Waking up at 5.30am has it benefits, not least being the fact that you get a brief moment of peace before all hell breaks loose (read: kids waking up, getting ready for school, driving anywhere in Malaysia etc).
I took this photo just as dawn was breaking. You can still see some stars in the middle of the sky, but the line of clouds pointing towards the top right corner makes it look like a page is being turned, giving us a glimpse of the morning light as it banishes the night.
I took this picture from my living room window earlier. Because the night sky was very clear, one can easily see many constellations including Orion, Taurus, and Ursa Major. What caught my eye was a cluster of stars seen on the right side of the picture: the Pleiades.
The Pleiades also known as The Seven Sisters, Messier 45, and other names by different cultures, is an asterism and an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars in the north-west of the constellation Taurus. At a distance of about 444 light years, it is among the nearest star clusters to Earth. It is the nearest Messier object to Earth, and is the most obvious cluster to the naked eye in the night sky.
The name sounded familiar. I realised I had heard of the Pleiades being mentioned in a hadith by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
If the din were at the Pleiades, even then a person from Persia would have taken hold of it, or one amongst the Persian descent would have surely found it.
Sahih Muslim, The Book of the Merits of the Companions
Few things are better for the tired mind than strolling through nature, which was why I found myself, the day before Storm Eunice made landfall, walking through the University Parks. I’m not quite sure why it’s ‘Parks’ and not ‘Park’; seemed to me it was all part of the same park, but it is what it is.
I don’t know about you, but I’m the sort of person who likes reading the plaques on the benches, so naturally I was very excited when I found one dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien (see below). Further down the path, there was another one dedicated to Marcus & Sue Dutton, two people who clearly loved the park as much as anyone did. The River Cherwell was swollen from all the rain we’ve been getting recently, but despite the light rain there were plenty of people wandering around the area. All in all, a beautiful park (or Parks!); definitely worth seeing especially since you can easily nip into the Museum of Natural History afterwards.