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Weatherwatch: the 'halcyon days' of December hark back to the kingfisher

This shy little bird is linked to many bizarre beliefs about the weatherThe ancients called them the "halcyon days" - a period of fine, settled weather, lasting roughly seven days, which began sometime in the first half of December. During this time, it was said that the kingfisher (also known as the halcyon) would lay its eggs on the surface of the sea. The phrase, and the concept behind it, originated in ancient Greece, but during the Renaissance was popularised by several writers, including the poet Michael Drayton, who wrote of "the halcyon, whom the sea obeys..." and Shakespeare, where the halcyon features in a speech by Henry VI. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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