Aurora Borealis!!

I had been to Tesco then drove to Gateshead where I was parking for the night and got myself comfy ready to watch a DVD. I noticed though on Facebook people were talking about the Aurora. I read a few posts and one of them was a guy talking to his pal, saying “Get yourself over there now, it’s still going on!”

I was galvanised! It’s a little dream of mine to see the aurora ever since I first read about it as a very young boy, so I packed everything away and sped off to South Shields. Marsden grotto pub car park is reasonably high and views north, so I pulled up there and there was definitely aurora light in the sky! Green, red and magenta, although nothing usable came out of the camera. I met a bloke there who turned out to be a member of th Facebook group which I admin, Let’s Talk Photography Northeast.  We spent about an hour and a half before giving up but as we left I decided on a whim to drive up to Bamburgh in Northumberland.

MK3_1813

I was not disappointed!

As you can see it’s not the best aurora photo in the world, but its mine…and I saw it…and a boyhood dream is achieved. To me it’s the most magical photo I’ve taken in ages and I am proud to put it on my blog.

Serendipity in Barassie?

I visited Barassie the other day, as you’d expect I went for a walk along the beach with Jack 🙂 The beach is odd. If you approach from the B746 and park in one of the several free parking areas, head north, there is some litter on the beach, but otherwise it’s fine. You  can walk along it for about 6 miles to Saltcoats. It borders a golf course but that’s mostly hidden from view by some dunes, which Jack particularly likes, as there’s often rabbits in them 🙂

If you go left there is a mile long grassed area perfect for picnics in the summer and games with the kids. Despite all the dog poo bins there is still lots of dog poo about. Come on dog owners, it takes nothing to pick it up.
Anyway, go down to the beach here and there is a LOT of refuse including sanitary towels and plastic tampon applicators. There must be an outfall close by. There is also over a quarter of a mile of beach that is covered in leaves. Small tree leaves, all the same species, and in parts up to 3 feet deep. I’ve never seen anything like it but the light was bad that day so I didn’t get a decent picture.
Later I noticed row after row of cut logs on the harbour waiting to be loaded onto ships. I don’t know if there’s a link between the two, but the cut logs obviously have no leaves on them, certainly not to explain the sheer amount on the beach.

Never mind, the north part of the beach looks like this:

Barassie beach
Barassie beach

Don’t let the rocks fool you, it looks gorgeous. Here’s another view a little further along.

Barassie beach
Barassie beach

Anyway I mentioned serendipity in the title.
A work colleague had mentioned to me a website about solar flares, and how you could track them to find out when the Aurora Borealis would be most active. She knows I have never witnessed the aurora, so passed he info on. When I had a look, it even told you great points to view it from, as they have no high objects surrounding them and little light pollution. One of the best places mentioned was…Barassie beach! I’d only been there the day before so how serendipitous?
Sadly there’s no aurora due.