Seeking out the light

'Tis the year's midnight...the world's whole sap is sunk.' And in these days between Christmas and New Year, away from the artificial glare of the city, I've been seeking out the light. Dawn is a matter of a few minutes, between 9 and 9.15 a.m. Christmas Day dawned quietly, in washed silver and blue.

Below, sunset on Christmas Day at 3.30 pm, beside the Spey in the face of a tearing gale.

Boxing Day dawn was a panoply of cloud shapes. Mild temperatures (14 degrees!) allowed me to stand outside to view the return of the sun.

There was no sunset where we were that day, just the grey half-light deepening imperceptibly into dark. I had somehow expected today's sunrise to make up for it with a gaudy show, but it was delicate and restrained.

Instead the show came tonight, with 10 minutes of fire in the west.


  1. Wow! Fantastic sky shots. Amazing how the same sky can look so different and how fast it changes.

  2. Always enjoy your photos. These are spectacular, especially at a time of year and a latitude where daylight is at a premium.

  3. Nature always seems to exhibit the best beauty.

  4. You've captured the feeling of the year's last week so very well.

  5. I'm not sure I'd like only six hours of daylight in a winter's day. We have about eleven here in Georgia this time of year. Do many people suffer with light deprivation? It has a name but I can't think of it.

    I know in the summertime it's the opposite in Scotland. When we visited there in June, I couldn't believe it was still light outside at eleven o'clock at night. That would take some getting used to. But I guess you would. Just more time to enjoy Scotland's beauty, right?

  6. absolutely beautiful pictures! i especially love the last one. Scottish skies are so magnificent.

  7. Oh my goodness, those pictures are amazing. Your days are very short, arent' they? Of course we just passed the shortest day of the year, but still, to have so little daylight seems strange to me. Still, I must say, it makes for some incredible pictures and the fire in the sky took my breath away! As I said before, Linda, you are getting to be some kind of a photographer and I mean that in the very best sense. Thanks for some GREAT shots.

  8. Dear Linda
    Sorry for being late to visit. I had the kids for Christmas and mom overpowered the blogger :))
    Your photos are fantastic!!!
    I wish all the best for your family, in the New Year!
    Many greetings

  9. Beautiful photos as always. I've nominated you for The Versatile Blogger award on my blog. It's just a bit of fun. But I wanted to highlight good Scottish blogs so had to include yours!

  10. Beautiful sky photos, a great variety here. I almost forgot that your 14 degrees is my 57 degrees, which is mild indeed! We started one of our recent mornings at -20 C.

  11. Greetings from Brussels !
    Saw your Antwerp post..... will be back !!

  12. Hi Linda, love your pictures. Thank goodness we have gone past the shortest day now. I also enjoyed yesterdays brief sunset on my way home from my walk. I stopped at the top of our hill until it faded.

  13. These are brilliant captures, and quite poetic too. You make me happy, always. :-)
    Wish you a lovely new year.

  14. Fabulous shots Linda, especially the sunset! I always look forward to February when you can see the days getting longer again.

  15. Beautiful skies and most poetic prose. But really, isn't this weather ridiculous? Same temperatures as this year's summer! Maybe it's because the country is actually prepared for heavy snow for once, with snow tyres and extra supplies of grit and poly tunnels to defrost trains...

  16. I live in Edmonton Canada and have the same short days , but the scenery is not his beautiful !!
    Have you been to Fife ? Opinions please , specifically Kirkcaldy ?

  17. Gorgeous photos!
    The weather on Christmas Day and Boxing Day was pretty unbelievable. I do love a white Christmas... but then, I figured that I might never again have the chance to enjoy strolling around without a jacket on at this time of year, so, like you it seems, I had a lovely time out walking about.
    I see you made it up to the Spey for the holidays!! I hope you had a wonderful time!

  18. super clouds shots - the third one is my favourite

  19. Splendid series! You must have spent quite a lot of time outdoors to get it?

  20. What beautiful photographs, Linda. I enjoy watching the dawn at this time of year, too. The best is when the sky is getting light but you can still see the stars in the outer darkness.

  21. Beautiful shots. The different clouds and colors in each shot are interesting.

  22. Unfortunately we have experienced a lot of grey skies from dawn to dusk so these beautiful Scottish skies are a real delight.

  23. So beautiful, Linda. How fun to have a blogger from Scotland comment on my blog. I'm so glad you did. Happy New Year!

  24. *applause*
    It's not easy getting the real essence of dusk in photography.

  25. What a short day you have. I'll be thinking of you and appreciating our much longer and sunnier ones this winter. Happy New Year, Linda!

  26. Happyone, the sky was changing very fast indeed in the sunset shot. If I'd been sitting inside watching TV I'd have missed it. Just as well there was nothing worth watching all holiday!

    Ron, thanks very much. The light is very precious. Even today, just a few days after the solstice, we were convincing ourselves that the day was just a tiny bit longer.

    Farmchick - that's certainly my view. I never tire of a sunrise or sunset.

    Pamela, there is such a definite feeling to this week, isn't there? Already now that we're into the New Year it feels different.

    Debbie, it's called 'Seasonal Affective Disorder' - appropriately abbreviated to SAD. A lot of people do suffer from it. I know that for myself there's a definite physical low at this time of year, as well as a lowering of the mood.

    Darlene, thank you for your sweet compliment. I think in this case the sky did most of the work.

    Journeys to Scotland, I wonder if our skyscapes owe something to the fact that clouds are moving over our little country very fast!

    Magda, it's good to have a blogging break, especially at this busy time of year.

    Sian, thank you so much! I will have to get myself organised to rise to the occasion!

    Al, we coudl do with some of that crispness. It's been altogether too mild.

    Anni, I'm delighted to discover your blog. I fell in love with Antwerp on my visit.

    Chris, nice to hear from you. Funny to think we were perhaps looking at the same clouds a few miles apart.

    Suman, wow, I hadn't thought of myself as a bringer of happiness! I'll try to keep up the good work.

    RedPat, February is a favourite of mine too, not least because the next month sees the beginnings of spring.

    DB, yes, we're well prepared. Those forlorn stacks of snow shovels outside Tesco...

    Steve, well, I've never been asked for my opinion on Kirkcaldy before. Not a town I know well - just glimpsed from the train.

    Hello Jodi, the seesawing temperatures have been weird. And yes, we've enjoyed Speyside, as always.

    Gerald, thanks for your visit. Glad you found something you liked.

    Svenske Floyd, some of the shots were taken on brief forays outside, wearing a cosy fleece.

    Christine - oh I agree, that is a magical time.

    Vicky, it never ceases to amaze me that clouds can be endlessly different.

    The cuby poet, I wish you some blue skies SOON.

    Liza, I enjoyed my visit to your blog. I'll be back.

    Nerima, 'essence of dusk' - what a lovely phrase.

    Clairz, I'll pop over to visit your longer days and top up on some light that way. Happy New Year to you too.


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