broad-rotf1As is often the way on YouTube, link from video to video and you will come across something of interest. This time, a 1930s series of documentary films collectively titled Secrets of Nature. Happier still, East Anglia was given generous coverage and so I couldn’t resist using the film as reference for some sketches, most of all the rather lovely shot of a man punting toward a working drainage mill. I could very well be wrong, but I’m wondering if it’s a working Brograve Mill as it looks about the same geography, same size and even appears to have the trademark lean. This, incidentally, was said to have been caused by the Devil himself – apparently preferring the Norfolk Broads untouched, legend says he tried to blow the mill over several times.

On top of that, it’s also claimed that Sir Berney Brograve, who commissioned the structure in 1771, was actually chased by the Devil into the mill one night: “The devil pounded his hooves on the door trying to get in, but Sir Berney stayed put, too afraid to come out. When he woke the next morning the door was covered in hoof prints.”

Spooky. Such stories even led to it earning the colloquial name of Devil’s Mill.

broad-rotf2Of course the objective of this particular film, The Raiders of the Fens, was not to speak of the mills, but the birds nesting in nearby sanctuary, so I felt compelled to move in that direction. The above is rather a sketchy attempt at capturing both the beauty and devotion of a young mum; the Montagu’s Harrier hen muddling through and guarding her eggs. Hmm. Well, there’s always next time I suppose – and indeed there surely is more to come from this fascinating series.

  1. Lovely soft treatment in the portrait of the Harrier hen Jacob, the expression in those eyes is spot on, well done mister!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Cheers, Phil! I’ve not done many birds and wasn’t entirely sure how she’d turned out – your encouragement is much appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It looks like you’ve been studying and drawing birds for years Jacob 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Aww, blush!! Thanks, mister – such a lovely thing to say.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bill Fufkin said:

    Nice drawing, one for the twitters…they fly with a breath-taking majesty. I understand they are rare in number today. B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Bill – this proved a challenge! Yes, I’ve read that they are endangered. Thank goodness these sanctuaries were put in place and offer the species some protection.


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