3 October 2011

Macro and Magpie tendancies


Magpie ©Caroline Soer 2011
Charcoal and chalk on pastel paper

I love to collect and I've been cacheing stuff like a Magpie since I was little!  I remember now the pleasure of pocketing treasures such as discarded feathers, fallen acorns, hazel and horse chestnuts, or tufts of sheepswool and moss to take to school to display on the nature table in the classroom!

I also love using the macro setting on my camera! I am fascinated by the insects' view of the world and love to capture nature close up at every opportunity. I am always the one lagging behind taking photos on a country walk and if I'm not clicking (and the subject is for the taking), I'll be picking it up, turning it over in my hands to examine it and frequently popping it into the rucksack to study, photograph, paint or display later.

I find seedpods fascinating! They come in all different shapes and sizes - the slender ones in the picture above are over 50 cms long!   I like to see what's stored within.


  Poppies - I love the different colours they take on when dried.

The cone above is from a Malaysian rain forest tree - not sure which - but its interesting shape warranted it being dried off and carried home for further inspection and display

 in a lovely dish handmade by husband Jan, from Selangor pewter, at the School of Hard Knocks in KL!  This is something I have yet to try!

and this is a close up of the giant Spanish fir cone in the pic below.

I had gathered several on holiday in Spain, but sadly could only fit this one in the suitcase to take home!

I found this abandoned, intricately woven nest hanging in a tree in the garden.

I keep boxes and display bowls full of my finds on the shelves in the studio. The triangular dishes above are ideal for holding delicate wings and little beach treasures - they're made locally from slices of coconut.



 I love the patina of this little Indian copper dish that holds various treasures like an incredibly fragile skeletonised leaf and little blue birds' egg.  I found the egg floating in the swimming pool one day - perhaps tossed out of the nest and transported on a gust of wind!

  Exotic shells, many collected on beaches in Oman - I was delighted to find a small  Venus Comb Murex with all most of its spines intact!

Pheasant finery

Irridecence - peacock feather and my Thai silk dress!

The blue feather in the last pic is a Magpie's, I believe.

Do you have any Magpie tendancies? 
What do you collect?


  1. You are a lady after my own heart. I too collect various objects while out and about. I have always wanted a shell collection but we don't live anywhere near a beach nor do we travel to the places where one would find such treasures. My email shows my tendancies toward "bower birds". I just love these bits and pieces. I always think I will draw them but find that I rarely do. I just collect them.

  2. Walking the dog daily- filling pockets full- stones- feather- seeds- wonky sticks bits of odd detritus from humans.I have bowls and buckets of gathered bits. pods! i can never pass up a pod! My robin eggs are breaking now- gathered from spring time.Mr. Man thinks it is garbage, compost...good thing, I suppose, or we would be on a reality TV show... I lOVE your collections! I wouldn't be able to pass up any of it! It inspires!

  3. Yes! Says the the fellow magpie! Love to walk and see and look and pick up and touch and bring home and paint and display!!

    Love your beautiful bowls for your bits and pieces.

  4. I'm sorry to say that my collections are nothing compared to yours! I love all of these, but of course shells are my favorite. I suppose that would be my collected item but they are stored away in bags in the studio. I love the macro photography on the seeds. Spectacular!

  5. Wow! All these are just too wonderful Caroline!

    Sorry to drop by late as I had just finished a submission:)

    How curious am I admiring your collection. Visiting your blog is always like a fantasy, make me feel good and inspired!

    I have so much to say, let me reread and tell you again Caroline!!!

  6. Everytime I stop my eyes on every single images here, my heart beats get faster a little!

    I know I heart your curations so much!

  7. I love this post Caroline as it is one of my favourite things to do, collecting stuff on my walks whether it is from nature or bits of metal that have fallen off cars & lorries. I once had a bird's nest on a sideboard in the dining room and when my godchildren came to lunch I caught them rolling their eyes at each other in horror!

  8. i am speechless! caroline, this is a tribute to the natural world like i have never seen! my favorite is that last blue feather: how could it be otherwise, that spiritual pure blue? what an amazing reverent collection.

    dear friend, please invite me for dinner. invite me, i might surprise you. :^)


  9. Oooooh I amcrazy for these photos, looked at them over and over. what simple beauty!

  10. Wow!!! Such treasures and incredible beautiful pictures!
    I bought a magpie from Lo. And that is in my living room .
    I have to be careful not to collect too much as I think my house is already too full. A lot of my stuff is in boxes. Once I have my own studio I can unpack my treasures :)

    I love collecting shells , but these will be in my toilet soon.

    Have a nice day

  11. Ooh, your magpie is beautiful!

    And I just LOVE macro photos. These are gorgeous! What lovely finds. Little worlds all their own.


Thank you for passing by. I love to read your comments!


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