Turning Toward the Light

By , December 23, 2016

Today, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, our local daylight begins to increase.

Here on the homestead, we reached the Winter Solstice daylight low of 6 hours and 8 minutes on December 19th, remaining there till yesterday, December 22nd.

Today, we get an additional minute of daylight, as we begin the long calendrical march to the Summer Solstice (see Season of Darkness, Season of Light).

I took these photos during a brief sunny break in the day-before-solstice storm Tuesday (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

I took these photos during a brief sunny break in the day-before-solstice storm Tuesday (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Our situation changed significantly from the recent cold snap (see Earth Hard as Iron) with a big thaw and wild weather. Here in our little sheltered bight, we got a lot less of it than they did in town, particularly less rain. Aly stayed home to avoid town roads so icy that the grit crews couldn’t keep them safe, apparently.

Speaking of calendrical marches, today was The Secret of the Unhewn Stone in the ancient Celtic Tree Month calendar. It’s a day I’ve come to cherish in the busy holiday season (see A Blank Slate).

(Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

(Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

We lie a few minutes of latitude south and east of Haines, so we get a minute or two more of daylight in the Winter Solstice period than they do. We were able to pinpoint our personal daylight using the chart making function on the Naval Observatory Website, the Naval Oceanography Portal. Each new year, I make charts for our property to use throughout the year. (See Preparing for the Coming Year: Daylight Charts).

(Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

(Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

A bit of sunshine on the Winter Solstice itself (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

A bit of sunshine on the Winter Solstice itself. Check out that distinct snow line! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

As for Christmas, we might have a white one. The forecast says we’ll transition back to cold in the coming days, with sunshine, below-freezing highs, and a chance of snow after 9:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.

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