Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Moonrise, Sunrise

Full moon last night, seen here rising over the shoulder of Beinn na h-Urchrach, with the peak of Ben Hiant at upper right and the houses of Pier Road strung out along far side of Kilchoan Bay.  The building at right is the Coastguard hut.

Later, the moon was so bright that it was almost possible to read a book by its light.

The dead calm continued into the dawn.  The sunrise had such promise that I stood at the top of the garden for upward of three quarters of an hour watching the light come, despite the temperature hovering a couple of degrees above zero.  This picture was taken at eight.

Our semi-tame robin joined me to complain about the tardiness of the early feed on the front terrace - or perhaps he remembered that we keep a container of millet up on the top terrace in summer, so he can enjoy it at sundowner time.

From then on the sky became increasingly and breathtakingly spectacular, the colours working their way upwards to light more and more of the cloud bases....

....while the clouds immediately above the point of sunrise burned like anthracite in a furnace.

There's something very special about watching the full process of a sunrise.  It's the start of a new day, a new beginning, and everything is fresh.  More, the world here is very silent at this time, the only sounds the slow break of the waves along the shoreline and the call of birds - hoodies flying along the coast, some ducks swimming close to the beach and, as they emerge, more and more small birds.

As the sun lifts above the horizon the spell of a perfect sunrise is broken.  The colours, which have grown richer and richer, begin to fade.  Features on the land, which has been nothing but blackness, start to emerge.  The silence slips away.  A car moves along the road.  The day has started.

Today, instead of the sun lifting into a clear sky, clouds began to build, as if anxious to blot out the warm promise of the dawn.

By a quarter to nine the colours had gone.  So had the sun, lost behind a veil of high, grey cloud that has lasted all day.

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