The sun seemed to tease us this time, hiding behind a band of clouds above the Magilligan Hills, as if somehow reluctant to make an appearance. Although more probably is, that we got there too early and while waiting, time always refuses to flow at average speed.
The first rays of light entered the gate at 7.24 am, illuminating the southern side of the entrance wall. As before, the beam was broken and weak at this stage but reaching it’s furthest extension, which is at the height of the first platform.
Growing swiftly stronger but shorter and at a slower pace, Adam Porter, standing on top of the wall, pointed out at this moment that Burt Castle, laying SW, and by a astonishing arrangement of the fast moving clouds, was highlighted and in perfect alignment with the rising sun. This seems to indicate that the site of this castle is more ancient than previously thought. Sadly, no one got a photo of this surprising twist of light.
A large, burdened cloud moved across the sun and despite the strong prevailing winds, the curse of every light weight camera on this hill, it still took some considerable amount of time to shift such load and the beam disappeared for this period. Thankfully it returned, having retreated just past the middle of the monument, at which stage the shadow of the hill with it’s ’crown’ can be seen at the slopes of Cornamount Hill to the west.
The glorious display of light lasted until 8.50 am, when the beam became a thin, uneven line, getting cut off at the inner, northern edge of the gate before it disappeared due to clouds. It may have lasted for a couple of more minutes, making it the longest demonstration of this kind to my knowledge, lasting for just over an hour and a half.
Some wonderful photos taken by Adam Porter can be found here: ADAM’S EQUINOX PICTURES LIGHT UP DONEGAL