Islay Winter

People often ask what an Islay winter is like. Winter on Islay, and if there is a hard frost, clear skies and sunshine, the views are colours are simply stunning. Take a little time out, sit back and relax and journey through an Islay winter day.

We woke up to a hard frost

A peppering of snow on the Paps and brilliant sunshine. Days like these. It is good for the soul, especially in these strange times.

Running through hard frosty fields, dogs in tow, and the Hebridean sheep do not blink an eye as we pass. They are used to our daily rounds. The sweet scent of silage fills the air as the Happy Farmer works away on his tractor delivering bales to the animals in the fields. The summer crops preserved for feed during this harsh season.

Much later as I walk down to the sea

I pass the sheep herded around munching away. One stood greedily guzzling on top of a bale. Even the bull, who is usually ever so nosy, can barely take his head away from the feed ring today. At this late hour I can see he has made a hearty attempt to munch his way through a good quarter of his bale already.

Out on the hill, the Highland cows enjoy the unspoilt wilderness

of bog, heather and a variety of grasses allowing for good foraging and plenty of shelter among the rocky crags. They are in their natural habitat and so only need feed blocks just now, which they lick their way through heartily. Rich in minerals and salts the feed block encourages them to eat more grass whilst also improving the nutrient value of their diet.

It is amazing the facts you learn from a quick chat with the Happy Farmer. He can be spotted a mile away from any vantage point just now, dressed from head to toe in his fluorescent ‘garb’. A series of warm layers keep the winter chills at bay.

Down at the shore and a seal lies lazing on a rock

seemingly drifting off to sleep, then waking with a start and a stretch, before drifting off again.

In the pottery

the tartan theme continues, which will be ideal for our Burn’s Night celebrations on Monday when ‘team Persabus’ will be toasting the haggis with great gusto.

There has also been a bit of a heart theme going on as I focus on St Valentine’s and spreading a little love from Persabus during these crazy times. I am hoping to have the online shop flowing with hearts for February.

Yesterday though as a storm was brewing outside it seemed appropriate to be working on Duncan’s Bunnahabhain range. Capturing a beautiful walk out along Islay’s north east coastline on a stormy day and translating it into art. There is something very relaxing about spending an afternoon painting. Enjoying mixing the colours, working with shading and light. Flicks of the brush creating movement and texture and suddenly the scene comes to life and another piece is created. Ready for glazing and firing.

Capturing the tones and seasons of island life onto ceramics, do be sure to call by and visit our online shop soon.

Until next time…