an artists' view

an artists' view

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Winter Solstice 2010

I got up in the early hours yesterday to see the Lunar Eclipse. Put my alarm on for 6am, and had a cup of tea (thoughtfully made by Jon, thank you!) watching the shadow of the earth moving slowly across the Moon's surface, as I stood nice and warm in my living room.
Had a perfect view; the Moon was placed in between 2 of the houses opposite, so I could see the silver being steadily eaten away by the rusty, browned stain. Against the inky blackness of the sky, the Moon really stood out. I finished my cuppa, then put on my outside gear and walked out into the cold morning to see the rest of the Eclipse.
There was a tiny sliver of Moon left by the time I reached the top of the hill. And the sun was starting to come out on my left, which lightened the sky to a very washed out pale blue. That earlier blackness had gone.
The cold has given us some beautiful clear mornings; this one wasn't a dark and murky sunrise. It was a sky of colours.
The sky had gorgeous pale pink washes amongst the blue-turquoise and pale greys. Small clouds were lit up with more solid pinks, standing out against the pale water-colours of the rest of the sky.
As the sun rose the Moon began to fade into the greys and blues of the sky. It lost that red-ness, and the Eclipse shadow shifted into pink tones, before taking up the blue of the sky surrounding it.
I had to look really hard to make out the smudge of the Moon, as it faded away, eventually becoming invisible.
It was like a 'ghost-moon'.
Around me the world was waking up.
The central heating of houses down the hill were beginning to crank up, with steam coming from their boilers. Trains were running on the railway line; known as 'ghost-trains', without passengers, to keep the rails clear of ice. Very fitting companions for the ghost-moon!
The sunrise was firing up the sky with brighter yellows and reds, in the east, whilst in the west, I could see a band of pale grey on the horizon. These clouds prevented me seeing the Moon emerge from it's totality, as it set behind them.
I didn't get another view of the Moon until it rose again, on the evening of the 21st.
Because everything is covered with a dusting of snow, and a hard, hard frost, there was an incredible light around me. It didn't seem to be 'the darkest night' of the longest night!
It was a beautiful morning. A perfect winter morning. I didn't take my camera, as I knew I wouldn't be able to capture it. Only Turner would have done justice to the light and the subtle colours and tones in the sky.

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