Friday’s Letters



I hope that you enjoyed the Hawthorn Theme to welcome May. I certainly enjoyed thinking about woodland and looking forward to a time when I can get back to St Nick’s to wander all the little paths and clearings. For those of you not from the York area St Nick’s is the green heart of York. A beautiful nature reserve on what was once a landfill site. Here are some pictures recently sent with our news letter from the site.

I had a lovely chat with Jeanne (a regular at my class) this week, who reported seeing beautiful lilac trees in bloom, swallows circling over the lake near her home and tadpoles emerging. We discussed recording nature and our observations. Jeanne told me about Robert Marsham, one of the first know people to record sightings and seasonal changes in the natural world. He started this in 1736 and his family continued the tradition right up until 1958. You can read more about him here.

Inspired by Saturday’s Art Challenge – Sean sent me this really fun nature journal page, inspired by photographs he had taken of interesting flies (see below). Love them or hate them flies are a very important part of our ecosystem and sometimes quite beautiful once you get over the creepy crawliness! Sean did a fab job with this – I loved the line drawings – particularly the zigzag lines of erratic flight and all the little details, they would work really well as caricatures (there’s your next challenge Sean!) I could imagine some comedy voices going with them (great for a creative writing challenge too).

Following on from this my friend Anna also wrote to share journal pages that she has been creating in her sketch book. Anna is a gardener and forager. Here is a fab recipe for Dandelion pesto, I’m going to try and make it this weekend:

I hope you all have a brilliant bank holiday and a lovely weekend. Look out for the Art Challenge tomorrow where I will be discussing drawing and painting with found objects. There’s also a beautiful poem to give strength and hope due to be posted on Monday.

Take care,

With best wishes,

  1. Ooooo – I haven’t got the ones you mention, I will look into them. I’m slowly growing my own nature…

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge ( and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York ( for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

2 thoughts on “Friday’s Letters

  1. Glad you liked my sketches and photos, Emma.
    The dandelion pesto looks yummy!
    There’s a – very tenuous – link between Robert Marsham and St Nicks, Marsham’s Nomad Bee, Nomada marshamella, was named in his honour. These strikingly wasp-like bees were first recorded on the reserve last year. I don’t have a photo, but there are great ones of this, and other bees, at:

    Nomada marshamella female - Warwick Cemetery, Warwick 2020a


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!! Thank you for sending this. Keep up the drawing I loved them! This bee has amazing colours! I am loving being more connected to your knowledge of all the species… one of the benefits of lock down! Best wishes Emma


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