Ben Lowry: A sunny autumn day in Co Down banishes some of my equinox gloom

We have now entered what I consider to be the gloomiest period of the year — after the autumnal equinox and before the winter solstice.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 12:33 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th September 2021, 1:37 pm
A fine, still, mild, sunny autumn day at Crawfordsburn Country Park in Co Down, looking towards Bangor, just before the equinox, on Tuesday September 21 2021

Not only are the days now going to be shorter than the nights for the next six months, the days are going to be getting even shorter until December 21.

I find such conditions particularly challenging in Northern Ireland, where we get much less winter daylight than most of Europe, because we are so far north — and indeed than most of North America.

The most southerly point of NI, which is almost 55 degrees latitude, is well north of the most northerly part of the lower (ie non Alaska) 48 mainland United States, which is a small section just north of the ‘49th (latitude) parallel’.

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And yet, and yet. I find the darkness bothers me less I age because time moves so quickly. Yes the short days are bleak but in no time it will be late December and the consolation of knowing the evenings are drawing out again.

This week I was not working on Tuesday, just before the solstice, and visited Crawfordbsburn country park with a relative, as pictured right. It was such a perfect sunny, mild, still day as to be a fine antidote to the melancholy of the equinox.

• Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter acting editor

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Ben Lowry

Acting Editor