Entries tagged "cassiopeia"

Far From the Madding Crowd


My thanks to Elwyn Waugh for drawing my attention to this lovely passage in Thomas Hardy's, 'Far from the Madding Crowd': The lamb, revived by the warmth began to bleat, and the sound entered Gabriel's ears and brain with an instant meaning, as expected sounds will. Passing from the profoundest sleep to the most alert wakefulness with the same ease that had accompanied the reverse operation, he looked at his watch, found that the hour-hand had shifted again, put on his hat, took the lamb in his arms, and carried it into the darkness. After placing…

A Night Walk in the Woods


Last night the conditions felt right for a walk in the woods. There were plenty of clouds, but large gaps suggested that the stars would not hide for long periods. The moon would not be getting up until later and the breeze was too light to be of help. I needed the stars. I set off as the last light from the sun faded in the southwest. Cassiopeia and Cygnus neatly sketched out north for me, even when Polaris was well hidden. When moving south I used Jupiter and Aquila. Four hours later I returned, having spent…

Fun guys to be around


UPDATE: My sources tell me that the first is a Magpie Inkcap (Coprinopsis picaceus) and the second is Green Elf Cup/Wood cup/Stain (Chlorociboria aeruginascens). My thanks, in no particular order, to:Nick Weston, Brian and Ross Gardner. -------------------------------- A thousand apologies for that title. Seriously now, are there any fungi experts out there? Yesterday I came across these two rather fun specimens during a family walk in our local woods. Thought one was a Panther cap, but looks a bit too 'pointy'…

Vintage Perseids


I was at the Goodwood Vintage Festival last night. We saw Ronnie Wood and his band, The Faces, as well as The Wailers. When the moody clouds passed, I couldn't help glancing up at the Plough, Arcturus, Cassiopeia, Perseus and Jupiter rising in the east. Even managed to catch a couple of great Perseid meteors, one of which burnt a smoky trail across the sky, visible above the bright lights of the Big Wheel. Vintage.

Stellar Quotes


My thanks to Stuart Goring for sending over these great Thomas Hardy celestial quotes. Those who know this blog or my book will be aware that I love it when nature and the arts come together. The two following excerpts are taken from 'Far From the Madding Crowd.' “He stood and carefully examined the sky, to ascertain the time of night from the altitudes of the stars. The Dog-star and Alderbaran, pointing to the restless Pleiades, were halfway up the Southern sky ,and between them hung Orion, which gorgeous constellation never burnt more vividly than now,…

Ripples and Reflections


After an enjoyable private course on Friday - we finished standing in a field looking at Orion, the Plough, Cassiopeia and, of course, Polaris - it was time for a family outing to West Wittering beach early on Saturday.I adore the Witterings in winter, the barbecue and beach towels may have to stay at home but it is invigorating to get blown along on miles of abandoned sand. In between games of hide and seek amongst the beach huts, games of football on the sticky sand and races to pieces of seaweed, I noticed some interesting patterns in the…

Angmering Park


Yesterday afternoon was spent doing some private training in Angmering Park near Arundel, West Sussex. I did not need to be a native American Indian to realise that this is a very horsey part of the world. There is a stud at the heart of the park and the well churned ground bears witness to a lot of hooves.We were put through a gentle rinse and spin cycle as what felt like typical cold front conditions mixed things up, sunshine and cold rain wrestling each other throughout an enjoyable afternoon. The skies matured into a more…