David Adam ..... Scottish creative artist ...... author of Wildsketch ..... social realist in Postcard from Brechin
Studio and Wildsketch journal
Studio and Wildsketch journal
A blue and purple hum surrounds my outstretched soul. I feel singing space all around with no visible source. The heathery glen becomes a cathedral of space where cosmic voices utter sweet melody. Peer the purple Ling for busy bees but nothing shows. The hum grows in the stillness until it cushions out all sense of hurt or regret or love or hate. A thousand thousand wings buzz the ethereal blue hum for miles around as nature's honeyed voice calms the land.
And I imagine, a paper boat, on a sea of purple sound becalmed yet soaking in the ripples of the scented hum, and the flora and fauna float amidst the aromatic mists of celestial, hot blue ..... blue melts into purple and then hazy heather becomes miraged sky. Mother nature gives the Scottish moorland an engorging magic in August which fills the rolling hills with sublime, coloured music in a worldly unique experience never to be forgotten. Chromesthesia is a term for those unusually gifted souls who transmogrify sound into colour.
Across that landed sea roam herds of Red Deer. The stags are on the high moor drifting with the wind to flee the flechs, and the hinds with their piping calves are on the lower slopes where succulent grass feeds the young venison. The stags move like a dishevelled army over the peat hags, their bony antlers adorned with ripped velvet skin that tickles at the spiked seed heads as they nibble squeaky grass with trophy heads bowed low.
Ling pollen dusts my boots and snuffs my nose but high above, riding filtered blue, soar the eagles in tandem beauty and feather swishing silence. One is clearly in a moult process where pairs of wing feathers are renewed over an extended period. Both slip into the landscape effortlessly, no wing flaps, no effort, just rock steady flight ..... the mark of a Golden Eagle on a hungry mission.
Heading up steep slopes can be Adder tricky, heading down slopes is better as one can see more, but the eye level ledge where the snake basks can sometimes be out of sight from below and my boot is always too late in finding out. Leather meets scales at an awkward step near a rocky burn and the dark, snake head venoms back to launch an attack, forked tongue flicking.
The slinky beast escapes after licking Vibram sole and my heart stabilises back down from a thousand beats a minute to assimilate that snake infused pint of adrenaline ..... phew. By the way, big Adders are usually quite calm but the wee ones are the feisty ones to watch out for. When I was a wee boy, sixty years ago, I mind of stepping on one in Glen Lethnot ..... it rose like a stick on its tail, mouth wide open with white fangs dropped while launching at me like a missile, missing my nose by petrified inches.
Under the heat of blue, the glen surrenders itself to a lazy haze and the shorn ewes sprint into a new lease of life, minus their pounds of worthless, claggy wool of-course. Nearby, a Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting congregate amongst the scorching Bracken fronds to fiddle around for caterpillars and insects. The bitter sweet smell of spores mixes a perfume with the soapy stench of lanolin from the sheep, and there we have it .... the Angus glen in August with no mention of Red Grouse or the Glorious Twelfth.
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Scottish artist David Adam author of
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