Mother’s day Aurora

A Mother’s Day card from my Daughter wished that I would get a good sighting of a Mother’s Day Aurora…well, that wish certainly came true! It had been cloudy most of the day, and I had been watching the forecast thinking that it would be unlikely that the skies would clear enough for the G1 Aurora forecast to be visible.

aurora Mull Treshnish holiday cottages

Suffice it to say, I was very happy. I quickly ran over to Shieling and Shian and let the guests know that something was going on outside. I was aware of that difficulty between expectation and reality, as the colours in the photographs whilst not enhanced are what the camera can pick up, which the eye does not see as vividly. Initially I could see the lightness in the sky but not the colours, but eventually I could make out the pinkish colours above Shian, though nothing like as bright as the photographs. For me the excitement is in being outside and capturing whatever I can on camera.

Mull cottages aurora Shian

There have only been one or two occasions when I have been able to photograph the Aurora looking south, and tonight was one of them – there were erratic spots of green and pink appearing and disappearing. In the midst of all this, I could hear Mr Turkey cronking, hidden deep in the Rosa Rugosa on the edge of our garden. (they still won’t go back into their shelter, preferring to roost outside).

Mull cottages Treshnish Farm aurora

Aurora activity has not been that frequent recently, so it was great to have a really strong show, even if the clouds did get in the way quite a lot! Last year I photographed them into April so there is still time for a few more sightings, if we are lucky.

Treshnish holiday cottages Mull Aurora

This coming week is the final week for winter maintenance! We have achieved quite a lot this winter, and the rest of March is looking busier than usual. Our winter prices run until Good Friday, and I think that has made a difference. This week we have guests coming to stay who won a Prize at the Lifeboat Day last August, of a short break at Haunn.

Mull Treshnish cottages holiday aurora

A winter’s night

We have had a few days of colder weather with temperatures dropping to freezing at night every now and then – just as a winters night temperature should!  One morning last week it was too icy for us to get Daughter to the school bus at Calgary, as the road is not usually gritted between our turning and Calgary.  It was quite nice to have a stay at home Snow Day – it has been a while since the last one!

aurora mull night

For all the drier colder weather we have still had quite cloudy skies, but yesterday we had glorious sunshine, and Farmer had some errands to run, so I went too.  He dropped the livestock trailer off at Torloisk Farm, and then we went to Ballygown on another errand which involved a cup of tea and catch up with Jeanette, and booking ourselves in for her Burns supper on Saturday night.

aurora mull night bright moon

The weather forecast was for cloud so I didn’t hold out much hope of seeing the Aurora which was forecast, but actually I was really lucky.  It might have been bitterly cold but as the wind got up a bit the skies cleared.. to reveal a great sky, even though the moon was very bright.  The top left hand corner of the photograph above shows a green blob, I have never seen a detached ‘blob’ like that in an aurora before!

Aurora moonlight night Mull

I even got as far as Croig, my very favourite aurora photographing place!  I stood listening to the jurassic sound of the Herons, and the wonderful call of the Oystercatchers and to the sound of the wind in the trees.

Croig night aurora Mull

Eventually I got too cold and headed for home again.  The Merrie Dancers were still dancing, but I couldn’t stay up any longer, so I set the time-lapse and went to bed enjoying the visual memory of a winter’s night to remember.

aurora winters night camera mull

Airglow

Last night I caught a glimpse of an Airglow.  They are more rare than the Aurora Borealis!  An Airglow is ‘a faint emission of light from a planetary atmosphere’. It softly lights up the sky. I have only knowingly seen it a couple of times. Last night was apparently a very strong one, but unfortunately it was cloudy here when the airglow was at its peak. I discovered today that if I had looked in to the eastern and southern skies I could have seen it, but I only looked north.  As the cloud cleared, I was able to capture the Aurora on camera so I cannot complain!

Mull Treshnish Airglow

The first unusual sight I had was of the light underneath the thick cloud, showing that the sky behind was being lit up. The streak of green between Coll and the cloud was unusual too.  As I stood willing the clouds to clear, I listened to owls calling from the wood, and the waves on the shore.

Airglow Treshnish Muull

The cloud began to clear, and the drifts of Airglow were faintly visible.

Treshnish Mull airglow

There was some colour briefly and then it faded. I left the time-lapse running overnight, and captured a bit of airglow between the dark night clouds.

timelapse airglow treshnish mull

We were fully booked for New Year and all but one of our guests have gone, and I assume, like us, are back at work. We stole a few nights away after Hogmanay – one night with relatives in Galashiels and 2 nights with friends in Edinburgh. We rented an Airbnb listed flat in the New Town which was spacious and well located, within easy walking distance of a lovely ethical cafe called Urban Angel, sourcing local and fairtrade produce not to mention delicious smoothies and amazing coffees. We went to see a film (The Danish Girl). The screen was so much bigger than the Screen Machine, which is visiting Mull again next week.

We visited 2 galleries, one was the Fruitmarket – I particularly liked Robert Irwin’s Disc and a beautiful 16mm film by Tacit Dean, of sea and lighthouse. (I am not sure what it is called).  The second gallery we went to was the Scottish Portrait Gallery – to see the BP Portrait Award exhibition – which we all really enjoyed. A bonus was seeing the Document Scotland exhibition. A group of photographs documenting aspects of Scotland – I would have loved to have done one of their projects!

It is good to be home though..

 

A Hogmanay Aurora!

We had friends staying with us for Hogmanay and had a great evening catching up and celebrating the end of the old year and the start of the new year. I couldn’t believe my eyes, at about 10pm, when I looked outside and saw a lovely familiar glow on the horizon looking north. The Aurora! What a special way to see in the new year!

Aurora Hogmanay Treshnish Mull

I set a time-lapse to record the activity whilst we sat by the fire, and after the bells – HAPPY NEW YEAR – and a bit of Jools Holland, everyone went to bed, and I stood at the window listening to the wind in the trees, and watching the clouds scudding by. My idea of heaven!

Hogmanay aurora

The cottages are full for New Year, and thankfully Storm Frank enabled everyone to get here – with a few detours due to cancelled ferries and landslides. Guests in Toechtamhor sat at the bench outside the cottage watching the Aurora, very happy!

Hogmanay Mull Aurora

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2016.