FROM 2015 & 2016 Logs

Civil twilight

The time when conventional celestial navigators reach for their sextant, chronometer and tables and shoot the stars and the moon. It’s the time from about 20 minutes to sunrise or after sunset when there is both a horizon, a visible moon and all the first magnitude stars. This morning it was dim grey above the hill in the west changing through silver to deep pinkish orange in the east with the Southern Cross and the almost full moon bright and lovely and others I once could recognise around the hills. Orion and Betelgeuse probably below the horizon to the north behind the big hill. When I stuck my head up this morning, there were about 50 swallows roosting around Berri’s guardrails all sleepy, not anxious to leave. A tiny spider must have worked all night to weave a minutely delicate web with tiny traces of dew glinting in the glow of sunrise. We tried to preserve it when we left but, I think, sadly, we failed. So much intricate work gone. We often see threads of spider silk in the rig – released to fly downwind with tiny spider attached, to wrap where they may and perhaps become the first spokes of new webs. Tonight in Refuge Bay, quiet evening sunlight fading through a gusty NW wind – sun just not set, moon and stars not here yet but soft light, deep greens and sandstone, the waterfall now in shadow. Cool and froody. Megan the Intrepid stood under the waterfall in her swimmers – brr! a.

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