The Beast of Hushing Wood
In May, I travelled to the US, to the Berkshire woods to further research my forthcoming novel The Beast of Hushing Wood. I saw squirrels and chipmunks, woodpeckers and deer.
I stayed with a friend in her beautiful house on the edge of the woods overlooking Williamstown in Massachusetts. Her very first airbnb guests arrived one week after I left and were treated to a mother bear and her two cubs ambling across the meadow in front of the house. They had just emerged from hibernation. I wish I had seen them too.
But I did capture this somewhat magical photo of a squirrel who looks like he has a small creature riding on his back.
I had a lovely day talking and illustrating with the kids at the local Pine Cobble School. It is such a cute school and now I have a setting for the school in Hushing Wood.
Can you guess what made these marks? If you said a woodpecker, you are right. If you go for a walk in the woods, you can hear their sounds echoing through the trees. And here is a painting I did of a woodpecker.
Here I am in the woods picking ramps. Ramps are yummy wild plants with a taste similar to chives. Stirfried they are delicious.
The view across the valley at sunset from my friend’s balcony was stunning!
Some other paintings I did while I was there.
For the next few days, while the current edit is back with my editor at Penguin, I will work on the internal illustrations.