Thursday, December 21, 2017


       I am always aware of the approach of the winter solstice. Some years I get very anxious and check sunrise and sunset times every day. Other years I know the shortest day is coming and that is all. 

      So today is the shortest day. Things will start to become lighter. Today we had one of those very dull days. We had the lights on for most of the day. There was heavy cloud and snow flurries. We got about 2 cm ( 3/4 inch)of snow. We had a high of minus 6 C ( 24 F). It was a most dismal day. 

     The sun rose at 8:42 AM and set at 4:24 PM which gave us 7 hours and 42 minutes of sunlight except that it was very cloudy.

      A recent morning with pale moon and jet vapor trail.

     What intrigues me is how people throughout history have observed winter solstice. They didn't have accurate measurements to tell when the sun rose and set. Yet winter solstice was very important to them. They didn't always get the exact day of the solstice. 

     The ancients realized that the solstice was an important day and in many cultures a celebration was held. Rural people knew that the days would get longer but knew that there was much more winter to be experienced. They knew that they had to have adequate food supplies for themselves and their animals. 

     Then things get a little complicated when we use different calendars. The day still happens. Only the number changes.

    So do you look forward to winter solstice ? What does winter solstice  mean for you?