Tag Archives: dark

Last light

Here in the southern hemisphere we are entering the darkest time of the year as the days shorten.

We have been enjoying some wonderful weather that has us confused. It is warm and calm but the sun is a mellower, soft light and it is in the sky for shorter and shorter hours each day.

As the afternoon draws on the sunlight is slanting across the walls and floors at quite different angles. Sunset behind a nearby hill happens quite dramatically.

On Friday I managed to capture the last, reflected, milky sunlight near the phone and computer.

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Then the last of the rays falling on a bedroom wall and within seconds it is all gone from the house and the dark begins to creep in.

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The Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day and many people have been celebrating this winter solstice, acknowledging the importance of the dark but anticipating the return of the light.

It continues to be a very testing year here in New Zealand, especially for the residents of Christchurch and surrounding areas.

While nature has been showing her hand dramatically in many ways, nature has also been kind to us here in “windy” Wellington. We have had an exceptionally long period of calm weather with temperatures being unseasonably warm and none of us have any complaints about those two features.

We have had a good many days of cloud this week and the daylight is very low. However from my living room window there is a flowering cherry tree which still has an abundance of leaves which have all turned into their autumn finery after some clear, chilly nights last week.

Set against the low light it is a beacon of colour and vibrancy to relish and to remind us that sun, light and heat will return in time.

My photos do not necessarily do it justice as it seems to glow to the naked eye.

Winter gardening and personal growth

Daylight saving has just finished here and I am noticing people commenting  with little enthusiasm that winter is coming.  The clock going back is a sure signal that another seasonal change is drawing closer.

I love gardening and all the many benefits being in the garden brings me.  I have been thinking about winter and how down people feel about its approach and how we garden in the winter time.

It seems to me that winter can be an excellent time to consider what in our lives or activities could lie fallow and resting during winter, in the same way the soil does during the long dark and often cold and wet days.   What can we prune or trim that will, in time, mean a burst of new growth and harvest once the light begins to return?  What might we prune or cut out completely from our lives?  Are there things that do not serve us well that need “the chop” and will allow a space for something new to be planted, in time or when conditions improve or alter?

How can we as gardeners rest and reflect when our gardens are too water-logged and unpleasant to be out in?

What needs to be planted in the winter months that allows for something to take hold even in the dark, cold, miserable conditions?  Gardeners are advised to plant large trees, shrubs and roses in the depths of winter to ensure time for settling before the burst that spring brings.

How can we prepare for winter and the challenges it brings to us?   Do we need to feed some things, do we need to mulch for protection and potential? 

What reserves have we got to draw on through the bleaker months?

And what might the benefits be for us, on some occasions in winter, to rug up, pull on gumboots and “get out and do something” in the garden?  To draw forth our determination, our energy and creativity?

How is winter time for you?