With the onset of Fall, our daylight hours are shrinking fast. I swear the days get shorter faster than they get longer. Cripe. Did that make any sense? It's sort of like weekend time - it goes faster than weekday time. Really. I timed it.
Rising to the top of my list is setting up the timers. I have a complicated system of timers on all my various light sources. While I did invest in new solar walkway lights for the path from driveway to front deck, it's still pretty dark out here in the boondocks. Phase One of the timer set-up is the goat barn. This is very helpful in many ways - the goaties are happier when there is light in their barn at night and I am happy because I can close them in when I feed them and they are content to munch away. That also saves me another trip out in the dark. Where I sometimes meet creepies - like the opossum I almost tripped over a couple of nights ago. We both shrieked. Setting up this particular timer system is rather complicated. It involves 2 and 3 prong plugs, multiple extension cords, and balancing the whole contraption up out of the reach of the ever-inquisitive goaties.
Phase Two is setting up a light to come on in the living room so that the dogs aren't in the dark (which seems to be more of a worry for me than them), and allows a little more light to emanate out of the windows onto the front deck.
Phase Three are the festive and holiday-themed outdoor strings of lights. My October string is orange and it's wrapped around the front deck. That gives way to the red/white/green lights that adorn the front deck and along the fence line behind the driveway. About mid-December, it is downright cozy out there.
Phase Four - the final phase - is for the darkest nights and the longest part of winter. Mid/late January to early March. This is when I take pity on the chickens and put a light in their coop. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am desperate for eggs about then. Nothing at all.
How do you handle the short dark days? I am always looking for inspiration.