Thursday, 2 November 2017

Winter Is Here!!!

We have written before about scoffing at old-lady-winter-tales and then being proven wrong.

Well. We have a wonderful view of some Rowan trees from our archive window and a couple of weeks ago we noticed aloud how abundant their berries were this year.

'Ah, but ye ken what that means noo?' ... a wisdom filled voice from the farthermost microfilm reader declaimed... 'the mair berries there are, the longer, colder and DARKER the winter will be...!'

Reader. there was a LOT of berries on those trees. Sob.

'But it is not winter now', I thought. 'I have plenty of time to prepare for the cold Orkney winter.'


According to the folklorist Ernest Walker Marwick, Orcadians used to reckon that Winter started on the third Sunday of October, which was aptly named Winter Sunday. This was connected with Winter Saturday when all the young cattle from the hills were taken down to the byre. To find out more, come to the archive and listen to the tape of the October episode of his BBC radio programme 'Island Calander' - reference D31/BBC/4.

 And then cry a million tears over your lost Autumn. (We don't even get the cool Autumn leaves as we have no trees.....)


  1. If you wish to lower the temperature a few more degrees, have a wander along the corridor to the Biological Records Centre (OWIARC) and casually mention how you wrote a blog about a Rowan, but used a photo of a Hawthorn... :o)

  2. To be completely honest, I am not even sure that the trees opposite are rowans. They could well be hawthorns or... oaks or something...


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