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The bright side of winter

We’re more than three-quarters of the way through winter here in Scotland and it shouldn’t be too long before we start to see the first watery glimpses of sunshine or a chorus of crocuses. Surviving a long winter is enough to bring out the creative or the poet in many of us as we emerge from our hibernation into sunlit hours.

We, as humans, are expected to keep busy and active in the winter, even though every cell in our being is craving that snuggle-up time. It should be a time when we are allowed time and space to turn our thoughts inward, saving our energies for the burst of life that Spring brings. 

I sometimes wonder if we would all be much happier here in Scotland if we were able to live more aligned with the cycles of nature, rather than being dictated to by the wailing demands of our alarm clock through the darkness.

Looking on the bright side (so to speak) the light in Scotland through the winter is glorious if you are a photographer. The days may be shorter but with the sun so low in the winter sky, golden hour can last all day. A little cloud cover, with a hint of sunlight is enough to create some spectacular images. In fact, such atmospheric shots are hard to create anywhere else in the world.

There’s no shortage of magical photographic locations in Scotland, enhanced by the winter light. We’ve all seen the dramatic images of the majestic Glencoe, the auburn locks of the Heilan’ Coos. The low winter lighting is an important factor in these stunning shots.

It just goes to show, the winter skies can inspire creativity if we allow it, and inspiration can be found just beyond our doorstep. There are some days I’ve been richly rewarded for the energy I’ve expended to simply get dressed for the great outdoors.

Our coastline and waterways are brimming with inspiration, from the moodiness of the water and the seaweed washed upon the shore, to the moorhens on the lochs with their comically large feet flapping. It’s all there waiting to be discovered, painted, drawn or photographed.

All that said, if you’re not quite ready to get out there, and you’re waiting for the pioneering snowdrops to make their appearance, I hear you. Maybe one more cosy afternoon with a marshmallow hot chocolate wouldn’t be so bad. Would it?

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