Starry, starry nights

The last day of January has already arrived and what a month of seasonal weather we have enjoyed.  Calm, clear, sunny days have followed beautiful early morning hoar-frosts with our garden shrubs sparkling in their sprinkled coats of diamond dust.  Views of the rolling pastureland surrounding our cottages have changed by the minute as the morning  frosts melt away when warmed by the weak rays of winter sunshine.

Clear skies have continued for much of the month, both day and night, providing a fabulous opportunity for stargazing.   With long nights upon us, this is the best time of year for viewing the starry skies.   Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn are all closer than usual and the Quadrantid meteor shower is providing a show of ‘shooting stars’.  With zero light pollution at East Jordeston and silence broken only by the hooting of owls or movements of other wildlife, it’s a magical place to get away to experience the awesome, huge night sky.  Little wonder then that Mark got so excited while staying with us over the weekend (check over to our facebook page to see his comment).   Armed with mugs of steaming hot chocolate and puffy down jackets we’re going to take part in ‘Star count week’, a National survey running from today until 6 February (BBC website).  We need to count as many stars as we can see within the Orion constellation – Hmmm….. could take us a while!


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