Saturday, April 11, 2009

Domestic nerdess ...

The boy and I have had quite a nerdy couple of weeks ...

... we went to do some stargazing as part of Glasgow University's contribution to Moon Week, 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy apparently.

We went to the University's observatory and had way more fun than we were expecting to have. We saw the moon up close and personal - it was like a concrete block really. And we learned that the dividing line between the light side of the moon and the dark side is called The Terminator - nerdalicious!

I saw Saturn and it's rings - which was quite unreal. The astronomy guy pointed to a star, and when we looked through the telecope it was Saturn! I never really thought about space before - I mean, sure, it's up there and all. But we don't often see any stars in Glasgow with all the light pollution, so I guess I don't really think about it that much.

Then we saw some constellations, and the astronomy guy blew my mind saying that we were viewing a star as it had been 45 millions years ago ... I googled light years, and speed of light, and I guess that I get it ... but ... whoa ...

Then on Monday we lost our minds a little and got up at 4am to do Caperwatch at Boat of Garten. We were staying in Elgin for a couple of days, so it was only an hour away - slightly longer if you count the time spent going at 2 miles an hour behind a hare trapped in the headlights running in the middle of the road.

We arrived at 6am, just as the sun was rising, and found the hide in darkness, with silent birdwatchers inside cramming all the hide's viewing holes. We visit this reserve all the time but the atmosphere was quite different so early in the morning. These were the serious birdwatchers, and there was no way that any of them were giving up their viewing space to layabouts such as ourselves, who sloped leisurely in at 6am (!) ...

However, eventually a Capercaillie was spotted on the monitor and they all flocked over for a look (get-it, ho-ho) giving us the opportunity to stare at empty fields for a bit. After 30 minutes or so, one of the helpers came in to say that the Capercaillie could be spotted from the other hide (not usually accesible to the public) and tickets 130-140 could go along to see.

Well pandemonium ensued, as telescopes were lifted and watchers did that walk/run thing to try and get to the front, without appearing too childish or rude. And then the hide was nearly empty so we watched the pair of Ospreys surveying their territory in the rising sun. It was very peaceful.

Then it was our turn, and we got to take a look. No sooner did I have my eye on him I was told to move and let the next person see. So we did a rotation so everyone got a look - it was great to see his Caper'y head poking out of the reeds. Especially as we learned there had been no sign the previous two mornings. ! I didn't realise this - I mean I know that when watching nature, nothing is a certainty - but it hadn't occured to me that getting up at an insane amount in the morning might have all been for nothing.

Luckily for us, we saw him. Then we went for a wee wander about the Loch - which was stunningly still so early in the morning. I must add that all the pictures in today's blog post were taken by the boy.

So what's with the 'Domestic' part of the title? Well, thanks to Lynette for pointing out the Easter weekend offers - we have just bought a Dyson Animal Ball - the Bentley of vacuums, with a whopping £130 off! All the cat hairs in my living room are gone - I'm so happy (and not a bit weirded out that I can find bliss in a vacuum ... teenage me would be so disappointed)

And the other domestic'ness? We've spent the last 4 back-breaking days in the garden, and now have a vegetable patch - with a handmade bamboo net frame to protect against birds and slugs (thanks Girl Guides for teaching me) and loads of seed beds all over the house. Strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots we hope.

And in knitty news; the scarf is complete. Oh yes, you heard correctly - complete!! Finally there should be more knitty content from now on as I move on to other WIPs that are more photogenic. But for now, more Warcraft!

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

No way, you can't just slip that in at the last minute- it had better get a whole post all of its own ;-)

Thanks for posting about the astronomy thing, I had no idea this was the International Year of Astronomy. You get a great view of the stars at the cottage here.

Glad you saw your elusive bird too, you can count yourself among the few. x K