Today the weather forecast was perfect – a clear but very cold winter’s day. So I headed out to climb Burrow Mump to photograph the sunrise over the flooded moors. Burrow Mump is a small hill similar in shape to Glastonbury Tor. On the top is the ruin of St Michaels Church.
Jupiter and Mars
On the way to Burrowbridge the radio station mentioned that Jupiter and Mars would be in conjunction (near to each other in the sky) this morning. So with a perfectly clear sky my first task was to find those planets.
Jupiter is the big shiny one at the top and Mars is the small reddish one lower down.
This picture was taken without a telephoto lens, instead it is a 632 times magnified crop from the centre of a bigger picture. Looking at the size of the moon in the picture of the church above gives you some idea of how much I had to crop the image. The distance between the two planets is about the same as half the diameter of the moon.
This moor near Burrow Mump and Burrowbridge in Somerset is about 200 hectares. In the winter it is deliberately flooded using sluice gates on the River Parrett. Doing this aims to prevent flooding of villages and towns down stream. By flooding the fields a huge grazing marsh is created that is home to many birds including Bewick’s swan (Cygnus columbianus).
A group of swans leaves the lake early in the morning.
This is my favourite time – just after you arrive somewhere and waiting for the event to unfold. A great sense of anticipation waiting to watch the dawn. At this time tomorrow I will be at work, and the same thing will happen all over again without me.
As the sun appears above the horizon lots of birds take to the air.
The strips of cloud in the distance created a perfect canvas for the sunrise.
The wind was blowing strongly creating small waves all over the lake. This gave texture to the water but prevented that mirror perfect reflection of the sun. The water around the edges was still frozen.
Birds fly leave the lake to the feed in fields across the Somerset Levels.
This was a wonderful morning. The birds, the view, the weather even the planets were in perfect alignment.