Each month we feature topical work from New College Stamford illustration student Sally Coulter.
August leaves us in a state of contented indulgence. We have enjoyed a long hot summer of settled weather reminiscent of childhood days. Combine harvesters pace up and down fields of dusty gold, bringing in the crops, and gardeners are gathering the last of their summer yields.
The shooting season for fallow deer bucks has begun, and whatever our personal thoughts on this sport, deer have become a problem requiring careful management for many farmers.
Introduced by the Normans, they are easily recognised by their chestnut coats with white spots in the summer. Herds of 100 or more are becoming a frequent sight across open farmland in South Lincolnshire, causing widespread damage to agricultural crops and a hazard on the roads.
An ethical deer manager holds the deepest respect for these animals, protecting their habitat and ensuring their well being, while thinning out the old and infirm at the same time.
Legalities dictate that you may shoot for one hour after sunset, and one hour before dawn, and August has provided the perfect conditions – a warm clear night with the breeze in your face at all times. Being highly sensitive to smell, human scent will send the deer bounding back into the woodlands they move between.
The clear skies this month brought us the Perseids, an impressive meteor shower that climaxed in flamboyant style.
While proving no threat to Earth, the moon, having no atmosphere, will have been pelted by falling rock.
With some travelling 50 times faster than a bullet from a rifle, rough estimation means they can cover about 150,000 feet per second.
As the hunter makes his way home, pausing to gaze up at the drama unfolding in the night sky, perhaps he is struck by a sense of the minute space we occupy in such a vast, infinite universe.
As the Corn Moon rises to fullness on August 21, battle scarred but bright, we are reminded of our vulnerability and summer dies to autumn like a glorious shooting star.
Sally, from Colsterworth, is one of nine foundation students at the college who has been studying towards a career as illustrator.
Sally gained a distinction for her foundation degree and is going to University of Lincoln in September to complete her third year and get full BA honours degree.
She takes her inspiration from the world around her and current affairs in the news to produce observational pieces reflecting them, much as a newspaper cartoonist would.
This will be her final illustration for the Mercury.
A new student from New College will have his or her work profiled later this year.
Anyone interested in Sally’s work who would like to find out more or would like to give her feedback can e-mail her at email@example.com.