Whilst folk might generally think of red kites in places like Wales and the M4 corridor, I'm really chuffed that I can see them (and buzzards) over my house on a fairly regular basis in Home County Hertfordshire, although not in the numbers that the two places I mentioned get. I remember seeing some red kites that had nested in a town garden on Springwatch and that made me think that Steve needed updating.
I decided that Steve needed evolution to make him 3D which would give him shape and shadow which I set about doing. Well Steve has sat nine tenths done and it's taken BBC Wildlife magazine to feature this blog entry by Bugmadgirl on Twitter to finally get my backside in gear to finish him.
Steve's evolution was to see his 2D physical form undergo a 3D metamorphasis via processed sticky woodpulp. Once done I had to try and find a paint and I actually found this rather hard because a rabbit isn't really just one plain colour. I'd done a rather dark brown and decided that it needed lightening. Note from the left hand picture I settled on a small pot of Hint of Steve and cut a small amount of mocha in.
I thought I'd got it very wrong when it was wet, but as it started drying it seemed a better colour. The only thing that I was pondering was how to do the lighter fur on the belly and tale...
White insulating felt! Not only the light colour required but it also had a furry feel and gave the tail a very 3D look and feel. It was finished off with some felt tipped darker hair on the back and sides. If I ate rabbit carrion I'd fall for it. if not a red kite then a buzzard...even a corvid (crow family) would do!
Now my family think that a raptor or corvid won't fall for it, well did the mackerel stop to thin k that the small fish they had zeroed in on was actually a hook, foil and fishing line? Do the pigeons feel silly because they've been scared away by wood, line and coloured fabric (how apt that it's a kite!).
Once I put Steve out for the first time we headed to the car to go for a country walk and as luck would have a kite circled nearby and indeed went right over our house. I was so busy doing a Mrs Doylesque 'Go on, go on' I forgot to take a picture which is a shame because the sun was shining on it and it looked magnificent. It circled the garden twice before widening it's circle and gliding off. Did it look? Did it look and miss it? Did it look and think 'Nice try', would it have circled regardless? I don't know but it is further encouragement. Am I going to get lucky or am I Don Quixote?