On a clear night the stars on Mull can be magical.
Tonight the Milky Way was so strong, a sparkling band of stars reaching round the darkness, so brightly, almost casting shadows on the ground. I drove down to the little harbour at Croig to see what I could see. It was so quiet, the occasional call of a noisy heron at the head of the sea loch, lights from cottages round the shore reflecting on the dark still waters. The Milky Way was not as noticeable here as at home, but it was still very beautiful.
I spent a silent half hour getting cold feet and hands taking photographs of the stars and hoping for some Aurora Borealis.. the stars were lovely enough for me not to mind not seeing the northern lights.
It wasn’t over when I got home though! The Milky Way was more clear here than at Croig, as there were no outside lights here. Then there was a faint glow on the northern horizon, and the camera could pick up the colours of another Aurora. What an incredible year it has been, and I feel very lucky that I can see them here, from the Treshnish garden. They may not be the dramatic flailing curtains of light spiralling and rushing over Icelandic or Nordic landscape but it is even more special to me, to stand outside my house, and hear the water lapping on the shore, and peer into the distance for the hint of colour you can see in the photographs below.
Post Script: In March 2015, I went back to Croig at night and managed to take photographs of the pier again but this time with the Aurora Borealis – so for more stars on Mull and the northern lights please have a look here!