The summer is sliding onward, and already the glowing dark blue skies of late, late nights have gone. Out picking raspberries in the evening after work, it can happen that the night leaps down on you too quickly and catches you, sticky fingered, in its dark and itchy blanket.
As some of those people who stand at street corners waiting to discuss the weather with strangers will tell you in their creaking voices, 'the nights are drawing in'...
... and so, taking up that warning that everything passes too quickly, here is a little post to sustain a quiet moment for a little longer. These photos are from an evening's stroll a few nights ago.
We walked down towards the lighthouse, to breathe in the sea air before its journey across the harbour and the train tracks and the streets. At the mouth of the harbour families of dolphins leap, some of them still only small. Further on there are the sort of amphibious rocks that live sometimes on the land and sometimes under the sea, and with them come tide pools to peer into.
Sometimes there is a silver dart of a small fish or a great, wide piece of kelp that twitches suddenly and inexplicably, providing a hint of mystery which no amount of searching and peeking can ever seem to explain.
Some days there are other mysteries too, lonely driftwood fires that burn all on their own, for example. The one in the first photo was quite enticing, but like all such things -- empty row boats waiting by a vacant shore; sweet, uninhabited cottages with unlocked doors; steaming hot food with no one by to eat it -- it seemed best to stay warily away.
And while I have been out watching these days race past there are a couple of things I've neglected to mention here. First of all, Leenathehyena wrote the loveliest post about my work over here on her blog which is full of fascinating, well-researched essays on Scotland and Aberdeen. Do have a look!
Secondly, for anyone who happens to find themselves in Birmingham within the next few weeks, I will have a couple of prints on display there as part of the Printmaking Biennial put on by the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.
But back to the walking, because we do need to get home after all.
As we turned back and made our way homewards, we came across one more mysterious sight. A man stood just beyond the lighthouse, and whether he was coming or going, taking off or landing, or simply echoing the jellyfish we'd been watching from the rocks, it is impossible to say.