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Colours of summer

Apologies for the quality of the picture - and the potential X rated nature of it (I'm afraid I'm not that well versed in the details of damselfly reproduction) but since the launch of the Bazooka Arts creative challenge, I have been on the lookout for turquoise things in nature! Last summer they ran a rainbow photography challenge, each week focusing on one of the colours of the rainbow, and encouraging people to get out and take photographs. This year, they asked the people they work with, what colours remind them of summer, and so over the next 6 weeks they are focusing on turquoise, violet, yellow, pink, green and orange; instead of just photographs, they are suggesting a range of creative activities. You can follow along and get involved on their social media. During our winter project, Bazooka Arts ran a nature writing session for the LAMH writing group. One of the participants wrote a letter to nature, specifically to the sea, something a lot of us in Lanarkshire have been missing over the last 16 months. One line in particular stood out for me:

I could stand and admire you for hours, getting lost in your world.

I find it so true, not just of the sea, but of so many things in nature. So it was with the damselflies. They were gathering on a lily pond. The sun was shining, I could feel the heat on my skin, and the slightly damp grass under my bare feet. The colours of the lilies were vibrant pinks and yellows with a sweet smell. The reflections of the clouds in the pond were what drew me in initially, the sunshine creating magical patterns on the water, that I wanted to reach out and touch. I became aware of a faint buzzing, and suddenly I could see them, dozens of damselflies with the brightest turquoise stripes, landing briefly on the lilypads and then drifting away, clearly engaged in some weird activity, presumably related to reproduction. And this is how I found myself talking about damselfly sex with some complete strangers, who were also standing gazing, intrigued, at the pond. On doing some research online, I was upset to discover that I had missed the moment where the two damselflies form a heart shape with their bodies.

Anyway, the point of all this, is to say that while there are many different prompts that you can use to connect with nature, I always find that focusing on a particular colour, like a colour treasure hunt, engages people of all ages. It's a great way to spot things that you may never have noticed otherwise and can calm the chatter in your mind as you concentrate on searching it out. Taking it to the next level with a photography or art project can make it even more mindful. If you create something, don't forget to let Bazooka Arts know on social media using the hashtags #BazookaSummer or #BazookaArts and keep your eyes peeled for the colour prompts over the next few weeks.

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