Just back from an evening walk…

Cold, dark, windy

Not wet yet

Clouds cross the sky

Blot the stars

Sunset brings chill air

Creeping across the land,

Grass flattens against its cheek.

One step then another

Striding? More a cold shuffle

Tired feet and knees

But I keep going.

My walk is short for you.

But it’s enough for me….

Sunset getting later

At the start of January it was getting dark around 4.40pm and we were having about eight hours of light. Now it’s staying light till after five. I feel like a weight is lifting slightly. Like the edges of a blanket being pulled up and light seeping in around the edges.

The clouds have obscured the sunset for the last few days. We’ve had almost a months rain in a day in some places in the UK with storm Christoph causing flooding in Wales and Northern England. We have avoided the worst here, but twenty miles or so away the town of Northwich in Cheshire is flooded in places and the river Severn is close to flooding over.

No sign of the outdoor cat?

Well he is around, and he did come in and eat earlier on, but despite it blowing a gale he doesn’t seem to want to come in. I think becausemy hubby has dragged him in a few times so he has decided he might be trapped inside (this despite spending two hours on the settee last night). I guess he knows his own mind, he yowls loudly to get out once he’s in and the door is shut… We will make progress I’m sure. But on his terms, not ours.

Noises in the garden and the shed.

Snuffling, rushing past, got me rattled. Some sort of noise being created by a thing out in the garden. But the gates locked and the sheds shut. Bowls are rattled, things clash, is it the wind, a burglar, a rat, or a hedgehog? I guess hedgehog…. They like standing on the edges of their bowls to get at the cat food we put out for them. Not sure about the rushing past though? I think it’s the cat doing that…. Anyway we had a good walk round in the rain and the dark… Nothing dangerous seen… Maybe we’ve got badgers?…..

You know its coming…

In the northern hemisphere at least. We’ve hit the equinox, when the day and night lengths are the same. Cold, arrives, now. Unless we get some late summer heat. There’s been hailstorm in the North East of England and heavy rain in Scotland. Across the Northern hemisphere there have been hurricanes in North America and Typhoons in Asia.

The other side of the world is experiencing Spring. The South is getting warmer as the Earth starts to tip its south Pole towards the sun. The tilt of the Earth means that we have seasons. If the world was at 90° day and night would be equal across the whole world. 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark. No glorious late evenings in summer or long dark nights in winter. What an interesting world we live on.

And it’s not flat!

Cloud over Barlaston

Soft little clouds

Fluttering like bird feathers

Swirling down the air currents

Darkness falling

Now the moon rises

Shadows lengthen.

Time to stretch our legs,

Head home,

A long, flat walk

Into the dusk.

Bat’s flitter overhead,

Moths race to our torches.

Mistaking them for the rising moon.

Home in time for supper.

Blue sky lost in the dark….

Binoculars

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Want to see the stars? You don’t need an expensive telescope. Maybe just a pair of binoculars (you can get monocular too). You just have to get them set up so you can see images clearly. You can use them to look at the moon, where you will be able to see more of the craters and mare (seas). These are not actually filled with water, but flattened areas amongst the craters. There is the sea of tranquility where Apollo 11 landed for instance. Other things that binoculars make visible include some galaxies and comet Neowise which is gradually fading as it moves away from the sun. It is visible above the western horizon below the star Arcturus (follow the stars of the big dipper handle down till you get to a bright star, then look about halfway between it and the horizon. It is an idea to look in a dark sky area, and allow your eyes to become adapted to the dark for about twenty minutes to allow the pupils of your eyes to open fully.

It’s been cloudy here so I haven’t seen it!