Monday, April 18, 2011 8:32:19 PM
(Yesterday on the South Coast)
Sssssh. It's still early in the morning, and the flowers are sleeping
Their petals are yet to open. But dogs are very much awake
And so are rabbits, although they would really rather not be noticed.
In sunnier spots, butterflies are tempted to show themselves. This is a rather ragged specimen of a small tortoiseshell.
The sun wanders around the sky. When it finally sinks in the west, shadows start to appear in the bigger trees - shadows that are worth posting on one's blog even if the photographic quality is awful
It's a little owl, something which I don't think has ever got on my blog before. This was a very unexpected sighting and I had to make the most of it, even if that meant shooting handheld from the car in extremely bad light
It's not technically speaking a native owl, having been introduced in the mid 19th century, but is now widespread. When seen properly, it is rather like a burrowing owl in appearance.
Night brings out many hunters. But for the flowers, it's time to sleep again. The moon is rising
Friday, March 18, 2011 10:24:21 PM
"The sun is tiring to the eyes, and the splendour of its light soon forces those who look at it to avert their gaze. But pale Phoebe is more humane; she graciously lets herself be seen in all her modest charm; she is unassuming and gentle to the eye, and yet she sometimes takes the liberty of eclipsing her brother, the radiant Apollo, without ever being eclipsed by him."
- Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon
Well, maybe - but the Moon is as stunning as it can be tonight. Its orbit is more of an eclipse than a real circle, and as a consequence its distance to Earth varies from year to year. Tomorrow it will be 221,565 miles from us, and will look bigger than it has done for 18 years.
I wonder if the foxes will notice the difference
Monday, March 7, 2011 9:10:06 PM
See her how she flies
Golden sails across the sky
Close enough to touch
But be careful if you try...
There was a hard frost this morning, the kind of morning that makes the Surrey Hills a place worth the visit of the dawn. The ground was hard and sparkling, catching Belgian shepherd puppy footprints
and shaded by faint shadows thrown by the rising sun, and...my camera was at home so the verbal description will have to suffice
By the time of my evening walk, the moon was drifting into the west.
And she wasn't alone. Also spinning westwards were the dog and his master, who have spent so much of this winter hiding from me behind the veil of grey clouds.
For the uninitiated, the very bright star in the middle left is Sirius, the most brilliant of all as seen from Earth - except for the Sun, of course. This is the same section of the sky in Stellarium
I tried shooting at 1000 ISO and a shutter speed of about ten seconds. Tripods are good
But like the frost, these constellations will not linger long. There is always an excitement in autumn upon first glimpsing Orion's hands at dusk, but as the Earth continues on its orbit, Orion and Canis Major appear earlier and earlier, until they are finally swallowed up by the dawn. Seeing them now is almost a farewell.
It's winter's epilogue.