Sunriiiise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset

Today I can not get this particular song from Fiddler on the Roof, out of my head. As the nights are drawing in it is too dark in the mornings before John goes to work for him to let the chooks out, so this morning it was down to me. As i came around the corner and into the run, this is the scene which greeted me. I can not capture the depth of the colours with my camera, but they were stunning. It is almost a year since we moved to Orkney, and in that time we have had chance to experience the seasons like never before. When own south in central heated houses and places of work, it is easy to let the seasons slip by without thought, marked only by Christmas celebrations and summer holidays. But up here you can not ignore them.

We arrived in October and November last year when autumn was well under way and the land around us was well into slumber, with no leaves on our trees, and the grass and plants dying back for the winter. Winds were strong and whipped through you.

On into winter with snow that froze and stayed with us for weeks, cold and biting winds, temperamental central heating and ice on the inside of windows.

Spring came and so did the bulbs, huge amounts of daffodils and bluebells in the garden and the rest of mainland. Warm days between the cold, giving glimpses of the summer to come.

Into summer, a short season here but welcomed. long long days with no night and the inability to sleep, a time to be busy busy busy using the daylight while available.

And back now again to Autumn, wind scorched leaves whipped from the trees before they have chance to turn brown.

Indeed we are on the down slope to Samhain (halloween) and winter, and the death of another year. Autumn Equinox also known as Mabon or Alban Elfed, has passed a couple of weeks ago, and it is a time to take stock of what has been achieved and harvested over the passed year.
We have survived our first year here, make or break for any southerner coming to Orkney, and we have no plans to give up and go yet, still loving it :)

We have harvested our first crops, both ones we have grown ourselves and ones picked from the trees and bushes in our garden which already grow here. some of these have been turned into preserves for the months ahead.
Now is the time to slow down like the plants and trees in the garden, and the hedgehog who has taken up residence. To cut back ready for the onset of winter. And only a thought for the spring ahead in the choosing of next year's seeds.
So as the nights draw in, the fires are lit, and the blankets come out.
The dark clear nights here create natural planetariums to prove there is beauty in the dark as well as the light.
Say goodbye to summer, and with a glass of something mulled, all hail the coming winter.

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