The cold snap has brought with it the most spectacular sunrises, so extraordinary in their hues that if an artist painted the scene, you would barely believe that the sky could be streaked with so many colours, all highlighted by slashes of white from the vapour trails of aircraft. They’ve recently been unmissible thanks to the sun rising just before 8am, when most country people are up and going about their business.

The nights have been star-strewn and the days bright, with the low sun lighting up the feathers of the birds as they fly past. Sunrise occurs at the instant at which the upper edge of the sun appears on the horizon in the East-this shouldn’t be confused with dawn, which is when the sky begins to lighten, but the sun is not yet visible.

This period is known as twilight and is caused by the atmospheric refraction of the sun’s rays. This is an important period in the day as it’s when the nocturnal and diurnal animals and birds swap shifts. There is so much going on that it’s rare that you’ll ever regret being outside to observe it.

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