The light on Gower changes dramatically, but during the winter months it can be spectacular. November ended with a series of dull, dank days, and cold that gets right through to the bones. December looks like it will dawn bright, and with magical light over a calm, pearly sea, it’s also unseasonably warm. By tomorrow everything could change again, sending us back to low coastal clouds, wind and near-horizontal rain. It’s this unpredictable the weather that probably keeps most visitors away in winter, but it’s what really defines living in this marvellous place.
Nights can be clear. Like a headlight in the southern sky, and away from the lights of Swansea, Venus shines bright above the sea each evening now. The local astronomical society holds winter stargazing events in Gower villages, and are always very busy.
The light in late afternoon on Rhossili beach can be magical, but sunsets are always unpredictable. A layer of cloud settles above the western horizon and I wait. The temperature drops like a stone as I watch the sun go down quickly over the Crabart. There is colour, but not enough to tempt me to stay for a photograph. There will be a sunset, but not the spectacular one I had hoped for, and so I head back up the steep path to village. In the dying light, I think of the astronomers heading out, and I’m struck that we still refer to the ‘sun going down’ - a legacy from the days when astronomers believed the sun went around the earth.