Monday, December 21, 2009

Midwinter's Darkest Day Towards Rebirth of Light





















It only lasts a second . . . the tilt of the earth's axis being the furthest away from the sun. Thus we live through the shortest day of the year and wake to a bit more sunlight each day thereafter. The light will grow longer throwing her warm golden rays across fields, mountains and distant shores . . .  minutes more added day by day, as we spin towards spring. According to a government site, the Winter Solstice 2009 begins today at 12:47 PM EST. 


Cultures around the world celebrate the return of light through traditional rituals, but not all on the same date. Some in Japan celebrate the reemergence of their Shinto Sun goddess Amaterasu, from her dark cave. In Sweden, Finland and Norway there are those that honor Beiwe (meaning day) the sun goddess of sanity and fertility. In Wiltshire, England there are celebrations at Stonehenge. Here in United States Native Americans had built great numbers of stone structures to determine the solstices and equinoxes. Sacrifices and feasts were held the world over to mark the renewal of light. However you might celebrate . . . I wish you a Happy Winter Solstice!! 


My offering of images are from last year about this time. The 110th Christmas Bird Count is under way. I will be featuring, over the next several posts, seasons of bird portraits from Flower Hill Farm, in honor of this great feat across the country. Today we have Wild Turkeys and a Robin enjoying the crabapples just outside the barn studio. The tiny apples help many birds make it through the winter months.

44 comments:

Les said...

The ice covered trees are lovely and lucky you to get so close to the shy turkies. Happy Winter Solstice to you and to any other holiday you will celebrate soon.

fairegarden said...

Wonderful images, Carol! This is a very happy day the whole world over, with the beginning of longer daylight, however slight. I love to see the turkeys and robin, we saw our first robin, that I noticed, of winter yesterday. Although it wasn't really winter yet. :-)
Frances

Eva said...

Happy Solstice, to you, Carol! I find, like the ancients, that this day is reassuring. Just to see the word "spring" lifts my heart. I heard recently that this season of darkness offers time for reflection. And it reminded me of you: inviting me to look at the images and inspiring descriptions of your world. The turkeys against the snow are quite beautiful. You always help me to see the natural world in new ways.

lotusleaf said...

Hello Carol! Happy Winter Solstice Day! We in India celebrate the Winter Solstice on January 14th which was the day it used to fall on some 6000years ago. We call the day Sankranti and we celebrate by having a bonfire and destributing and eating lots of nuts and sweets made of sesame and ginger and brown sugar.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. After seeing your beautiful Solstice images, your compliment about my photography means even more.!

Gail said...

Carol, Happy Winter Solstice~~Your photos are just what I needed this morning~~We missed the snow that pounded the East Coast and I can imagine myself looking out onto this gorgeous world you are showing us. Have a wonderful day. gail ps It might be my imagination, but it feels different outside this morning!

Liisa said...

Happy Winter Solstice! What a beautiful snowy landscape. We spotted a rafter of turkeys the other day, out in an open corn field. They are such a sight. I am so looking forward to this wintry dance toward longer days!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Wonderful photos. I'm happy to join in the celebration of the returning of the light.

I'm glad to see the robin found food to help him survive the wintery scene. I hope the turkeys did too.
Marnie

Zuzu said...

Beautiful. Flower Hill Farm is a joy to visit, and the things you share are wonder-filled. Happy Winter Solstice to you and yours, Carol!
Zuzu

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Good morning Carol. I am glad that this is the shortest day of the year and that it is all uphill from now on. I need light ;-)
Your pictures of the frosty, glistening trees are so lovely. You must have robins that stay around all year. They leave us here in the winter.
Wonderful picture of the turkeys.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.

ruma2008 said...

I thank for that I can look at this holy Nature from the Far East.

Both the plant and the animal are art of the Nature.
And climate, planet, too.

Thank you for showing wonderful scenery.

Rothschild Orchid said...

Beautiful, stunningly beautiful.

RO :o)

azplantlady said...

Hi Carol,

I am looking forward to your bird photos. Your wintery landscape is very picturesque. I love celebrating the winter solstice. In the summer the days are long and hot and so we do no really celebrate the summer's solstice...

ryan said...

Happy Solstice! Great photos.

OF SPRING AND SUMMER said...

Yes, Happy Solstice!! But I am very happy we are now heading in the other direction - that of more LIGHT!! If only for the reason that there are more hours to take photographs!
Love, Ingrid

LeSan said...

Oh doggone it. Can someone show me how to type girlish screams of delight?

These photos are stunning! I loved your inclusiveness of celebration. It was very thoughtful. I personally have begun my wintery countdown. Looking outside though, it would seem that I'm the only one counting. heheh

Carol I hope you and your loved ones have a warm and loving celebration. May you enjoy all the peace and happiness of this season of hope and promise.

Kate said...

