stories and illustration

Bats, Liddesdale, Hares and Dancers


This painting was in my last blog, in a gallery, which I have come to dislike as a format for painted images, so I thought I would put the painting I like best separately. The dancers in the back are travellers, the little pierrot fiddler is a tad melancholy.  The field is a real field in Liddesdale, where there are curlews and hares and reeds.  This is hill-farming country. You can walk into the landscape and see no-one for hours, the hefted sheep in many parts do not have any boundary posts, just wander over the hills. By the roadside, along a mile stretch of road, in one week in July, I found over seventy varieties of flowers. The landscape of the Liddel Valley has probably been witness great violence, as it was right in the heart of Reiver country, but now it is one of the most tranquil places imaginable, much of it gone back to animals and plants. In the house where we were staying there are bats.  The inhabitants of the previous week I was told had been ambushed by “about 30 bats (or 50 by another account)” which had unfortunately made their lives unendurable in the house.  In July the bats hatch out, and these visitors must have hit the house at just the wrong time.  We only came across three or four of the creatures in the house.  You can’t get rid of bats in the evening, they just fly round and round, better turn of the light and forget them, and remove them gentlyfrom the curtains(in a handkerchief or using gloves, as bat bite is dangerous)  and put them outside whilst they are sleeping during the day.

August 6, 2014 - Posted by | Art, Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. Lovely animated painting Cara – I like the whole idyllic nature of it. And speaking of nature, your bat story is a bit creepy but amazing that you can just pick them off where ever they are perched and set them outside (while sleeping of course). They really don’t stir when you do this? My husband and I were just talking about bats this past weekend, as a way to control the mosquito population but are hesitant because of rabies. Enjoyed your visual image you’ve given of Liddesdale and as its history – sounds like you had a wonderful time.


    Comment by Mary | August 6, 2014 | Reply

    • Thanks, Mary. The bats are actually very beautiful, strange and velvety – and really comatose by day. I love to hear them flitting and squeaking round the top of the house (outside!)in the evening. Once you have bats you aren’t allowed to get rid of them, as I am sure you know. Apart from the one or two weeks in July they don’t seem to be much of a problem in the place where I went to stay. They just like old houses. Yes, Liddesdale is the place I most care about, there was something magical about walking there this year, in this amazing summer (the nickname for that part of the world is “weeping valley” because of the theory that all the trees attract the rain).


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | August 8, 2014 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: