Darkness and the Merry Dancers
In North Ronaldsay sheep have evolved to exist on a diet of seaweed; proof positive of Darwin’s theory of evolution within our lifetimes, that species evolve to adapt to their changing environment.
One particular facet of Homo Sapiens activity in Orkney becomes dormant and hibernates during the summer months, only to spring into life during the long winter nights, awakened by the call of blackened darkness. Like a clandestine collective of spies they research their targets during daylight hours. They plan and conspire by sending messages to each other on secret social media network channels.
They don’t go to bed early.
They pack tripods, cameras, communication devices, don dark coats, woolly hats and then, leaving their loved ones behind, sneak out quietly into the shadows. They shun light sources like zombies and develop cat’s eyes but with a capacity to detect feint hints of colours and patterns in the sky that others cannot see. They choose shadow-cast places away from the wind, erect tripods and catch images of flaming messages painted on dark sky horizons by extra-terrestrial entities.
The social media network connections provide a fertile hotbed of knowledge sharing. These people don’t indulge in ‘pre-loading’ as these night-clubbers need a steady hand.
Other mortals from far way places are attracted to journey to Orkney and join forces. They are attracted by pristine atmosphere free from industrial particulate and pollutants. Without large cities, motorways and other sources of light pollution.
After a night of Merry Dancers, these intrepid folk rave about their trophies.
These images were taken from just outside of the front door of Eastward House, without midnight driving and just a few steps from the comfort and amenities of home.
All of these images were taken without travelling away from Eastward House.
There are more spectacular scenery settings where devotees cluster with vistas across land and sea in such places as Birsay.
An advantage of not travelling much further than the front door means that you will always be close to good hospitality at your own home with warming mugs of hot chocolate!
An iridescent blue sky, distant car headlights, high altitude aircraft vapour trail and the aurora borealis. In the peace of night. it is all silently happening.
If this was a painting it would be surrealism.
There is a great online community for practitioners and newcomers to the excitement of Aurora photography. It is a Facebook place "Orkney Aurora Group"
Click here for a useful guide to Aurora photography.
Amazing entertainment free to your door courtesy of the aurora borealis.
So come to Orkney, where the nightlife is dazzling.