It was a spur of the moment thing.
The weather forecast was for a clear night. A cold and crispy night. For me, the best type of night to be out under the stars.
Time to stop thinking of reasons not to go out and to simply get out.
No more excuses.
No sitting indoors again.
Chances as good as tonight was shaping up are few and far between.
I needed to head somewhere dark to make the most of watching the Geminids meteor shower. There would be no moon until later and so it should be good. A remote part of the coast was chosen. I expected there to be others out to watch the stars but on arrival at the small car park I found only one other car. It was clear and very cold. The cold obviously putting people off. I gathered what I needed into my rucksack and started the 1/2 mile walk to the sea wall. The sky was so clear and the stars so bright and bold against dark of the night sky. Heading down the dark icy track the owners of the other car were retreating, beaten by the cold.
I set up my camera to capture some images of the stars. Having decided to come out at such short notice I hadn’t prepared in any way*. My remote shutter release was not working fully and I had to work it manually as best I could.
*I found out the next day that in my haste I had also failed to set the camera correctly and all the shots had failed. A lesson learned for the future.
I blame the cold. There was already a hard frost on the ground and it was only 21:30. In between taking images ( what a waste! ) I spread out my sleep mat and sleeping bag. No cover just the bag in the open and my rucksack as a pillow. A hot drink would warm me before climbing into my bag. I watched the many shooting stars from the warmth of my bag until some high clouds came over around midnight. A spectacular show and well worth the trip!
I woke with a start. Something moved. Forcing my eyes open I realised someone was near. Seeing them setting up a tripod I relaxed. It was 01:30. Another star gazer.
Deciding it was wise, I said hello. Didn’t want him falling over me in the dark!
Having managed to scare the life out of him, we chatted while he was taking some photos of the sky in all its glory. After he left, I had a somewhat disturbed sleep through to 6am when the cool breeze brought a chill blowing through my sleeping bag.
I surfaced to make a brew as first light began to break. And what a spectacular sunrise it was!
So much colour to light the frosty start to the day. After packing I spent time wandering to take some pictures on my phone from the area. I’ll add these to a separate post later in a gallery.
So, the night was as promised. Cold, crispy and clear. Views filled with a wonderful night sky, the Geminids meteor shower and all capped off with a glorious sunrise to start the day.
Perfect? Not quite but few nights should be. Each will have its own moments and memories to treasure and each should be savoured for those.
We only have one life. Live it and love it!
May there be many more nights!