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Summer nights

June 25, 2013

I hope you will forgive the very fuzzy quality of these snaps. They were taken just to give you an idea of how light it is at night at the moment. At 11pm, we can still see green fields, mauve rhododendrons, ripening barley on a far hillside…and pale blue and lemon sky. It really is daylight until after eleven, when it suddenly falls to deep dusk., 25.6.13-1



I love these short summer nights, when I go to bed before a single star can be seen, while the bats flicker around the eaves of the castle.  It can be hard to fall asleep, though, and the sun wakes me early despite the shutters on the windows.

Humans, like other animals, must surely be designed to sleep less in the summer and more in the winter. It’s a pity that the working culture we have built for ourselves makes no allowances for natural rhythms! The white nights of the true north must be hard to take, I always think: at least we get two or three hours of more-or-less-darkness between dusk and dawn., 25.6.13-2

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2013 2:51 am

    I think I’d love living where it was still almost light at midnight in the summer. I’ve had a few close-to-that experiences in my travels, midnight sun out the window of a plane and from a cruise ship, and one summer trip to Estonia where it was still kind of light at 11 pm. Here, I still love the summer evenings where it’s not quite completely dark at 10.

    • June 27, 2013 12:00 am

      Our long evenings are wonderful at this time of year. I grew up near the Equator, where sunset fell with a bump at about 7pm every night! I may moan about the lack of sleep at midsummer, but actually I really enjoy the variation in our days and nights over the year, with dusk falling at around 3.30pm at midwinter.

  2. June 26, 2013 7:58 am

    I think I’d find the dark nights of the winter in Shetland and Orkney (and other countries in that latitude) almost impossible to get through – it’s bad enough down in the Lothians! But I do love seeing the midsummer night sky, with the ever-present glow on the horizon to the north, and I love hearing the birds sing at 11 pm and again at 3.30 am (they can’t get much sleep either!)

    • June 27, 2013 12:02 am

      Yes, I think I’d find those dark winters a real struggle too – and the too-light summer nights, come to that. But like you, I love the pale sky on the northern horizon in the wee hours of midsummer.

  3. Toffeeapple permalink
    June 26, 2013 3:32 pm

    That reminds me of my time living in Sweden and visiting Finland, the latter was the place where I had most difficulty sleeping.

    • June 27, 2013 12:03 am

      Interesting. I’m not sure I could cope with Finnish light nights!

      • Toffeeapple permalink
        June 27, 2013 7:05 pm

        It was very difficult, added to the fact that I have trouble adjusting my internal clock when flying east to finland with a two hour difference, I always felt that I was going to bed at tea-time!

  4. June 26, 2013 5:01 pm

    Wow – that’s a really short night. I do love the light that time of day – all hazy and blue with the deep dark greens. Enjoyed the pictures

    • June 27, 2013 12:04 am

      Thank you. Yes, I love the dusky dark blues and greens of twilight. Beautiful shades.

  5. July 1, 2013 8:05 pm

    Fuzzy, but very atmospheric. 🙂 I was amazed how light it still was at 11pm when we were up on the north coast 3 weeks ago. Here in Normandy there is still light in the sky at 11, but that’s because we’re an hour ahead of you and dawn doesn’t come until 5.30 at least. I love the summer!


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