Red Kite Painting commissioned by Elizabeth Dunning.
Elizabeth Dunning our local minister, said that she always
enjoyed seeing the many birds in the area, but particularly the Red
Kites which sail overhead in the Nene valley. So, using this as my
starting point I found an image of the Nene river meandering
through the valley and a poem by John Clare called The Fens which
mentions a red kite.
`Ah, could I see a spinney nigh,
A paddock riding in the sky,
Above the oaks, in easy sail,
On stilly wings and forked tail.'
Another name for the red kite, often used by Shakespeare, is
the `paddock' (or `puttock').
Another poem I used in this painting was...
Dancing, silent, upon salient winding breeze,
Spring sun, warm and mellowing on horizon,
Ascends to cross o'er rugged mountain pass,
Looking to feed her needful young,
She swoops to steal this evening's catch,
Mouse in talon,to return to nest up high,
Feeds chicks that chitter, beg for more,
Then takes back off in steep evening rise,
To seek out yet another one...
Drifting upon the dusky breeze as evensong
A quest, survival, stay one
Being careful and watchful, discerningly wise,
Sharp of mind, keen of beak, tail of rusty
Eyes as sharp as a nugget embedded in gold,
She glides off and up into darkening skies,
She, such beauty, priceless, emotive sight,
For I shall always admire you,
The honest life of the Red Kite.