Early August, after rain the smell of warm, humid air now carries heavy tones of vegetation, streams run loudly after lightning storms and ominous thunder rolls signal change, though skies look settled, but shortly the baking sun is joined by short bursts of rain. On hot days, large dragonflies fly in groups of six or seven high in the air, zipping around too fast to be able to see, but I suspect the same as the Golden-ringed dragonflies by the stream pool. Smaller damselflies, young lizards and slow worms bask peacefully in the intense sunny corners, and wrens pick about on the stone heaps. 

Mid August has been wet and wild, offering limited chances for wildlife viewing; bedraggled red squirrels ran along the stone walls on their usual routes and it was exhilarating to watch the water crickets manage to hold ground in their stream pool, despite the white water rushing. Leaves have begun to turn yellow on some of the trees and the moorland across Laurieston Road has turned spectacularly purple with heather. 

It has been quite an active month for art events; this month the Upland members ‘A Postcard from Dumfries & Galloway’ started, it is on until the 6th September, you can view it here.

a photograph of a gouache painting title 'Summer, Gutchers Isle' by Catherine Coulson © 2020 Catherine Coulson
Summer, Gutcher's Isle, for the Upland Exhibition 'A Postcard from D&G'

Spring Fling has been rescheduled and it is now going ahead mainly as an online event from the 5th-12th October. I have been compiling a short video of the studio and taking photos for the new studio pages which will be on the Spring Fling website in weeks to come. 

I have also been enjoying researching for an essay about Laurieston Forest, learning about forest management for nightjars and black grouse, I will be adding that into the Nature reserves section soon.

The last few days of August have been beautiful days, blue skies and fluffy clouds; the slightly lower position of the sun illuminating the landscape, and creating spectacular pink sunsets. The high visibility highlights the contours of the distant Lake District mountains in clear detail and at sunset, a huge red full moon catches the last of the sun’s glow as it seems to sit just touching the mountain tops, before rising into the blueing sky and shining white brightness through the night. 

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