I love the night sky in Winter just as the setting sun disappears below the horizon. A hush falls on the surrounding landscape a special quietness, no bird song. It is time to settle down for the night, heads tucked tightly under wings, noses tucked under tails. There is the occassional rustle from the undergrowth as the night creatures begin to stir. The owl begins to call, the bats begin their nocturnal hunt for the moths that throw themselves mercilessly against the outside lights now lit in gardens to ward off the enveloping night.
The horizon is now a watery yellow band below soft pale blue interspersed with the earliest of the stars that appear as if by magic, in the blink of an eye. Then the planet, Venus is visible in all her splendour, a twinkling crystal of light, hypnotic in her beauty. Higher up, a deep rich midnight blue and then the velvety purple blackness. The temperature drops, the fire becomes more inviting, going out becomes a chore.
As the evening deepens, the moon, inside her cage of branches bides her time. When the hour comes, she will break free and sail forth into the open sky to begin her solitary journey across the heavens, her silver light illuminating the world below, casting strange lifeless shadows surreal and colourless.
Such beauty! Rarely seen as we sit by the fire, curtains drawn, candles lit. It is all unoticed as we write our lists of things to do in time for Christmas, begin crafting for family and friends, but it is out there, just the other side of the curtains, a peep away!