Autumns shortening days set off a horse’s coat to develop thicker earlier than winter arrives
THE winter solstice on Tuesday 21st December was the shortest day of the 12 months, with the least quantity of sunlight hours.
This day marks the turning of the 12 months when Nature’s annual cycle begins once more. From now on, the hours of daylight are slowly rising once more, heading in direction of springtime and new development.
The solstice marks the Celtic New Year when the pure rhythm of the change in day size and the beginning of a brand new season is a time for celebration and hope.
These seasonal rhythms have an effect on vegetation and animals.
In autumn, mammals routinely reply to the shortening days by rising thicker winter fur.
Other animals acquire weight in preparation for hibernation.
Migratory birds instinctively fly south the place days are longer and hotter.
Some vegetation just like the Christmas Cactus will solely flower when daylight is lower than 12 hours lengthy – excellent for our mid-winter mild ranges.
Humans additionally expertise pure rhythms.
Our our bodies have an inside 24-hour physique clock which governs our patterns of sleep and wakefulness.
These ‘circadian rhythms’ have an effect on our hormone ranges and our core physique temperature.
We are most conscious of them after we act in opposition to them, comparable to when we have to work evening shifts or after we endure jetlag after flying outdoors our pure time zones.
Keeping step with Nature’s rhythms definitely fits our our bodies and our minds higher.
Nature on our Doorstep is a weekly column written by South Dublin County Council’s Heritage Officer, Rosaleen Dwyer