'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Poultry Plumage

You don't have to look far to find beautiful and exotic plumage patterns. No need to intrepidly journey in dug-out canoes through mosquito-and leech infested jungles - you can find the jungle fowls closer to home. Well, in this case, Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm near Salisbury, UK ...

And in this case, Wharepuke Tropical Gardens near Kerikeri, NZ ...

Here is my version of the above chook, using charcoal on paper. And yes that is a nude sketched in, in the background. More about her later on in the month. Perhaps.


  1. Nude in the background? Purely out of artistic interest, I am already looking forward to this port - assuming of course that the model is a woman.
    The last picture of a hen's plumage demonstrates just how darned clever evolution has been - such beautiful intricacy and usefulness. Amazing.

  2. Compared to chickens, pigs are clean animals. We used to raise a few chickens of different breeds when I was a boy: White Leghorn, Buff Orphington, Rhode Island Red, Black Dominick and a speckled variety of Dominick. I am impressed that you know breeds of chickens.

    Wharepuke must be wah-reh-poo-keh in NZ but it looks like "where puke" to me.

  3. Oh, your Maori is very good Robert -

    Chooks get grubby if they are not free to roam, I guess. But I agree that pigs are very clean. I used to work in a dairy factory and the cafeteria was a tip after the men had had their lunch! My pigs aways 'went' in one corner of their sty. thee factory workers left mess everywhere!

  4. Purely of course YP.
    I guess our thumbs are good examples of 'clever, useful' evolution too. Incidentally, and tying the two parts of your comment together, have you read 'Adam's Curse' by Bryan Sykes?

  5. I wonder how many feathers the average chook has. A swan has about 23000 I understand. That's a lot of plucking!

  6. Yes GB. I wonder how much mucky plucking would a lucky duck-plucker pluck for a buck?