Where I grew up, in Edinburgh, only the older stone houses had working shutters, and those were on the inside of the windows to keep out the cold in winter. In much of southern Europe, houses are shuttered in the summer to keep out the heat. I also really enjoy the ability to close out the world when it gets cold, dark and wet in winter, especially when there’s a bura blowing! It’s all terribly convenient, and so much cheaper than extra heating or air conditioning.