What to do on the Solstice

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I can remember seeing the sun set and then come out again from behind the Cloud hill, near Congleton, Cheshire.

I could not remember where we were but according to ITV.com there is a place to stand to see it….

‘The solar event which happens just once each year will be visible in the Midlands tonight.

The double sunset takes places during the the summer solstice and can be seen from various locations around North Staffordshire.

According to the Oxford Journals the double sunset can be seen from the churchyard of St Edward the Confessor in Leek. The alignment of a local hill means that the Sun is occulted close to sunset around the time of the summer solstice. This phenomenon was described in 1686 by Dr Robert Plot. Calculations show the phenomenon will be visible for another 500 years.
  • How does it happen?
The apparent double sunset is due to the rotation of the Earth. As the sun sinks behind The Cloud the planet continues to rotate, allowing the sun to become briefly visible again.’

Apologies for the length of the quote, but it explains what I mean clearly.

Please note I’ve now been advised: due to earth movement and buildings it can no longer be seen in St Edwards churchyard but can be viewed from Lowe hill near Leek. My Dad is Doug Pickford who has written books about local legends (info from a friend)

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Today’s sky

The day the urban sketchers challenge was to draw the sky, it was grey and cloudy! Instead of swirling or feathery clouds we got a grey duvet closing in the light. At one second while I was drawing the sun shone through, but while I tried to catch the orange colour on the edges of the clouds the gap had closed and all was grey again! I tried to make the best of the view by drawing the outbuilding next door and a bit of vegetation (privet bush).DSC_2463

So hopefully a bit more sun will shine tomorrow.

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What do you see?

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There was a programme on the radio this morning called ‘the light scientific’. I only caught the end of it but it was interesting, they discussion was about human perception. The scientist had been responsible for the gold/white dress or black/blue dress controversy that went viral a few years ago. She explained that when the image was released she had no idea what a massive argument it would cause between people. Her team had taken a black and blue dress but photographed it under a mixture of yellow and pale blue lighting. When the viewer looked at it their brains subtracted the lighting in different ways, and their perceptions were distorted or changed. As she acknowledged some of the different perception could have been due to the quality of the displays people were viewing it on. So they tried the real dress and carefully lit it. People were then allowed to view in real life. Amazingly they saw one or the other versions. The explanation is that we all perceive colours differently. My red could be your orange. Add to that some people are colourblind. Makes for an interesting world.

So what us my image. It’s an edited view of a window on the new twenty pound note. Not a figure in a funny hat (which is what I see).

They are building

They  (whoever they are) are building on the other side of the main road, beyond the shops that are near our garden. I knew the plans were for houses, but the thing across the road is taller by far than the ones surrounding it and is about four stories high. It wasn’t there last week. It appeared on Friday or Saturday. I looked out the window upstairs to see the dawn and there it was! Blocking the view. Once we have the hedge cut people who move in will be able to see into my kitchen and living room windows! I was thinking of having the trees thinned to let in more light, it feels like it won’t be worth it. Maybe I’m over reacting? I haven’t seen any plans of what it’s going to look like. I think our neighbours who live on the main road opposite it have moved out, perhaps because she felt overlooked? Oh well I guess it’s good to have new things happening.

July at Westport lake.

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It’s good to look back at old drawings as the days grow colder and shorter. Remembering warmth and colour, the view from the cafe there, then a gentle walk round the lake. Watching the place mature over the years, the trees have grown up so tall. Now Staffordshire wildlife have taken over running the site there has been a programme instigated to improve the area and make it more wildlife friendly. I saw four cormorants perched on a man made island there a couple of months ago. I thought these birds were costal, but maybe they are coming inland like gulls.

Must visit again in the near future, maybe if it snows…. Then I can re draw this scene…

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Lunch in the mist

I just wrote a blog post about taking my sister out to lunch at the Red Cow at Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. But I fell asleep and pressed the wrong button, so the description and information disappeared!

I was trying to say the view from the restaurant is wonderful and the food was great. Hot, tasty, delicious.

The leaves that are remaining on the trees are sparkling with copper, gold and bronze, the fields are still green.

Anyway I’m posting this now because I’ve dozed off again three times already.

Reflected

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When I’m typing on my phone I take my glasses off to see the screen. So when I took this photo I didn’t realise I was looking at my reflection, I thought we were in a much bigger room with a view through to windows at the far end. It was only when I zoomed in that I realised the blurred figures in the image are me and my hubby! It’s funny how the eyes can be fooled. It’s a cafe in the shopping village at Trentham Gardens.

 

Figurehead

I was startled to meet this figurehead at R&B T cafe on the toll road around the Great Orme today. He’s a ships figure head and the cafe owner said he is victorian. Most figureheads are female so he is unusual. He doesn’t have a name so I suggested Posiedon.

I did a drawing of him and the owner liked it so much he asked me for it. He’s going to get it framed. So all I have is a photo of the figurehead and my drawing, and of course a nice memory.

To find the cafe you take the Toll Road from the ski centre side of the Great Orme mountain. The marine drive takes you around the base of the mountain. There are sea views across to Anglesey, and Conwy and Conwy Castle. Today though it was very misty. There was not much of a view just a haze as we looked out from the cafe’s viewing platform. (Which is up some steps at the back of the cafe.)