Apologies to anyone who has already seen these photos on my Facebook page, but I am still so excited to share them!
Last night I caught a mention on Twitter that there was a chance of seeing the northern lights. At about 9.15 I looked out of our back windows in the hope of seeing a vague greenish glow, which is pretty much all we can reasonably expect with our levels of light pollution.
But what I saw took my breath away – not just a greenish glow but brilliant curtains and spotlights, shooting up and then fading, and from the left a big ball of dazzling greenish light that travelled sideways like an enormous fireball and then faded away. To the right, the sky was visibly tinged with red.
Colin got the camera – luckily – while I got a chair and stood on it outside, much to the delight of Purdey who will now expect me to do it every night. The display lasted maybe 10 minutes, and then faded to a dull glow. We watched for a good hour, but I think we had just caught it at its peak. I still can’t quite believe what we saw.
The solar storm is still ongoing, apparently, so I’ll be looking out tonight as well. There are regular updates at www.spaceweather.com and Aurora Watch UK.
Yesterday was supposed to be the last fine day of this wonderful Indian summer, and so we decided to make the most of it. Plus, our newsletters are arriving from the printers later this week, and then it will be all hands on deck, stuffing envelopes. No more excuse needed.
We headed up Loch Lomond, and then turned off at Inverlussa, on a minor road which winds its way over Glen Douglas and drops down to Loch Long. Then up the Rest and Be Thankful and down to Loch Fyne, through Inveraray and on to Lochgilphead, before turning south down Kintyre.
About half an hour later, we were sitting by the quiet waters of Loch Caolisport. This is a lovely sea loch that cuts into the long finger of Kintyre, creating a pebbly beach near Ellary and a stretch of dusky sand just north of Ormsary. Curlews were feeding and calling, and a few oystercatchers were lazily watching the tide go out. It was beautiful.
Near Ellary on Loch Caolisport…
Beach near Ormsary…
Photos copyright © Colin & Jo Woolf
Last night we had a brief walk by Loch Leven, just as dusk was falling. Part of the reason for going there was to see the moon rise, but there was a bank of fairly thick cloud in just the wrong place over the Lomond Hills.
Never mind – the walk was lovely, with calls of geese and swans way out on the water and not even the faintest hint of a breeze. The smells of the earth were rising up in the twilight, and we were brushing through the finest silken strands of cobwebs across the path. Robins were making their usual fuss as they went to bed, and a couple of bats flickered silently across the velvet sky.
Just as we got back to the car, the yellow moon appeared in the east, its light blurred and diffused by the cloud so that it looked like a blob of melting butter.
Not many photos, but they show the evening’s subtle tones of vanilla and powder-grey.
Photos copyright © Jo Woolf