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.

Christmas full moon

The Christmas full moon made several magical appearances through the clouds over Christmas. I had a lovely walk in moonlight in the early hours of Christmas Day, whilst everyone else in the house was fast asleep, and I was still awake having finished the wrapping a little late! It was very windy but wonderful to see the white of the waves crashing along the shoreline below the house and over on Calgary headland. I couldn’t get the tripod to stop vibrating in the wind.

Treshnish Mull Christmas moon

Last Christmas, over several days, we were lucky enough to have an aurora. This year, we were blessed with the Christmas Full moon instead! The last time the full moon and Christmas coincided was 38 years ago. I would have been at home in Angus for Christmas 38 years ago, but I don’t remember! The next time it occurs will be in 2034!

Treshnish Mull cottages winter moon

Christmas Day dawned cloudy and I wasn’t confident that we would even see the moon again. However just before midnight on Christmas night, we were lucky – the full moon appeared through the clouds. It was very clear. We stood and gazed in wonder on the doorstep. Not long after, in the first minutes of Boxing Day, the Christmas full moon produced a wonderful lunar halo. Even more magical!

Christmas moon Treshnish Mull cottages

On Boxing Day evening the moon was strong again, and the light on the field and over to Calgary headland was bright. I am afraid I was more ready for bed, than for wandering around outside, so I set the time-lapse and let it run! The result was rather beautiful, as the weather can be seen coming in and going away again, as it does during the day but we rarely see it at night! I have posted it here on Youtube, in order to save the loading speed of our website. Please do have a look!

Mull Treshnish Christmas cottages sunset

A December day out

Yesterday I had the perfect excuse to have a December day out. I had to go to a meeting in Loch Buie around lunchtime, and it was a beautiful, beautiful day. We have had some less than lovely days recently, with horrendous and torrential rains, and enough stormy weather to cancel ferries, so to wake up to a bright sky was much appreciated. Winter on Mull is always a mixture, and sometimes it is difficult to remember that we can have wonderful dry and bright sunny days.. like yesterday!

Mull Loch buie December

Loch Buie seems like a long way from Treshnish, but the drive is beautiful. I was given a lift from Salen so I could enjoy the views. Once you turn off the main Iona road at Ardura and head towards Loch Buie, it is magical, like stepping back in time. You drive through open mixed woodland, some of it Atlantic oak woodland, and on to the side of Loch Spelve. Very few houses. The turning to Croggan is worth taking but we didnt have time for that. Loch Uisg looked beautiful, calm and lush. The amount of rhododendron (ponticum) is always surprising.

Mull December pony Loch buie

We were going to Laggan Farm so followed signs through estate woodland, the low winter sun shining brightly in our faces (an enjoyable novelty!). We drove slowly. Past some holiday cottages, and the silage fields fenced off from the deer.

December Loch buie Mull

After our meeting and lunch we headed back via the Old Post Office honesty shop. Even in December you can make yourselves a cup of tea or even some organic pot noodles!

Mull sunset December loch buie

The Castle of Moy sits on the edge of the sea loch, with a commanding view straight out to sea. Colonsay hovers on the distant horizon bathed in light as the sun sinks below the clouds, casting a yellow glow on the world. Reluctantly we turned our backs to that beautiful sky and headed back up the road. The autumn colours were looking so rich in the winter afternoon sun, and soon we were away from Loch Buie and driving towards Loch Spelve. The December day out was nearly over!