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December 10, 2016 By Andy Ross

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The shortest day

Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are nearing the shortest day. It may not seem much to those from other climes but it is something we look forward to. 

The daylight has been decreasing for six months but it is really only in the last couple that we notice how significantly different it is. It is almost ten o'clock in the morning and this slightly fuzzy picture shows the sun at its (almost) height. We won't get much more sunlight than this but you can also see that it is calm and peaceful. By two thirty it will be darkening quickly again and it is completely dark by four. 

By all rights we should have extreme cold, and snow, at this time of year. Given our northern posting that is definitely on the cards. Instead we have relatively mild and damp conditions, and the grass is still green. This week there were sightings of humpback whales offshore in the North Isles (see Brydon Thomason's amazing pictures)and we have resident and visiting birds who overwinter in these conditions. The loch below the house has four swans on it today...

Hard to believe that in a couple of weeks we will be experiencing the return of the daylight, the turn of the year and looking forward to the long days of summer. What an amazing place we live in!