Sunday 9 September 2012

Watching Day and Night

Two stage day yesterday - the afternoon took me out to Willow Holt, where the meadow dwelling butterflies are all gone, but there are still a few Peacocks and Red Admirals and Whites about. I chased a cabin cruiser along the riverbank, waiting for jeers from the beer swilling crew that never came, and saw a few Hawkers about - I've all but given up trying to identify them as I scad along.

Condiditions were hard, rough baked mud tracks, strong winds; the heat sapping what passes for my endurance. But I made the 8 miles, and enjoyed the open air as ever, the beautiful river, listening to Radio 4 and trying to be clever; the overall happiness being outside gives me.

And then, 2am, I was outside with a drink and my 10x50s looking at a waning past half moon; unsteady hands - not caused by booze! - making it hard to see clearly but I could pick out Clavius near the terminator, and the dark grey floor of Grimaldi.

Spectacularly, there seemed to be a crater rim picked out right in the nightside of the terminator - perhaps it was a mountain. A shine in the dark.

Other things to see, even in the moonlight - Messier 15; The Mini Pleides of Messier 39, The Pleides themselves, the Hyades, Mirfak cluster with it's red interloper. And finally, Mu Cepheii, the Garnet star - which I think is still the reddest star up there, sorry La Superba. Even with the naked eye, it's like an ember on a dying fire. Lovely.

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