Since the weekend, I have been trying to watch the night skies in the hope of catching my first ever glimpse of the Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis, to give it its proper name. It's the first time in several years that the solar activity has reached sufficient levels to allow us, here in the southern sector of Scotland, to witness this splendid, somewhat terrifying, atmospheric phenomenon. I believe there have even been sightings as far south as northern England!
All week long it has been cloudy and wet! We have had rain, hail, sleat and snow. Finally, yesterday looked like it had 'snowed out', with several areas of Scotland particularly badly hit. However, the aftermath of this was plummeting temperatures and a black velvet, star spangled sky that was lit up by a new moon and the bright light of 'nearby' Venus. I had to ask twice about this bright light, as I was convinced it was a satellite. There's never as much as a flicker of twinkle from it that I have noticed. But then the telescope is still packed away in a box from housemoving and my eyesight isn't what it used to be.
With great expectations, I kept one eye on the aurora activity level map for the northern hemisphere and the other on the night sky... was hoping to see the activity level beat 7. Then the clouds moved back in again and the heavens opened! It's still raining now!
Don't get me wrong, I am no astronomer. Nor am I a regular star gazer (although we do have that telescope lurking somewhere) but the prospect of seeing Aurora Borealis completely free of charge (no pun intended) from our own garden, when people can pay thousands of pounds holidaying in far off, northern countries, paying for guided expeditions as part of a lifetime dream, it's very, very moneysaving and would be most satisfying to be able to make that 'claim to fame'.
Being unable to see beyond the rain clouds here, I chose to watch events unfold in Norway, by way of the Aurora Sky Station live camera - absolutely awesome! Spectacular footage and all for free, from the comfort of home. If you do check out the site, remember you can't see the lights during the day, you'll need to tune in at night.
Apologies for the lack of posts here of recent times, procrastination has been lurking dangerously close to chronic level. I promise to try and update more often and, for now, would like to extend a special thanks to those of you who have chosen to have this humble, frugal little blog delivered to your Kindles.
According to the Met Office, our local forecast is for a freezing night with clear skies. What's the betting that means the Aurora has retreated well out of view? Dead cert!
Frugal Living in Frugaldom