Moon and Curlew

Moon and Curlew 10

Linked in name and nature, the Moon and Curlew, this woodcut celebrates them both.  

The curlew’s ancient Greek name is Numenius meaning new moon.  One of my favourite views is of a full moon tiptoeing from left to right across the top of Eastwood. It is an unusual sight as the moon’s path doesn’t often track this way.  

Another marvel at this time of year is the migration of millions of birds. They move across the planet to find a favourable place to spend the winter. Curlews are one of these migrant birds and last winter I saw about 50 curlews here. So I am keeping my fingers crossed they will return again this year.  

I often scribe stories into the wet ink of these Moon and Curlew woodcuts.  Sometimes it is the story of the curlew whose numbers are falling dramatically; or the story of the salt marsh, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is also under threat.  

The image size is 20 cm x 20 cm and an additional print or prints in the margin. Each woodcut is printed with Caligo Safe Wash inks on Arches Aquarelle acid-free paper.


Moon and Curlew 4

On the edge of the salt marsh – the moon and curlew
On the edge of the tide
curlews call
a beautiful and
haunting sound

On the edge of the tide
they feed as the moon
pulls back the sea

On the edge of extinction
curlews are struggling
and need our help


 

Moon and Curlew 5

 

The moon and curlew
are old friends
in name and nature

Centuries ago
inspired by the
curve of its beak
the Ancient Greeks
named the curlew
after the new moon
“Numenius”

As the moon pulls out the tide
coastal mud flats are exposed
and this is where
the winter curlews feed

So it will be
for centuries to come
if we can save the curlew
from extinction


 

Moon and Curlew 6

 

The moon and curlew are old friends in name and nature

Numenius
meaning new moon
is the Ancient Greek
name for the curlew
perhaps inspired by its
crescent shaped beak

In nature winter curlews
rely on the moon
to pull out the tides
so they can feed
on the exposed mud.

So it will be
for centuries to come
if we can save the curlew
from extinction.


 

Moon and Curlew 10

 

 


 

Moon and Curlew 11

 

At risk of extinction

If you don’t
know our name
If you haven’t
seen us
If you haven’t
heard us
you will not care
about us

Once you know our name
once you have seen us
once you have heard us
you will care

We are curlew
Numenius arquata


 

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