This weeks Illustration Friday topic is Dreams.
I pondered on this for a while yesterday and was thinking of carreer goals and day dreaming but wasn't sure how to really bring these ideas to life.
I also thought about a pencil drawing of my daughter that i made 13 years ago, while she was sleeping and dreaming of milk. I gave up on redoing this too.
After a while i thought about hibernation and about what an animal might dream while they slept out the winter. I suspected their dreams would be about food mainly.
That lead me to the hedgehog. I am particularly fond of hedgehogs - I've loved them since i was a child and it was always a thrill when one visited the garden.
My grampa encouraged them, of course, becuase he was a fantastic gardener and they do a wonderful job of eating pests like slugs and caterpillars. One of my earliest memories is of creeping outdoors at night to see one eating. I expect it wasn't really very late , as Scotland has very short days in winter and when i was young there was a double summer time experiment which meant the clocks went back 2 hours, making a short day even shorter. We had reflective armbands to wear on the way home from school but I heard that a lot of children were run over by cars and the experiment was ended.
Hedgehogs tend to hibernate late in the year - often starting in December or January as Britain frequently has hard frosts and snows from January to March.
The hedgehogs curl up in a special nest and they must have stored as much fat as possible in order to survive hibernation.
Scientifically speaking hibernation is not much like sleep at all as the body metabolism slows down dramatically - heart rate and body temperature are a fraction of their normal levels.
They lose about a third of their bodyweight by the end of hibernation so then need to drink and eat as soon as they wake up.
This particular hedgehog is in a kind of zen dream state rather than hibernation.
Its a European Hedgehog in a nest of fallen oak leaves and his dream foods surround him: beetle , snail, earthworm and caterpillar. This particular caterpillar is the large white butterfly caterpillar