There are so many reasons why country NSW is worth a visit. The vibrant night sky sits at the top of that list. Once you get away from the city lights and pollution of the open cut mines the sky truly dazzles. Once out there, step outside and let your eyes adjust. After a while, it is easy to get lost in the infinite little specks that dot the velvet sky. It’s almost incomprehensible.
Take a moment to try and fathom the size of it all. The closest star (besides our sun) is 4.2 light years from Earth. Light takes an average of 8 minutes 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to Earth travelling at almost 3 million metres per second. Light covers a distance of 149.6 million kilometres (average distance of the Sun to the Earth) in just 8 minutes 20 seconds. By the time 4.2 light years has passed and the light from Proxima Centauri (the closest star to us) reaches Earth it has travelled a measly 40.14 trillion kilometres. Can you comprehend that? I certainly struggle to. I’ll repeat that is 46 140 000 000 000 kilometres.
If that wasn’t enough, beyond Proxima Centauri is a lot more. Infinitely more. It boggles the mind. It makes one feel amazingly insignificant on Earth. We are but a tiny, inconsequential blip on the universal radar. From another planet or stars point of view, we are just one of those little dots that litter the sky. This is just a fraction of what runs through my mind when I get lost looking at the night sky. Then it all gets too much so I try to find the four constellations that I recognised, locate them and begin the whole baffling thought process again.
Try it some time and one of the best places to do so is in the darkness of country NSW. Be sure to check out the video below.
It was great to come home and experience a good ol’ Scone wedding. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks. For a week leading up to the wedding was nothing but chores and wedding preparations. Lawn mowing, light installing, marquee planning, and occasionally a wee bit of bickering.
When the big day finally came, everything fell into place. The clouds dissipated, the weather warmed and the beers flowed. By 0630 the next day (yes we celebrated until daylight the following morning) the clouds were back, the weather cold and, fortunately, the beer vanished.
A huge congratulations to the happy couple, P & J, enjoy your honeymoon trek.
It’s a pleasure coming back to Australia for many reasons. Visiting this little shack on the edge of Mount Royal National Park is definitely right up there. Away from city lights, away from city sounds, the night sky is crystal clear and truly comes alive. Unbelievably therapeutic and relaxing, it is impossible to remain stressed in this beautiful part of the New South Wales bush.
I am thoroughly enjoying learning to shoot the Milky Way and was absolutely stoked to get a few clear nights after several cloudy days. However, I am not overly mobile right now due to a double toe operation (both feet). Fortunately, I was able to hobble out to the side of the cabin to attempt this shot.
There is nothing quite like gazing at an Upper Hunter Milky Way. Away from lights, away from smog, we say adios to the sun and the day. The stars shine and they dazzle and they reach over our heads. One thing is for sure, this can’t be seen from your beds. It’s easy to get lost in that great dark expanse. Let’s just remember, we are here simply by chance.
Way back in the day, in a time before land, scientific stuff far smaller than sand, bound together in one way or another. It all happened in an instance, it caused quite a lot bother. Out of the darkness it came, it’s tricky to fathom. A Universe so big, just think of a chasm. A chasm so vast it goes on forever. No end in sight, you can never say never.
These thoughts take a hold when I stare into space. The luck of the draw to have been given my place, on this tiny blue planet that supports all our life. The Serengeti, the Arctic, Yosemite and Yellowknife, are parks we must treasure, protect and maintain. The human existence has nothing to gain, by letting it slip off into the distance. For it could all be gone despite our resistance.
So as I stand on my silo, and drift off into the stars, I ponder them all, Alpha Centauri, Orion, Sagittarius and Mars. What else could be out there? Are we alone? Should we care? Many questions unanswered yet there’s one thing I know, we should all take a breath, calm down and go slow. Where ever you are look up and you just may, exclaim to the world or yourself, Oh my what a wonderful Milky Way.
While I wait for the weather to calm and the clouds to clear it seems I’ll have to be content with many a beautiful Scone sunset. I have been waiting and hoping for a clear night sky. So far the clouds have been blowing in and out, not offering much opportunity of that clear sky. Hopefully tonight I will get my chance. In the meanwhile, watching the clouds ignite upon the setting sun is a great way to practice my patience.
There is something extremely moving and therapeutic about watching the sun set and the clouds ignite. It is as if the world is telling me to put the stresses of the day to bed. To move on. Tomorrow is another day and the sun will be back with a new perspective. It can be hard to listen to the world’s advice. However, in that moment, when the sun dips below the horizon, there is a peace that washes over me, if only briefly. It is a peace, a feeling that is impossible to get inside a building, or even in a city. A feeling reserved for the mountains, the wilderness, the countryside.