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Season of sunsets

December 2, 2013

At this time of year it can feel here as if it is always sunrise or sunset.

We wake on weekdays in the dark grey early morning. (Many people are getting up earlier in the pitch dark: we are lucky that my husband usually works from home and that school is only a few minutes away.) It is not until we are having breakfast that the sun first touches the tops of the hills, making the dead bracken glow red like Ayer’s Rock.  The sun seems to spend much of the rest of the morning struggling to get out of bed. There are two or three hours of proper daylight; then by lunchtime it has given up the struggle and is sliding back under the duvet again. (I know how it feels.)

Yet what we miss in proper daylight is compensated for by the beautiful effects of low sun. Winter light is much more interesting than summer light. Slanting frost shadows and skies tinted apricot, plum, lemon, tangerine: there is a whole fruit salad of colours in the light of an ordinary December afternoon.

Last Thursday, however, the sunset really excelled itself. People all over Scotland were posting their photos of it on Facebook. By half past four, the sky seemed to have turned into a molten river of fire. Strange beams of light and fingers of shadow suggested otherworldly events in the offing. Now, this really was worth getting out of bed for.,3.12.13-1,3.12.13-2,3.12.13-3,3.12.13-4


Compare this with Summer nights, when the sun barely sets at all; in a more festive mood, you might enjoy Wintry pleasures.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2013 4:12 pm

    That’s funny, I just posted photos of last Thursday’s sunset over on my blog too! I think you got the colours better with your camera though, they show the reds that I didn’t manage to photograph. It looks as though it was incredible over your way!

    • December 3, 2013 7:23 pm

      Oh but how beautiful to see this sunset from above! My camera has a special sunset setting, but I actually discarded the shots I took on that. They looked truly apocalyptic, but I prefer to try to show colours as true to nature as possible. So these are taken on a normal setting, and the sky was at least this red.

  2. December 3, 2013 9:36 pm

    I heard about this sunset – needless to say I didn’t see it! Thank you for the counterpoint to my troglodyte existence.

    • December 3, 2013 10:55 pm

      Oh dear, I am beginning to feel that it’s my duty to make sure you get regular doses of the great Scottish outdoors, if only vicariously. Happy to help!

  3. Caroline permalink
    December 3, 2013 9:49 pm

    Wow another amazing sight to enjoy through your lovely photographs. Am impressed, too, by the snow falling on this blog page…

    • December 3, 2013 10:57 pm

      Thanks, Caroline. The snow is a seasonal option provided by WordPress: I set it up a few years ago for fun and nearly turned it off yesterday, but I have a bit of a soft spot for it. 🙂

  4. December 4, 2013 8:05 am

    Wow, stunning photos! You have got a sun pillar there, too. I was one of those trying to snap the wonderful sunset last week – hanging out of a bedroom window, trying not to attract the attention of anyone walking underneath! It was absolutely spectacular. The colours were unreal.

    I am not liking the dark mornings and half-hearted sunshine of this time of year! It always comes as a shock, although you’d think I’d know by now!

  5. December 7, 2013 5:14 pm

    I’d say those spectacular colours are unbelievable, except that I know they’re not. -) Nature’s palette is far richer than ours ever could be. Sadly we’ve not had anything half so amazing down here.

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