The colour of summer

Summer is a purple season: willowherbs, thistles and buddleia bloom in vibrant profusion, self-heal punctuates the grass, vetch curls its tendrils in the undergrowth, small clusters of viper’s bugloss and foxglove bloom in hidden spots.  The fresh whites and yellows of spring and early summer have given way to deeper colours in preparation for autumn.

Summer is a rainbow season.    A time for donning rainbow flags and fancy dress and taking part in colourful parades.  A season for  merry go rounds, bandstands in the park, celebration and frivolity.

Summer is a growing season.  Blackberries and rosehips are appearing in the hedgerows, green turning to orange, to red and deep purple.  Rowan berries are already ripe on the trees, while others are still green, waiting to burst.  But summer is also a dying season.  Many of the flowers that bloomed just a few weeks ago have already lost their blossoms.  Seed heads in browns, reds and ochres preview the autumn colours to come.

It has been a summer of searing temperatures, the sixth hottest July on record.  Humid, dry, too hot to do anything comfortably.  Coinciding with something of a fallow period for me.  An occasional sea mist in the evening the only respite.  The grain harvest has arrived early in the UK, with rape and barley harvests beginning weeks earlier than normal.  Wheat harvests are predicted to be bountiful.  Before autumn arrives we’ve been doing our last outside work, those final jobs in the yard to see us through the coming winter.  And despite that fallow spell, I have done some creative work: finished one painting and started another, drafted some short stories.

Lammas falls on the first day of August and begins the season of transformation, when, as the wheat is turned into bread and sweet treats, our projects begin to bear fruit.  This is the last tide to focus on what I want to achieve this year, before the reckoning of the final harvest on the equinox.  I spent Lammas thinking about what I have created so far this year and what I still want to do before the harvest.  I think about and give thanks for the work I’ve put in, but also consider what I might have to sacrifice over the coming weeks to achieve my goals.  The day after Lammas, a hint of autumn crept in: mist over the sea, rain, thunder and wind.  The first day in many that I’ve wanted to cosy up indoors.  But the seals are still on our island, a sign that the responses I’m waiting for on my novel might still come.

Summer is a season for recognition, for sharing your gifts with the wider world.  Inese, over at Inesemjphotography recently nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger award.  Inese shares some wonderful photos on her site and I particularly love her nature photography.  Pat over at Plain talk and ordinary wisdom has nominated me for the Butterfly Light award.  Pat shares inspiring stories that might be told around her kitchen table.  Pat and I took part in a blog hop recently, so you can learn more about her here.  Though I no longer take part in awards, I’d like to thank Pat and Inese for thinking of me and, instead of following the rules, I’m sharing links to three bloggers I’ve recently discovered, all of whom have a strong focus on nature and connecting with the earth.  At this time of the first harvest, I hope you’ll pay them a visit:

My wild life is about the adventures of a zoologist working in the Inner Hebrides.

Maia of the birds writes about shamanism, poetry and nature.

Partridge, Pine and Peavey is about the outdoors and the people who live in it.

58 thoughts on “The colour of summer

  1. Hi Andrea! I can just smell and taste your English summer. It was so beautiful while I was over there – there’s no country that beats England in the summer (perhaps we’re biased?). Beautiful photos and descriptive writing – love it. Thank you x

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  2. A beautiful post on every level. I loved all the colors. For years I’ve felt (where i am) that there is no color. Everyone dresses in a uniform of DRAB… I thirst for colors. And i don’t care that i stand out like a sore thumb for wearing them. People ask me if i’m wearing my pajamas or night gown because i’ve worn a color… So thank you for sharing the colors of your summer. Hugs!

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  3. Summer is at least recognisable this year Andrea. We can put up with (and even enjoy) the bleak winter months if we know that our summers will be good. No seals down our way but we get to see a few dolphins.

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    • Yes, we didn’t have much of a winter but spring and summer have definitely been what they ‘should’ be this year. I’d swap you a few seals for some dolphins! Actually, we do get a few off the coast, but I haven’t actually seen any – had to go to Madeira for that!

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  4. You definitely do have a very inspiring blog – I’m always happy at the prospect of your posts popping up in my reader – I know I’m in for a treat. Like you, I don’t “do” awards, but I have to agree that this one for you is wholly appropriate!

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  5. We must be on the same wavelength, because yesterday all I noticed was beautiful purple everywhere and I couldn’t resist a delicious basket of blackberries at the store. It has been a hot summer, and I’m afraid I’ve been staying indoors a bit more than I would like to keep cool. We’re going to Seattle this weekend, which should be a tad cooler. It will be awesome to be surrounded by more water too.

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  6. Now what can I see out of the window? White anemones, blue globe thistles, orange rowan berries, and a nasturtium mix of red, yellow and orange.
    I loved your pictures as usual and your thoughts on the seasons.

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  7. Such lovely and peaceful photos. They brought me a sense of calm. It’s funny you mention you’ve had record heat there in the UK. I live in Florida, so it’s always overbearing heat, but from what I hear in the northern part of the U.S., it’s been a very mild summer, and down right chilly at times. I sure do miss summers from up north, and the change of seasons.

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  8. The seed-eating birds in my area are just entering the peak season for a diverse selection—coneflowers and milkweed are nearly ready for meals. The first raspberries and blackberries have ripened and are tempting to the humans walking on the green trails. We’ve definitely had warm and humid days, but not as oppressive as they usually are, and that’s been a nice break.

    I hope you’ll soon have good news on your querying!

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  9. Congrats on your awards. I don’t do awards anymore, either. But I think that they are like a rite of passage; all bloggers need to experience them as a part of their growing period. Which really goes along with the theme of your post.

    I am excited to explore the three blogs you mention. I really love following the adventures and insights of people who work alongside wildlife and nature.

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    • Thanks Kate, yes, it’s wonderful when you get your first awards and I still value being thought of for them, but there’s only so many times you can fulfil the obligations! Those blogs are all very different and interesting in their own ways, hope you enjoy them.

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  10. Hmm.. Summer, yes and your beautiful post sums it all up, Andrea. Love your photo’s, what a treat. I miss writing about the seasons and cycles. I’d love to but time flies and the move has got me preoccupied most of the time right now. I will get back to it in due time. Have a bountiful summer in all aspects of your life, Andrea!

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  11. I so love your colorful images! You know what we noticed in Northern Ireland? In the villages they paint fences, garden sculptures, doors and many other stuff in magenta color. We discussed this and came to conclusion that it is the most summery color and this way the villagers want to keep the summer spirit all the year:) And now I see your images and you too agree that it is the color of summer:)

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    • Thank you Evelyne – well we don’t always get hot and dry days, we do have our share of wet summers 🙂 But we did have a heatwave in July last year as well, it may be a sign of things to come with climate change.

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  12. You certainly know how to capture the beauty of summer, indeed of all the seasons, Andrea, not only with your beautiful photographs but also with your, as always, exquisite prose. I noticed in France that the blackberries are already starting to ripen, the season is certainly well advanced with a hint of Autumn in the air there and here…
    It is one week since you posted this and I wonder if the seals are still on your island…please know that I am keeping you in my thoughts for the news for which you wait…
    Congratulations on all the well deserved awards, and what a lovely way to acknowledge them 🙂

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    • Thanks Sherri. Since I posted, the autumn weather has definitely made an appearance – downpours and gales yesterday, gales today. And even in that short space of time our blackberries are already riper an lots of wild raspberries in the hedgerows. We did visit the island yesterday, but the tide was in, so we didn’t cross – so if the seals were there, they were in hiding 🙂

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