Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Just in time

I had been watching the forecast as avidly as ever, with the prospect of the Geminid Meteor shower, and didn't hold out much hope that we would see much as it looked as if we would have a lot of cloud.  

A sudden burst of aurora activity took me by surprise on Monday night, just as I was getting ready for a meeting. We had thick cloud, but I did a test shot anyway.  There was a tiny thin line of bright light running along the horizon to the north, peaking out from under that heavy cloud.  Fantastically vivid photographs on Facebook made me feel quite green with envy.  After the meeting I did a test shot and the sky was so pink it was reflecting purple on the sea.. wonderful! 

I went off down to Croig to see if the sky was a bit clearer there, it was about the same but the aurora was fading.    Back home and the sky was clearing - sometimes a strong wind can be a good thing.

I didn't get any photographs at Croig that I was at all pleased with, but when I got home the sky was still showing some lovely colour.

There were lots of shooting stars as I watched - the wind was roaring through the trees and it was cold.  

I went to set the time-lapse up before going to bed, and saw that the light had got brighter in the north sky, with even less cloud.  The colours picked up in camera were rich and lovely!

The time-lapse caught some great activity while we were all asleep!  Do have a look if you have time.  It is here

Last weekend Farmer and family headed out for the early ferry on Saturday morning - this meant leaving home at 5.15am!   Take about bleary eyes!   The Isle of Mull boat is off in dry dock and we were on the Isle of Arran instead.   There is always a different atmosphere on the ferry when it isnt the Isle of Mull boat.   The Isle of Arran has a smaller cafeteria and so it always feels very cosy!  The regular boat change at this time of year also becomes almost part of the Christmas ritual.  Foot passengers with heavy bags of shopping, families like us disappearing off for a pre-Christmas trip somewhere - an anticipatory feeling in the air!   

We were in Perth before 10am so the early start was definitely worth it.  We were in and out of B&Q within minutes, having found everything we needed - those little things that you just cannot get on Mull, but desperately need - like an 'inch and a half stop end' for West Cottage bathroom waste pipe - neither builders merchants on Mull had them!  We were out of Perth, Christmas shopping gaps filled, within an hour!  The Angus Glens were dusted with snow as we headed east.  We had lunch at the Drovers Inn pub in Memus, a few miles from where I went to primary school. Memory lane! 

The sunrise on Sunday morning was beautiful - a heavy frost and clear crisp air.  We don't get weather like this very often, and so it was a treat to walk through crunchy frosted fields and watch the light and colour in the sky change as the sun rose.    There was a loch near where we were staying and we could hear the geese.  A huge skein flew overhead, pink foots, heading south.

We stopped in Forfar to do some visiting, and then headed back towards Oban.  A low midday sun peered through the dappled clouds every now and then - wonderful reflections all along Loch Earn, the air was so still, the water so mirror calm.

The work is very nearly done in West Cottage. Farmer and I moved the furniture back in yesterday.  I am off out there to hang pictures whilst he puts new fire bricks in the stove, and does a few last minute odd jobs.   I think the new look in the bathroom is great, and I hope everyone will enjoy the new insulation and the new bedroom floors! 

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