21 December is here, time for a change of season autumn to winter. Time for the land to sleep, rest and rejuvenate.
Today is the shortest day and longest night, a day we call the winter solstice. Solstice literally means “sun stand still.” The exact timing of the solstice varies from year to year. In 2015, the solstice occurs at 11:49 p.m., 21 December.
Although today sees the start of winter we will see little change in our weather patterns. Winters are no longer as cold as they used to be. There now seems to be a blurring of the seasons. In the past The River Thames would freeze over. Between 1309 and 1814, the Thames froze at least 23 times. On five of these occasions -1683-4, 1716, 1739-40, 1789 and 1814 – the ice was thick enough to hold a fair. The “Frost Fair” was a cross between a Christmas market, circus and illegal rave and lasted as long as the ice supported it.
The weather may not be as good as Spring and Summer but winter is a wonderful time to be in the countryside. If you are lucky enough to see snow this winter don’t just look at it, out of the window. Grab your camera, warm clothing and boots, and venture out. The only thing you have to worry about is your exposure reading. Make sure that you check the histogram and expose to the right.