Thursday, 16 December 2021

Six Hours

The date is getting close to the winter solstice, and we are a long way north here.

At 8.00am this morning, when I took Cupar out for his morning walk, it was just about light enough for me to be able to make out the trees, undergrowth and fences that line the local roads. By the time we returned, half an hour later, the grey morning light was just giving way and painting the landscape in dark greens and browns. By 9.00am, it had become as light as it is going to get today, as an area of high pressure is building, giving us low dense cloud cover and occasional light drizzle. The sun only makes rare appearances at this time of year. At least it is pleasantly mild!

In just six hours time, our winter daytime light will be fading again. Indoors, with deeply inset and rather small windows, we live in a permanent gloom, brightened only by electricity. How on earth did people manage when all their lighting was by oil lamp and candle?

I often wonder at how the wildlife copes with such a short daylight time to forage for food. Even if the garden birds rise at the first glimmer of grey, and hang on until the world returns to uniformly black, they will still have to face some sixteen hours of night before venturing abroad again. It is no surprise that virtually all plant life slumbers through the winter.

It's that time of year when it is good to browse back through the summer posts of sparkling sunshine on the sea and flourishing wild flowers...!

Roskhill Barn garden, August 2018


Anonymous said...

I, too, often wonder how people in times gone by managed so far north in the winter. I assume they sat in front of roaring fires to keep warm, worked by candlelight for as long as they could and told each other stories. Maybe the stories were passed down from one generation to another as is the case in Iceland.

witomski said...

If it weren’t for the short hours, we would never appreciate the long ones….Merry Christmas to you, Sue & Culper 🎄🎄🎄

Richard Dorrell said...

Indeed so, Witomski. The summer solstice days are long indeed. Seasons greetings to you also.