Jonathan: This afternoon turned sunny, mild and with only a soft breeze, so I finished digging out the foundations for the Hebridean Woolshed studio. I stopped for a rest before the final trim, and as I sat quietly on the grass the female blackbird from last week appeared again – and this time there was her partner too. No singing practice today – more like the weekly shop! They certainly got their fill of worms and grubs from the large expanse of exposed soil.
Jonathan: Morning and evening Tilly and I go out through the south gate and across the road to the beach. On a night of blanket cloud, this requires a torch, but more frequently our way is lit by the moon and a host of stars – more numerous and bright than any town-dweller might imagine! From the light-clouds of myriad galaxies to the familiar patterns of the constellations: and second only to the moon itself, yet more constant in its position and brightness – Venus. And even now as I write this – looking out over my shoulder to the southern skies, there she is, stationed over the dark outline of Cnoc a Deas, ready to light our way across the road and start our daily rounds.
Jonathan: I took Tilly across the road to the beach this morning at 7:30 – the sand frozen solid and the sea lapping gently onto crisp snow and ice. lit by the light of the moon. And what should I see when I look up, but an eclipse of the moon in progress! Gradually the bright part of the moon got smaller and smaller, and soon it was all a deep russet colour. The first such eclipse on the shortest day for about 300 years apparently. Just coincidence I saw it – only heard about it on the radio when I went back in for a coffee!