Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice or…


The shortest day of the year, which also turned out to be the sunniest that we have had in a long time. Does the sun make even the shortest day seem longer? I’ll give a resounding yes to that.

Not to miss a minute of it I had a hurried lunch then went for a gloriously long walk without a hat, without gloves and the entire time under the sun: unusual enough to invalidate the fact that the day is so short –
The sun here arose at 8:15 and will set at 16:52.

In pursuing my knowledge of useful (some would argue that it isn’t, that’s their problem) information concerning our own winter solstice, I discovered that actually tomorrow the 22nd  (at 00:03 to be precise) is the day in which we lose less than a second of sunlight thus making tomorrow our winter solstice, albeit in the middle of the night so personally I will choose to celebrate today (it does vary from year to year as much as three days).

More trivia:
  • This particular day – winter solstice – in Geneva is 7 hours and 10 minutes shorter than the June solstice (for those of you who think we are just imagining the shorter days)
  • Daylight today is 8 hours and 36 minutes making it just a bit more than a third of a day (no wonder we feel like we are living in the dark).
  • Although we always think that then we start gaining time rapidly, in effect it will not be before next year that we will have seen even one minute longer to our days.
  • Entertaining that the shortest day is also officially the beginning of winter (of course by our temperatures this year, that may well be true as we have not yet seen normal cold and won’t for a bit as we are due the hot “foehn” winds Tuesday.
  • There are also a nautical twilight, a civil twilight and an astro twilight…
  • Solar noon is not at noon: 12:33
    Today Moonrise and moon set are within minutes of sunrise and sunset – guess that’s why we don’t see it currently. 

Scenes from today's stroll through the countryside 


sorry about the quality: taken into the sun..

probably cable barrels, but I like to think of them as kegs

only a bit of haze in the sky

not sure what grain but back-lit by the sun it was beautiful

grainy as some 100 feet away: still not every day that I see a Great Blue Heron!