Sunday, June 21, 2009

Long walk on a short night - Summer solstice 2009

The Summer solstice is the point in the year when the day length reaches a peak and the night is the shortest of the year. What better way to mark the occasion and enjoy the long dusk and very early dawn than a walk around South Derbyshire?

A cloudy day had looked like spoiling the occasion a little, but by the evening it had broken up a bit and at 10:45 the late dusk was brushed with some interesting formations. The evening and morning skies had very little red this year.

My viewpoints walk is a familiar route and just the right length to see the night through. We started the circular walk in Melbourne and walked towards St Brides and Robin Wood.

It gradually became too dark to take photographs, but a slight glimmer remained and we were still able to see the horizon all around right through until dawn. Unfortunately it was a new moon and so we didn't have any moonlight this year.

The darkness makes no difference to your sense of smell and we came across some wild chamomile and wild garlic, in both cases noticing the smell before spotting the plants.

When we first saw Bardon Church, it was quite distinct against the horizon.

Half-way up Breedon Hill, the view is wonderful and the light is starting to establish itself.

No floodlights on the church this year. I'm not sure whether they've stopped lighting it or whether we'd arrived too late.

It really did become light very quickly so we had clear views over Melbourne.