Hi, Carol!
Happy Solstice -- lovely photos and I'm excited to read that you've joined the Audubon bird count! We'll no doubt get to savor many more of your lovely photos. I leave the fruit on my trees as well. The little birdies munch on the goodies all winter long.

Merry Christmas!

- kate

Yan said...

Gorgeous images. Your post sums up perfectly my feelings. There is beauty at this time of year but I'm so glad and feel celebratory now we're heading back towards the light. Yan

gardeningAngel said...

Hi Carol,
Happy Winter Solstice Day to you too! What gorgeous photos you have taken to show us the beauty of this earth and this day. You have beaten me to the post - everything you have said here I would love to say on my blog. Bravo to you! Have a very Happy Holiday season, and please keep showing us more of your wonder photos.

Kathy

Katarina (Roses and stuff) said...

Happy Winter Solstice Day Carol - It's good to know days are getting longer and longer. The Saami,i.e the indigen,ous people of Sweden and Finland depended a lot on the light in the old days, hence their honoring of Beiwe. I think I should hnor her too...
Merry Christmas to you!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Yeah for more sunlight on it's way. I wasn't aware of the Christmas bird count, I'll have to plan for it next year.
Beautiful winter pictures. They are great reminders of how beautiful winter can be. I get so focused on spring and summer that I forget to take the time to appreciate the beauty of winter.

Anna said...

Great photos Carol celebrating the winter solstice. What a joyous day this is :)

Autumn Belle said...

Your stunning photos brings a special significance to this special day of the year. It has captured a moment in time on Earth. Happy Winter Solstice! and Merry Christmas!

joey said...

Welcome Winter Solstice ... thank you for the beautiful tribute to the day, Carol!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Your photos are beautiful, as always! I love the robin!

Thomas said...

Carol I hope you are enjoying the first day of Winter.

John at Cell Phone Recycling said...

Trees and plants covered with snows never fails to amaze me. It's like a breath of fresh of air in the winter.

Kanak7 said...

Carol, every photo is gorgeous! I like the wild turkeys all huddled together in the cold. Also the picture of the robin. Interesting to read about the rituals.

Have a good week!

Town Mouse said...

Happy solstice! I'll be so glad to have breakfast with daylight again...

Great photos!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Those are the most amazing photos. You are a wonderful photographer. The turkeys look so unhappy, but the robin appears curious as always. Thanks for the fave.~~Dee

Annie said...

Such a beautiful post! Your photos are so amazing and inspirational. Happy Winter Solstice to you too and have a wonderful holiday season.

Luis G. said...

Very interesting the statement, with lyric bows. All the cultures have admirable things, in this case with the significance(meaning) of the Light.

Regards!!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

That second photo from the top, Carol, just took my breath away. Such a good eye you have. I'm looking forward to your bird posts. Our year-round eagles are being joined by those who overwinter here (they number in the hundreds in Jan-Feb) so that's always a good option for photos in winter.
In case I don't make it back before the big day...happy Christmas to you and yours.

Di said...

Carol, I do believe those turkeys struck a pose for you. Beautiful photos. And we are excited that the shortest day is now passed as we celebrate the Winter Solstice!

Joanne said...

Such wonderful photos ethereal. Did you take dozens of those birds to catch that pose?

oiadweller said...

to you and yours lovely woman...I wish you all the very best. Thank you for your stunning images and for being you !
xxM

Annika Christensen said...

Hallo Carol!
Alltid lika kul att titta in till dig. Först var jag avundsjuk på snön sedan på dina höstbilder.
Du bor i en helt fantastisk miljö!
I like yor photos very much and speciellt the photos on birds.
Now I should try to take pictures on birds on my resturang.
Merry Christmas to you too and hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family too. Hugs
annika

Karin A said...

Absolutely gorgeous photographs! :) Love the winter look. I'm longing for the light and the return is really something to celebrate. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Carol!

Carole said...

Happy Solstice to all! Stunning photos, Carol. I love the turkeys and am hoping your birches survive their bending under the weight of the ice. The sunlight in the ice covered branches is simply beautiful.

sweet bay said...

Turkeys! I used to see turkeys all of the time at the horse farm where I rode in college and when we lived in PA, but I think the cover is too dense here. I miss seeing them. They are beautiful birds.

Realy love that second shot -- it looks like a meadow of icicles. That would make a gorgeous poster.

Autumn Belle said...

Carol, my post today is dedicated to you. Merry Christmas once again!

mothernaturesgarden said...

LOve the photos especially of the turkeys.

Moa said...

So many beatiful winter pictures.. lovely lovely.. =). I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas..
Kram Moa.. =)

Ruben said...

A very ... Merry ... Christmas to you, Carol!!!
And thank you for all your fantastic photos from your gardens throughout the year.
You have given me a lot of beautiful sceneries as well as birds and butterflies of all kind.
I wish you a Happy New Year too with a lot of blogging.
/Ruben

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