Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sunny days and dazzling nights

Yesterday was one heck of a day!  First Gromitty came down with Butch and after the dogs had a mad hour in the house while we chatted and I had breakfast we all went down to the beach.

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Gromitty and I walked along, chatting and enjoying the view, while the dogs went wild!  Butch ran around like the crazy youngster that he is and after an initial running loony moment Pippa got down to some serious plodding, sniffing and marking.  She truly tried to claim the whole beach, the walk down to it and lovefibre's garden.  Where does she get all the pee?!

I had given Pippa her stronger painkiller before we left and forgotten that those plus age-induced doggy dementia means she sometimes forgets everything.  Halfway along the beach we decide to turn around, Pippa took another five minutes to notice and five more minutes to catch up.  I think that's going to have to be her last off-leash experience, too risky for an old dog who's shedding marbles to run off and then forget she has a human with her.

After our beach walk we went to see Alan (organiser of the tech wave) for a chat about a Tiree fablab and general natter.  The day was so lovely we all sat in their front garden and the dogs sniffed about and generally did doggy things while we chatted.  Eventually the breeze got through to Pippa's joints and we headed home.  The walk home was slow.  Poor Pippa, she loves to get out and about but her joints are really getting grumpy.  We took it at her pace and once home she spent the afternoon conked out in the sun recharging.

That evening was the An Iodhlann AGM, about an hour before I left I read a post on facebook that there was a pretty strong magnetic storm going on and it might be a good night to see the Northern Lights.

Got back from the AGM about 10:15, got camera and things ready, sat on the back step and watched the stars for half an hour.  Then I went around the front of the house and noticed the sky to the North was lighter than the South.  It got lighter, I spotted clouds as black outlines...

Out came the DSLR and I aimed and clicked.  I think I spent about an hour just watching and photographing.  My human eyes saw grey streaks moving and pulsing, the camera saw more.

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So much more!  It was all over by 11:25 and the ending was amazing.  Directly above the island all the "rays" met and pulsed and changed shape.  Amazing to watch.  So amazing that I forgot about the camera!  I did get one photo though,

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I tried one minute exposures thinking the light was too dim for the camera to collect.  Beginner's error, the photos were washed out with overexposure instead.

To summarise Tuesday:
Up at 9:30am, busy day with loads of fresh air, in bed by midnight with loads having been seen and done.


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