We – and – the rest of the world – started the week with a supermoon. That’s when the moon’s orbit most closely approaches the earth at the same time that there is a full moon. I always remember the moon looking big sometimes but “supermoon” is a word that seems to have become fashionable lately….it even makes the national news (even if it has been happening for the four-and-a-bit billion years or planet has been on the go- must have been a slow news day).The only moderately unusual thing about it was that it wasn’t cloudy so we could see the moon…and it did make for a spectacular moonset over Morven.
When the moon is full and close, it’s worth looking at it even through just an ordinary set of binoculars.If you’ve never done it, you’ll be surprised how easily you can see some of the asteroid impact craters on the moon. The three big craters – Copernicus, Tycho and Kepler – were caused by asteroids between 70 and 90 km in diameter hitting the moon. A lump of rock that size hitting your planet would fairly wreck your weekend – or your entire ecosystem – so we better hope none ever come our way!
With us being right in the heart of winter, getting to and from work has become a journey in the dark (wasn’t that a chapter in Lord of the Rings? In the mines? I tell you, I’d rather have the balrog than the AWPR roadworks). And the sun doesn’t rise until you are at work and sets before you leave. But it does mean you are awake to see some spectacular sunrises- they have been particularly good this week. The very first light is often the pink light reflected off the clouds, before the sun actually comes up, and it can make the woods glow with a rosy light.
And the clouds get pinker and pinker as it gets closer to sunrise…almost too pink!
Then the light goes golden as the sun finally peeps over the horizon. If you’re down by the water, you have the added bonus of it reflecting off the water too.
The sunsets haven’t been bad either!
Mind you, although it’s been bonny at both ends of the day, it’s often been grey and nondescript during the day. At least it hasn’t been frosty this week – we’ve managed to get a bit of pathwork done and the bridge replacement works have started too. It’s a good job it wasn’t as frozen as it was last week or we’d have never got these big rocks dug in to support the edge of the path.
My plans to go out to Dinnet were then scuppered by the weather on Friday…so at Forvie instead. You’ll see why looking at the photos- a fair bit of snow fell overnight. So I helped out with one of the bird counts on the estuary instead. In this sort of weather, the Ythan Estuary is a real hotspot for birds- the unfrozen mudflats are somewhere they can feed even when the fields are covered in snow. For the likes of curlew, the count was over 700, whereas, if it hadn’t snowed, it would probably have been nearer 250. There was also a lot of “cold weather movement” of geese- probably moving from places even worse than here. So keep your eyes peeled this weekend- you never know what you might see moving!