After the Storm

water starwort, watercress, white-clawed crayfish, stream water crowfoot, lesser water parsnip, fine-lined pea mussel, chalk stream, UK, natural history, wildlife, illustration, biology, illustrator, Hannah Foley, education, non-fiction, kids, children, families, fish, salmon, Brown trout, damselfly, water vole, brook lamprey, Yesterday an enormous storm rolled in and blew the power at Radio Devon. The kids and I watched in awe from the window as rain pounded the garden. Counting the seconds between lightening strike and thunder clap, the storm stalked towards us, bounded the roof tops with an almighty roar, then rumbled away towards the horizon. My Madonna lilies looked like they’d suddenly developed a life-long smoking habit, the white petals splattered with yellow pollen. But my hollyhocks bore the worst of it. They were dashed to the ground. Little Owl held the broken stalks carefully in her arms and gave me her heartfelt condolences. Needless to say we reached for Percy the Park Keeper for our bedtime story and read, After the Storm.

The school term is drawing to a close and we are busy with summer fetes, sports days, meeting new teachers, reports, end-of-term celebrations and the final push to achieve various sporting and Brownie-related achievement badges. The teachers look weary and frayed. Little Owl’s temper is short. Finch moodily rearranges his stick collection in the giant planter in the side return. Even Wren is not immune. She finally started walking this week but only after the Health Visitor looked her firmly in the eye and told her there’d be a paediatrician referral with her name on it if she didn’t get on with it. Time for a holiday I think.

This was a sample spread I did for a piece about chalk streams. You can find out more about what is being done to help our chalk streams here.

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