8 January 2019

Venus shone like a spotlight high above our gate before dawn this morning. Slightly to the left and far dimmer, Jupiter, the largest planet by far in our solar system. A short while later, I spotted another planet in the glow of the rising sun. The astronomy app on my phone informed me it was either Mercury or Saturn, but I was damned if I could tell which. The smart money was on Saturn.

After a day of wind and rain, a day of perfect calm and sunshine. I was supposed to be decorating the back bedroom this afternoon, but the Moor beckoned. Not so much a dilemma as a total no-brainer.

There were plenty of red grouse around today. Two startled the hell out of me before I even arrived at the Moor gate. They shot off low across the heather, emitting their alarm guks. I spotted another eyeing me warily from a heathery hummock as I headed up to the trig point. He soon shot off too with his partner in hot pursuit.

At this time of year, the sun never gets high above the horizon, so the views to the south and west, over towards Stoodley Pike monument, were mostly obscured by glare. But there were marvellously clear views farther north, over towards Haworth and Top Withens (Wuthering Heights).

I spotted more grouse as I headed along the Edge, and more still as I descended and began to loop back. Rooks were dibbing in the fields directly below the Moor. Others were performing intricate aeronautical manoeuvres with some visiting gulls.

I took a photograph of the view over towards Stoodley Pike from the steep sunken track down off the Moor from Johnny House. It was into the glare, but after a lot of post-processing back home, I managed to salvage a pretty decent image. A location, perhaps, to file away for a future photo-expedition involving tripod and filters.

Coming down off the Moor

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