Simmer Dim - Long Summer Days in the North

The summer solstice brings long sunny days and short warm nights throughout the United Kingdom.  On Shetland located at 60 degrees north the sky never really gets dark in the summer and warmth is all relative. 

The island of Unst sees just 4 hours and 50 minutes of civil twilight, the part of the day when you know darkness is on its way.  Night time creeps ever closer until the sky is dark.  In the far north the nights are different, the sun is rising before darkness is able to take a hold.

Twilight and daylight on Shetland.

Twilight and daylight on Shetland.

Midsummer is a time for celebration on the islands.  Norse pagan's celebrated the light and power of the sun and Baldur the God of light during this time.  It was also traditionally the start of the herring fishing season known as Johnsmas with Dutch fishermen known to be arriving as early as the 15th century to await the 24th June when they could begin to catch these small fish. This was a time of partying as the islands population swelled with the new visitors.  Even today the summer solstice is celebrated with a carnival spirit at the Johnsmas Foe in Lerwick.

When the weather is clear, the simmer dim brings a lingering glow to the sky before a new day bursts into life.  The birds appear content in their lives.  The frantic last and first feeding of the day isn't needed, in just four hours real daylight will return and they can continue with their lives.

The simmer dim on Shetland where the night sky never appears and twilight remains

An iphone shot taken at 1am

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