We’re waiting for the predicted storm. The sky is turning dark, the strengthening wind is whistling and moaning and the showers of rain, when they come, are more fierce. The sea appears to rise – as if suspended vertically – obscuring the horizon and filling the air with fine droplets of water. The beach has a desperate rawness as the sea pounds and drums on the sand and rocks.
Autumn on the island always reminds me of the ‘transformation’ scene in a theatre production. It’s that time of metamorphosis when the coastal scenery undergoes a visible, and often dramatic, change of colour, light and atmosphere. Days can be muted and grey or bright, vivid and sparkling. In the next few days high winds and strong currents are forecast – the beach below the cottage will be washed and stripped and we’ll see something of the rocky skeleton below the sandy surface.
We’ve been enjoying some beautiful sunrises and sunsets in recent days. The cottage faces east and affords wonderful views towards Mull and Iona with spectacular lighting effects as the sun rises over Ben More. In the evening, as the sun sets behind the cottage, the clouds are illuminated in spectacular fashion by the golden light of the setting sun. Visitors to the island always remark on the ‘big sky’ and the uninterrupted views in all directions.
What a beautiful day we’ve just had. The inevitable move into autumn with it’s shorter and cooler days was halted. Today was bright, sunny and warm. A lovely reminder of the best of the summer days now gone, and a short respite from the teeth-chattering temperatures of recent days.
As the days become more autumnal – the sun becomes lower in the sky and the arch it describes becomes more shallow. As the days shorten the shadows cast across the landscape lengthen. This lowering light creates amazing effects which emphasis the undulations of the land. On the beach below the cottage this shallow light looks particularly beautiful at this time of year.
We seem to have lost those long bright days of summer as we slide into cooler days and longer nights. Memories of sunny days on the beach below the cottage, barbecues and toasted marshmallows are still strong. We’re looking forward to the spectacular seas and skies of autumn and winter. In every season, at all times throughout the year there is always something to catch the eye, to marvel at, to admire and to enjoy.
Over the last few days we’ve experienced rather mixed weather – heavy rain, strong winds, beautiful, still days and calm evenings. We are fortunate to have amazing light on the island – always creating spectacular views and captivating glimpses. In the lowering light of the evening, on walks along the beach below the cottage, I’m often reminded of the line – It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.
We’ve obviously had a famous children’s character on the beach below the cottage this week. Two carefully balanced piles of stones have appeared on the rocks.
After a rather unspectacular day – we were treated to an amazing light-show this evening. The rocks, on the beach below the cottage were caught in slanting beams of beautiful straw-coloured light. Mull, Bac Mor and Staffa are just visible in the distance.
We’ve had some amazing days and evenings recently – warm and clear until after 10 o’clock – perfect weather for a beach fire and barbecue. I’ve been looking at good sites – somewhere sheltered but with spectacular views. I’ve earmarked a couple of places just below the cottage – perfect locations for when our family visit. Sausages and toasted marshmallows – can’t wait! It’s good to remember that fires should always be on the sand and all traces removed once the embers have cooled.