I was reminded, this morning, of several questions I had left hanging in the air during 2016. Not, I hasten to add, in a deliberate attempt to build up any drama or tension, but merely because I'm an eejit and had forgotten.
Perhaps you will recall the mission I set myself, way back in February 2016, to check upon a possible alignment of three ancient sites near our home? Cursory glances at a map and compass hinted at the possibility of a Winter solstice alignment involving a Neolithic cairn, a ruined broch and a mysterious mound in a churchyard. Now, that was going to be more than nine months of remembering, so quite possibly beyond my skill set. And then, of course, there was always going to be the 'will it, won't it' of the weather on the day. However, worse still than that, December 21st saw me leaving home well before sunrise to be at an appointment on the other side of the island.
Fortuitously, the next day, I was able to check the position of the rising sun, but it was nowhere near the hoped-for alignment, and the theory bit the dust.
So, all I can give you is a photo from November, featuring the enigmatic mound in the churchyard, and a photo from this morning, which was the thing that reminded me to fess up to my poorly-documented failure.
|St Nicholas' Kirk, viewed from the east
|Kirk in centre, mid distance.
The other topic that needs a bit more explanation was the much-heralded return of our overwintering Snipe in November. In actual fact, after the first sighting, there'd been precious little evidence of their presence, so I was somewhat nonplussed. Despite regular applications of 'standing at the window and scouring the adjacent fields with me bins', not a single Snipe was spotted, prompting me to rename the species Snope.
Today, upon returning home from town and parking the car in its usual place, I received a bit of a shock. As I alighted from the vehicle, something shot out of the flower border right beside me, soared up into the sky and disappeared shorewards. Yup, a Snipe. Gah!
OK, in an attempt to provide a bit of monthly interest during 2017, there is going to be a Doorstep Challenge! I will try to feature at least one sunset a month, photographed as a panorama from the front door of Tense Towers. My aim is to give some idea of the seasonal movements of the sun, from Winter solstice, through the Spring equinox, Summer solstice, Vernal equinox and back to the Winter solstice.
Better late than never, here's the one for today, 7th January, with the glow just nudging westwards beyond the farm buildings below our home:
|And, re the previously-mentioned Snipe, yes, that flower border next to that car.