What else could I do?


It cannot get any darker, can it? Well yes it can, and it will. At night the sun seems to be in such a hurry to set and leave us in darkness. And this will continue until the third week in December when slowly but surely the days will begin to get longer.

Thinking to brighten our days we have started buying Christmas presents, online. Firstly, we ordered a solar powered lantern, it looked so good in the photo but when it arrived, I was disappointed. It appeared quite heavy and seemed crudely painted. We decided that we could not give it as a gift and so unpacked it and put it outside on the patio. 

Perhaps we should have returned it but by the time I thought of that I had thrown all the packing away. Then, looking out that black evening, there was a delight for me to see. The lamp had lit up and spread out a pattern of shining flowers all over the paving flags. It softened the harshness of the dark nights for me.

The harlequin ladybirds seem to like the darkness though, at least in our house. They have crept into warm shadowy corners and have settled in for the winter. I usually brush them off and take them back outside as soon as I see them but this year, for some reason, I left this one little group in the utility room. Of course, once there are a few safely there in a corner, others follow.

If I open the window, I see lots of them all around the edges just waiting to come in – and they do. If it is warm, I move them outside, but they come in again. Whatever I do they get in, perhaps through tiny cracks between the window and the walls. Their numbers have steadily increased, and they have now all moved in together. It looks as if they are going to huddle there for the winter, as still as a mosaic statue.

I often watch them and when I get up close, I can see the individuals. Some are red or maroon, some are yellow or orange. I haven’t the heart to scoop them up. If I throw them outside today, they will surely die in such cold temperatures. So, they stay safely with us for now. I have no other answer.

Someone I know has been given a special light bulb. It is a light bulb which looks ordinary, but it is not. Once fitted and the special App downloaded, she can ask it to switch on – and magically it does – no more dark nights for her.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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