The belt of Venus a sunrise and a snow moon
|The Belt of Venus seen from the Whispering Tree.|
The spring equinox is March 20th this year in the Northern Hemisphere so there is some time to wait until its officially spring. However over the last week we have had a nice break in the spell of bad weather and a lovely clear blue has instead graced our skies. Friday was particularly nice and I think there was a real sense of "spring" in the air. I could not wait until the weekend.
My friend Paul Coombes and I had planned to chance walking up the Folly for a sunrise. The forecast however was showing a cloudy start which had us both doubting whether it was a good idea but in the end we decided to roll the dice and leave it all to lady luck.
Sunrise is now getting earlier and earlier. That is the downside of spring months getting up at stupid o'clock to walk to a good location becomes a lot more challenging as its always going to mean a very early start.
As we headed off to the Folly at 5.30 am on Saturday morning Paul and I had a cloudless sky above us. The "Snow" moon , which is the last full moon before the spring equinox was shining brightly in a star filled sky. Speeding across the night sky was a very bright object which we discovered was the International Space Station. What a great start to the walk.
|My friend Paul looking very intrepid as he ascends the Grotto Slopes with a full moon in the distance|
Walking up the steep slopes that lead to the Shell Grotto is always a challenge even in the day time. The moonlight was pretty good but Paul wanted to use his head torch so he didn't trip up. It looks pretty cool in the photograph I think. The moon in the distance was so bright it looked almost like the sun.
|Nightscape. The view from the Grotto hill.|
The night sky was ever changing as we progressed up the mountain. The colours on the horizon were producing all kinds of different hues of blue, red, orange and purple. It was like the dimmer switch was very so slightly being turned off.
The panoramic view across Pontypool, Cwmbran and even Newport was amazing. We practiced some night photography and I think I have got some of best pictures yet of the towns boroughs nightscape.
|The Snow Moon in the Belt of Venus over the British.|
|A new view that may be an "Offence to some peoples eyes" as it spoils the landscape somewhat.|
|The snow moon, the old tree and stone wall.|
|The mist on the horizon and New Inn|