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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Waxing Lyrical (maybe!)

One of the best things here in the Lot, among many other 'bests' is that the clear nights mean brilliant starlight skies. There is nothing more ethereal, more wonderful, than lying back on a sunlounger and letting the universe fall upon you.

This part of France has very little, if any, light pollution. So when the weather is fine we are treated to heavenly sights no longer experienced in Southport, UK ... In fact I would dare to say there ate few places left in western Europe where starlight is a regular occurence.

I am up and down two or three times most nights and as the weather has been exceptionally fine and the temperature balmy, it has become habitual for me to wander out to the patio, gazing upward.

In the hours of darkness we can see ourselves travelling, rotating, spiralling: the dust of stars in the magical perilousness of life...

38 comments:

  1. How right you are.
    The local campsite had a regular visitor from Holland whose hobby/passion was star photography.
    He reckoned that it was the best place he knew to follow his hobby thanks to the absence of lighht pollution.

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    1. I've often wished I had a camera capable of star photography. Would be interesting to follow the changing sky in different parts of the world, I think.

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  2. This was a definite lyrical wax. I loved the imagery in that last sentence.

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  3. In our twenty five years here light pollution has crept in on us. When we look around it's still a little island, but not so when we look up.

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  4. That is one of my favourite things to do too! Moon and star gazing puts one in ones place, and makes the heart flutter in awe. I like waxing lyrical!

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    1. And I think it's good for the soul!

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  5. The wonder of the universe ...

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  6. magical perilousness of life... - beautiful
    Talihina was like that - little light pollution. It's a whole other world.

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  7. We're right at the core of our city, and the light pollution is overwhelming. We have to drive out in the country if we want to see what's in the sky.
    Fortunately, it isn't that long a drive.

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    1. You are so lucky! I imagine it's a few hundred miles from here before we can see the stars.

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  8. You have the intrepid soul of an explorer and a poet.

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    1. Oh, Stephen, you make me blush -- but thanks for the compliment!

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  9. Those night skies are so wonderful aren't they. One of our son's favourite holiday pastimes has always been to spend vast chunks of the night outside on a sun lounger, staring up into space. He did this as a teenager, and now as a 32 year old father of 2, he still does it. Counting shooting star sightings has been a feature of our summers in France for years, and one I am sure will continue as the grandchildren get to understand more about the beautiful and vast universe.

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    1. They really are spectacular. This year I had to give up counting shooting stars there were so many.

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  10. I know just what you mean, Broad, but you express it so much better. :-) We're lucky enough to experience the same lack of light pollution both here in France and on our hill-top in Mid-Wales, where I often stand outside on freezing winter's nights to gaze at the incredibly bright stars.

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    1. In your dressing gown and slippers?

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    2. LOL! It's been known, Broad, but usually I manage to put my coat and boots on top. :-) However, since the stars appear as soon as the afterglow has faded, I normally manage to stargaze before bedtime.

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  11. Dear Broad, your last line--"In the hours of darkness we can see ourselves travelling, rotating, spiralling: the dust of stars in the magical perilousness of life..." is so lyrical. A prose poem.
    I can remember the same feeling when I stood by the tent up at Gooseberry Falls in northern Minnesota right next to Lake Superior. The starry, starry nights drew me outward into the vastness of creation. It's wonderful isn't it? A great gift. Peace.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Dee. I have heard from others that the areas of Minnesota around lake Superior or wonderful for starry nights -- and perhaps some 'borealis' as well?

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  12. Such a beautiful post, Broad! I love star-gazing and dark, unpolluted skies. They're hard to find most places -- though one of the best things about rural Arizona is the dark, starry sky. You expressed the experience so vividly! Sometimes darkness and silence and stillness is so good for the soul.

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. Yes, I would have thought Arizona was a place where there would be vast starry skies.

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  13. It's great to see you again too. I know what you mean about the stars and the night sky. We are not affected by lights here and sometimes, particularly on those clear, cold, winter nights the sky here is spectacular.

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    1. I can imagine that you have the most amazing of skies where you live...

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  14. First time commenting on your blog; I like the name of it :) Beautiful sky in the picture; I'm sure seeing the stars as you describe them is absolutely gorgeous. Where I live now, we often get the marine layer, i.e., clouds, so many a night we don't see any stars, but when we do, it is always a delight to look up and see what is shining bright :)

    hope your week ahead is a nice one!

    betty

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    1. Thanks, Betty -- I'll be checking you out very soon!

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  15. We feel exactly the same about the Loire and often marvel at the clear night skies and the stars. We never see anything like it in Derbyshire, where clear starry nights are a thing of the past.

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    1. And lately the skies have been so magnificent...

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  16. well that is a gorgeous sky...what color!

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    1. It was a beautiful evening after a delicious meal in St. Cere...

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  17. I recall being a child and seeing stars in the night sky clearly. Then more lights, more traffic at night, more of everything that obscured them. Then My Dad bought a small retirement home in a less populated area. I visited him and stepped out into his yard one evening to have a smoke. And there it was again! The night sky I had marveled at as a child.

    I understand.

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    1. It's quite stunning especially after a long time not seeing it. I feel quite mystical about the night sky...

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  18. Oh, I wish, I wish. I love being an urban resident, corralled with the rest of humanity in our little box where we maybe won't be such a nuisance to the rest of the planet, but how I miss the stars. And I never really lived anywhere that wasn't light-blighted. But I've spent many a night in Maine or Colorado or Montana on my back under the glowing sky.

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  19. PS I have a good friend in the tiniest little French town--L'Hopital St. Jean. Heard of it?

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    1. I'd not heard of it, but just looked it up and it is not that far from where our house is. It is very beautiful in that part of the Lot -- have you been there? In fact I could 'wax lyrical' about how beautiful it is!

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