It's getting colder and the nights are getting longer. Soon everywhere will look brown, grey, damp and (to me) depressing. However. there's one consolation that keeps me going through to Spring and we had a grandstand view of it last night. There was no moon, very little cloud and, being a village, very little light pollution: as astronomers say, the "seeing" was good. The sky was overflowing with stars and the massive arch of the Milky Way positively overpowering. One was immediately aware of the central part of the galaxy there, above one's head - so much so, I felt, that I had a sense of walking upside down in relation to the centre of the galaxy rather than (as I suppose one usually feels) right way up in relation to the centre of the earth. The night was so clear it seemed as if that the different colours of the stars (blue, red) were accentuated. The Andromeda Galaxy was dimly visible to the naked eye, over the bungalow at the end of the lane.
There are other consolations (snow men, icicles and the fantastic patterns of ice for example) but there's nothing quite like the night sky in winter. One can go in search of landscapes that please the eye but on a clear moonless night there's hundreds of thousands of lightyears of landscape to look at just outside the back door.
4 years ago