Entries tagged "east"
My thanks to Leon Winnert – a double Natural Navigator course alumnus no less! – for taking the time to research church alignment in his area.
His findings are interesting and urge caution on placing too many eggs in the W-E church and graveyard alignment basket.
This is true of all natural navigation observations taken in isolation and there are anomalies in all methods, including the sun and stars.
However, I was particularly interested to note that there was a pattern to the anomalies he found – patterns to the break in patterns – wheels within…
I took this photo in Chichester the other day, at midday.
Chichester has four main streets, North, East, South and West. (A fairly appropriate home city for me.)
You can probably eliminate a couple of those quite quickly, but which of the remaining ones is it?
It's not a great photo, taken on my iPhone whilst walking, but there are a couple of good clues.
I'll update with an answer in a few days.
Update, spoiler alert:
We are looking due south on North Street.
The clues are: the midday sun plus…
In these four pictures we are looking at the same beech tree. See if you can work out which way you are looking in each picture. If you hover your mouse over each picture it should give you the answer.
If it has been a bit quiet on the blog recently, it's because it has been a very busy time for the last…
I'm just back from some micronavigation in the Black Mountains in Wales.
I should get a chance to blog in more detail in time, but for now I just wanted to share a couple of nice clues I found in the light snow and ice I walked amongst.
The first photo shows the first snow I encountered on a climb out of the Vale of Ewyas. We are looking east in this picture, the only snow to have survived the thawing warmth of the day are the thin strips hiding in the shade on the south…
Last night I caught a few minutes of a programme on BBC4, called 'Unnatural Histories.'As so often seems to be the case, a short stroll from the mainstream channels uncovered rough diamonds.In the programme, an aerial shot showed us clearly visible patterns in the earth, patterns that were partly concealed at ground level by dense undergrowth. The narrator explained that we were looking at 'geoglyphs' in the Amazon rainforest. Geoglyphs are shapes that have been deliberately formed in the land by the hand of man.Like many pilots, I have come to love the way it is possible in the air…
It has been an interesting few days. I spent yesterday in the South Downs with Michelle Kosinski and the crew from America's NBC network.
Whilst it's fun and helpful to be able to do the odd high profile thing, like TV or radio, what is more exciting for the long term is the way the grass-roots network is building around this unusual subject.
OK, it's confession time. Again.
I'm just back from a week's holiday with my wife on the Greek island of Kefalonia. It was our first holiday without the kids for about seven years, which felt bizarre from start to finish. This is the only, admittedly weak, excuse for the navigational lapse that ensued.
In Fiskardo, at the northern end of Kefalonia, we hired a small day-boat and spent many mornings motoring up and down the east coast of Kefalonia. We pursued the not very stressful business of hunting quiet bays and seeking secluded beaches for a swim.…
There is a wonderful article on the orientation of churches here, from a 2007 issue of Archaeology magazine. My thanks to Doug for making me aware of it.
"Armed with a Silva compass fixed to a piece of wood with brass screws, over 10 years Ian Hinton surveyed almost 1,750 churches in England and Wales. He resolved an old belief – but uncovered a new mystery."
For those who do not have the time to immerse themselves... the answer is yes, churches do face east , but not perfectly and the discrepancy varies with location. The…
I crept outside this morning, trying not to wake the kids, and treated my self to a pre-heliacal viewing of Saturn. He was happily nestled under the star Porrima, that is to say between Virgo's armpit and her shoulder.
If you are awake shortly before sunrise over the next couple of weeks, look just south of east. If it is clear then you should see what appears to be white star on top of a yellow one, both of them sitting not far above the horizon. The higher of the two is Gamma Virginis, or Porrima, in the…
I have just been watching a beautiful full moon rising above the trees in the east. It was shrouded in layers of cirrostratus for a few minutes, but then rose above them.
In winter full moons rise north of east, in summer they rise south of east. They rise further from east the nearer we get to the solstices. The full moon always behaves in the opposite way to the sun, in time and direction, as it is opposite the sun in its cycle.
We are bearing down on stargazing-season. It is getting dark early enough in the evenings, staying dark long enough in the mornings and doesn't yet freeze you for the privilege.
This morning I enjoyed a view of Orion, Sirius, Leo, which has just marched ahead of the dawn sun now, and a few other players. I took this photo of Orion's Sword hanging down to the left (eastern) side of a large beech tree and dangling down towards the south, as it does. The 'smudge' in the middle is the Great Nebula in Orion, also known less romantically…
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.
Sorry if you are trying to buy a copy of 'The Natural Navigator' - Amazon have sold out again!After selling out, restocking and two reprints in the past three weeks, the book is now temporarily out of stock again on Amazon. Another massive thanks to everyone who has bought a copy so far.You can still order it from Amazon. Or there are still quite a few bookshops that have a copy (worth phoning before), or online while stocks last at these places:The Book DepositoryWaterstonesFoylesThe photo above is of the hill to the east of my home,…
This photo, taken just before six this morning, sums up my senses' delight at being woken by our kids who decided to hold a animated conference about dinosaurs at half past five. A slightly blurred Venus can just be seen between equally blurred leaves and clouds. If you do happen to be up even earlier, and the clouds allow, then Venus is currently an impressive pre-dawn beacon in the east.
A walk along the edge of Nutbourne marshes on the weekend was an early taste of real summer. A sunny May day often feels hotter than a midsummer one to me, perhaps because I have not yet acclimatised. There were thousands of midges and flies, swirling up from the drying seaweed to complete the sensation.These two pictures show the same field and only two minutes of walking passed between each shot. It is late afternoon and one of these is taken looking north, the shadows falling to the east and right of each furrow ridge.
As we move on away from the equinox I thought I would post this photo of the lines made by the shadow tip from a stick (or in this case a kids swingball!).These two lines are from the shadows approaching noon and only one day apart. Since it is the equinox, they are near exact east/west lines. The gap between the chalk lines is at its greatest at the equinox and closes to near zero at the solstices.On a slight tangent, it was a very similar method, ie. measuring the length of the shadows…
Twilight at either end of the day is a good time to look south this month. At dusk Jupiter is the first night object to appear, narrowly but clearly, above the southern horizon. This morning at sunrise Sirius was the last object to disappear, again it was due south. I took these two pictures at 6.30am, one looking east showing the red dawn. The other looking south. It is not a fascinating photo of Sirius but it does at least show that there is nothing…
At 15.44 (GMT) this afternoon the sun crosses the celestial equator. It is the autumnal equinox. What on earth has that got to do with the price of toast, I hear you ask. Well amongst other things it means that today is one of only two days this year that the sun rises and sets due east and west.Equinox, mmm, equinox, lovely word. Did you know that it comes from the Latin words for 'equal' and 'night', because on the equinoxes everywhere in the world experiences the same amount of day and night-time?
This is a picture I took about half an hour ago and it is one of those that might be dismissed by those not trained in the dark arts as a 'typical English country scene'. With closer inspection it yields navigational fruit aplenty.
The foreground shadow confirms that the sun is no longer visible from this viewpoint, but the direction of the early evening sun is easy to detect from the long shadows in the middle ground. We are therefore looking south.
The smoke from the two fires reveals that the wind is light and variable. In…