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Hunt, gather, play.

Today was cooler and damp and drizzly. After some sticky hot days of hiding inside my son and I headed off to the woods for some fresh air.

Petrichor floated in the breeze. That sweet, warm, soil smell that lingers after rain - especially in the forest. It was still warm and stuffy and we were in short sleeves.

I relish in these moments with my son as he is growing so fast. He is thirsty for knowledge and curious about everything. The spot we headed to was one we have visited regularly since he was born. There is a clearing with a rope swing and we play hide and seek behind the tree trunks and look for little froglets in the bog.

I also used the time to gather some props to use in my social media photographs of my artwork. Autumn is approaching and I have just finished my trio of Autumn decor prints.

These 3 little Autumn prints are available in my Etsy shop now.

With nature featuring so heavily in my artwork, I often turn to natural elements to use alongside the paintings in my photographs. I have a few basic rules when collecting from nature:

Tap, tap, tap: When you pick something up, let's say a beautiful piece of bark, from the forest floor be sure to give it a few taps to make sure that any little insects are left behind. Using a loose weave basket (and then any little hitchhikers who accidentally get picked up can scurry free). Pine cones are always full of earwigs so if you don't fancy a nip on the finger give them a little knock.

Be thoughtful: Only take what you need. Harvesting too much at once could be disruptive to the ecosystem. This is especially important in the Autumn months when wildlife are gathering their winter stores.

Fallen finds: When possible only collect what has fallen. I try to collect the early acorns that have fallen before ripening, the previous years Autumn leaves and the bits of litchen and moss that have become displaced and are loose. When I need to take something that is alive (most commonly this is flowers) I do so with a view to preserve them to get longer use from them. I plan to write about preservation in a future post.

Just look at those vibrant, litchen covered twigs.

The fiery red Oak leaves were my favourite find of the morning!

We hunted and gathered and played until deciding to head home for lunch. A morning well spent. Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram and Facebook posts to see if you can spot any of the beautiful things we have gathered today.

Until the next time,

Cherelle x

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