I was not sure whether I had any photos for this but realised that the eyes of the wild were central to a discussion I had with my friend and artist Ruth Koenigsberger. We were talking about illustrations for some of the animal characters in my novel. So I looked back and there were lots of eyes looking out at me!
For one of Ruth’s first local exhibitions I wrote a poem which was about when we see wild animals and they look back at us. Her painting of the owl and her drawing for my character Milvana, the black kite, show how eyes are the ways we can make connections. We can also think there are eyes when perhaps there are not such as the tree and the butterfly wing markings.
Above – a chameleon seen in the Olhaö nature reserve on the Algarve. (Iphone and then cropped.) Ancient one eyed tree and butterfly in the Sierra Aracena.
House Martin babies, of only one pair, near Congleton, UK. ( Lumix camera zoom and cropped) I hope now in March, the house martins are back from Africa and building up their nests in the Algarve. 1000 more miles to go if nesting in the UK. Incredible flyers.
Below Iberian frog in Sierra Aracena by source of the River Odiel. (Lumix Camera and cropped.)
These were the ‘eye’ studies that inspired my poem that was read out in Spanish at the opening of the exhibition. We both thought how important the eyes would be in illustrating the characters in my book.
Quotes from La Vida en la Huerta and I guess it’s all about eyes and seeing one another. ( Translation by Margaret Van Epp)
I see you on my terrace
You see me see you
Your eyes hold onto mine
Te veo en mi terraza
Me sostienes la mirada
I do not want you to see me.
But when you stare,
I know your eyes are on me
I can be rock or leaf.
No quiero que me veas
Cuando fijas la mirada
Sé que estoy ante tus ojos
Me disfrazo de roca u hoja.
But you do not know me
Till you see me.
I may never reappear.
You may not even notice,
I have gone forever.
Sin haberme visto
No me conoces.
Puede ser que nunca reaparezca.
Tal vez ni te darás cuenta
Me haya ido para siempre.
Thanks to Denzil again for inspiring and helping me remember these poems and the illustration ideas for representing the wild animals in my novel. https://denzilnature.com/
I venture to put forward the possibility of publication of my first novel this year! This will be discussed with the publisher more this March.
With best wishes to all from Navasola