Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Moon And Venus.

Almost as soon as I heard the news that Venus and Jupiter would be two fingers width apart and clearly visible in the western night sky, a curtain of fog came down over Hythe and didn't lift for a week! That was around the 12th of March. They were still quite close together by the time of the new moon on the 22nd and I did see them, but it was too cloudy to get a good photo. By the 26th, the sky cleared and we had a week of sunny days, beautiful sunsets and moonlit starry nights; it's been spectacular. I have taken some pictures, and I like them very much, but the close-up is too close to include Jupiter, and the wide shot is too wide to see Jupiter.... so, here we have the Moon and Venus. Ah well....

The picture shows the Moon and Venus in the western night sky over Hythe, Hampshire at 19:01 on Monday 26th March 2012. To see a wide shot, click on the link to my tumblr blog below.

To read more about Venus, Jupiter and the Moon, click on the link to below.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

MS Queen Victoria.

It was wonderful to see the cruise ship Queen Victoria in port yesterday. She's the first queen we've seen since January, when Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 left for their epic round-the-world trips (see my blog dated Wednesday 11th January 2012), and heralds the return of a legion of other cruise ships to this side of the world, now that spring is here. She came in from New York early morning and it was late afternoon when she blew her whistle, eased out of her dock and sailed away down Southampton Water, heading for Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands. It was a stunning day, not a breath of wind; the warm, clear, sunny morning had given way to a beautiful hazy afternoon and Queen Victoria looked superb, as you can see from the picture.

To see more pictures of Queen Victoria leaving Southampton, Hampshire, yesterday afternoon, click on the link to my tumblr picture blog below.

To see where Queen Victoria is now, click on the Cunard link below and take a look at the bridge webcam.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Almond Blossom.

Out on a ramble through the village with my camera yesterday afternoon, I was thrilled to see that the trees are beginning to blossom beautifully. The hawthorn has been cautiously flowering for a couple of weeks now, but a few damp, foggy days, and a handful of heavy rain showers seem to have egged it on considerably, encouraged the magnolia to burst its buds and teased open the delicate flowers of the old almond tree in the churchyard. They were all lovely, but if I had to choose, I'd opt for the heartbreakingly beautiful almond blossom, every time.

It was a wonderful walk, the rain clouds had passed, the sun was setting, there was a keen wind in the north east, but the air was sweet, the blackbirds were singing, the tide was coming in, and my heart was full of blossom, almond in particular.

The picture shows the almond blossom in St John's Churchyard, Hythe, Hampshire (see my blog dated Friday 30 September 2011 to read about the almond tree).

Click on the link below to see the magnolia blossom.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


I bought myself a Muji raincoat many months ago; it's basically a plastic mac, but because it's a Japanese design, it's actually rather elegant, folds into a smallish rectangle and fits nicely into a matching case with carrying handle. Mine is a handsome silver-grey and until the middle of last week, had remained unworn and almost forgotten; but on Wednesday the wind blew and the rain came down and I stepped out covered from head to foot in a brand new plastic coat! It rained and rained all morning and most of the afternoon and each time I ventured outside it rained some more. But I didn't mind at all. And I have to say, there was something very nice about walking in the rain knowing that I wouldn't get wet.

Click on the link to find out more about the Muji Freecut Raincoat:

The picture shows a woodland scene of daffodils in the village of Hythe, Hampshire, flowering beautifully after the much needed rainfall.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The First Sunday In March.

A wonderfully wet morning here in Hampshire; Southampton Water reflecting the steel grey sky and the rain pelting against my windows. By mid-afternoon the wind was up (a stiff west-north-westerly), a violent hailstorm gusted through, the clouds cleared, the sun came out and the afternoon gave way to a spectacular sunset and a clear, starry, moonlit night. All in all, a lovely day and very good to listen to the falling rain.

The picture shows the sun setting behind the trees in the Grove Gardens and St John's Church, Hythe, Hampshire. To see a wider shot, click on the link below.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

March 1st.

The first day of the month and I was woken by fog horns booming across Southampton Water; a wonderfully haunting and penetrating sound that had me out of my bed and peering through the windows, only to find the inevitable wall of fog obliterating the view.

No morning run for me today, but I did step outside early on to smell the air and snap a picture of the foggy view. I stepped out again, with my camera, mid-afternoon when the skies were clear, and later to catch the sunset.

The picture shows the trees in the Grove Gardens and the spire of St John's Church, Hythe, Hampshire (and a passing seagull), ghosting through the fog early this morning.

To see pictures of the same view early morning, mid-afternoon and at sunset, click on the link below.