Hare in a Maize Field
MAIZE fields are planted in many parts of Cornwall mainly to provide cover for game birds to be released into for the shooting trade which has become big business here over recent years. This month’s painting is one from a mini project of mine portraying the wildlife to be found in and around these fields and features one of our most delightful mammals, the brown hare, an animal always associated with the month of March. Although not considered common here in Cornwall, they are to be found in many parts of the Duchy especially open farmland and on our moors.
The hare is another of our native animals, along with rabbits and small rodents, which is quick to take advantage of any available food source, as many farmers and market gardeners will confirm, ripe maize being a particular favourite. They will also gnaw the corn stalks, especially when they are still green. The maize fields I visit and where I gathered the reference for this series of paintings are in and around the small hamlet of Tregaswith and not very far from my St Columb Studio, so right on my doorstep, so to speak, and somewhere I visit throughout the year several times a week. I have found stripped corn cobs in some unlikely places, sometimes great distances from these fields in which they grow. I can only assume these are dropped or taken there by birds as I do know that many members of the crow family are very partial to ripe maize cobs.
I see a brown hare on occasion on the edge of one of these local maize fields where it has a resting place, or form, amongst dying stalks which is the inspiration for this painting.
To see more of Dick’s work or to purchase prints or paintings that have appeared in Wildlife Diary phone: 01637 880606 or online: www.theartofdicktwinney.com Visitors are always welcome to his St Columb Studio but please phone first.