Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Solstice Song

Solstice dawn 2015 from our bedroom window with the chorus from the Halsway Carol
Solstice dawn 2015 - from our bedroom window

A winter day, the summer grass turned hay
Frost in the field 'til the dawn of May
A summer's light never shone as great or as bright
So dance in the shadows of a winter's night

~ Halsway Carol - Music by Nigel Eaton, words by Ian Frisk *

We've been learning a wonderful new carol at choir and it's great to have one which is about the turning of the year at the time of the winter solstice. I took the above photo to match the words.

December daffodils at Crewkerne, Somerset
However, the scene I found at Crewkerne, Somerset on Saturday was quite unexpected - and it looked wrong when I matched the words to it. What a topsy turvy December we're having. Coincidentally,  Halsway Manor is also found in Somerset and is the only residential folk centre in the UK.

If you thought the solstice was the 21st (which I did), this year it's today at 4.49am instead. Apparently the date can vary between 20th and 23rd December, though the 21st is the most common day. This link tells you a lot more.

* = the link takes you to the composer playing the tune on his hurdy gurdy, the instrument for which this carol was composed in 2011. Click on Show More and the lyrics will be revealed.


  1. I Live just a few miles from Crewkerne at Yeovil and we have swathes of daffodils in bloom alongside the roads near me. They are always early but never quite as early as this. I also have primroses in bloom on the bank alongside my drive - far too soon.Certainly no "icicles hanging by the walls" here as yet!! I am glad it's not cold just now as we have no heating or hot water whilst having a new boiler installed over the course of a couple of days but really I'd prefer some frosty mornings and "summer light" it all seems a bit weird doesn't it?

    1. We were at a wonderful concert in Crewkerne with Reg Meuross - thoroughly recommend it for next year MJ. I have primroses too - not unusual for me, but I reckon I'm going to beat my record for blooms on Christmas day and more than half of them will be summer flowerers!

  2. Nice post and good pictures. Flighty xx

  3. Daffodils in December! Crazy weather. Trouble is there's plenty of time yet for true winter to arrive and then what.

    1. It seems true winter won't be with us for a while yet. Crumbs!

  4. No daffodils here yet, but we do have a Christmas Rose but is actually flowering at Christmas time this year.

    1. I've never had a Christmas rose bloom at this time of the year. I was looking at a garden with daffodils, hellebores and primroses on Tuesday - makes me wonder what'll be blooming come spring...

  5. It must quite disconcerting to see daffodils in December so I'm relieved that mine are not in flower yet VP. My sister in Berkshire sent me a photo last week of some flowering in the verges there. You certainly woke up to a sparkling solstice dawn.

    1. Mine aren't quite in bloom yet Anna, but it'll be a close run thing to see if they start this year or very early in 2016.


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