December 22nd, 2006
This afternoon, Sabrina and I celebrated the winter solstice with a walk in the fields and woods. The weather has been unusual for this time of year. The temperature got up to around 4C (39F) by mid-afternoon. The pasture was quite dry — enough so that we were able to sit together in the long grass for awhile. Normally, there would have been at least a little snow by this date. I can’t really recall such a pleasant afternoon this close to Christmas, although I just checked the Environment Canada website for record values for this date, and found that the highest record is for 9.4C (a little under 50F) on Dec. 21st, 1949. On the other hand, the lowest record is -30C (-22F) on this date in 1942.
The sun was already low on the horizon when I shot the above photo at 3:21 p.m. The trees and I cast very tall shadows at this time of the day (see photo on left – click on it for a larger view). I paced off the shadow on the left and found that it was about about 14 meters tall (about 46 feet).
Winter solstice occurs at about 7:22 p.m. EST in this region. We don’t do anything special for the occasion, but we certainly do take note of this day as the shortest of the year. From here on out, each passing day brings us a little more sunlight – which is most welcome, especially in the cold month of January. But will it be cold this year? Something tells me that this may turn out to be an extraordinary winter. I guess we shall just have to wait and see, eh, Sabrina?
Posted at 7:22:41 p.m. EST.