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Roll of Honour

The Shortest Day

Lane to Peartree BridgeThis lane leads to the Peartree Bridge; named, it’s said, after an orchard. Possibly the “orchard of half a rood” (an eighth of an acre) referred to in a 1639 terrier, a book recording land boundaries and contents. It’s bridge 88 on the Grand Union canal.

You’ll have been told by all and sundry yesterday that it was the shortest day; the winter solstice. What else could I do but go out with the camera just as it was getting dark?

I have to admit, I have a new camera and lens and so I’ve been busy seeing what it could do. The old one was good in low light, but I’ve found that this one is better.

Yesterday we had a whole 7 hours and 44 minutes between sunrise and sunset. Not a lot, really. The summer solstice next year is on the 21st of June, and on that day we shall have 16 hours and 44 minutes, with sunset at 9:28 pm instead of 3:54 pm. Much better.

Yesterday I started taking photos just before 4:30 pm, half an hour after sunset. If I started at the same time on the summer solstice, sunset wouldn’t be for another five hours. I’m just glad the slow climb into summer has begun.

Sunrise on the summer solstice will be at 4:43 am, 3 hours and 27 minutes later than the gloomy 8:10 am it was yesterday.

Of course, the greater increase of evening hours over morning hours is due to the clocks changing. Next year that will be on Sunday 26th March, and on that happy day sunset will be at 7:26 pm. Sunrise will then be at 6:54 am.

Works for me.

Anyway, now for the photos. I walked in a rough circle and my first and last photos were taken close to where I parked the car, in Woughton on the Green. It took me an hour and a half.

I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year to all my readers

Ducks on the Grand Union at duskI’ve seen ducks and other birds settle down for the night at this spot before. Across the canal is the Peartree Bridge estate, named for the bridge at its Southern end.

Grand Union Canal bridge 85AIn the gloom I could hardly see this sign on the side of this bridge, but I was still able to focus by hand and get a sharp photo; I was very pleased. The modern bridge takes the grid road over the canal and sits between the original bridges 85 and 86, so it gets listed as 85A. Canal bridges have number plaques for the convenience of navigating boaters.

Bridge 85 on the Grand Union CanalAnd here’s bridge 85. Most canal bridges in this area are arched brick, but this one, and bridge 86, have brick abutments supporting steel beams.

Moving tree lightsTree lights in Woolstone, with some deliberate camera movement. Well, I had to get a Christmassy shot in somewhere!

Woughton on the Green churchTaken with the camera propped onto the churchyard wall for a four second exposure. The strange lighting is from street lights, and the scene was much darker in reality. Another triumph for the camera.

I used this Pentax camera and lens for today's photos.

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