More Solstice Stuff

Looking into sunrise/sunset times has me chasing down a rabbit trails when the clock is quickly clicking to Christmas. Lene’s Dances with Wool Dec 22 post took me on an even longer jaunt trying to wrap my mind around the vast variances in sunlight/darkness around the Northern Hemisphere. (basing it only on the NH since this is where I live.)

My simple explanation of the sun rising later each morning until January 7th while it is setting a tad earlier each day has generated plenty of interest. Really, it’s fascinating stuff, as a young friend will say. The earth tips 23.5 on its axis in relationship to the sun. As it orbits around the sun, this tilt makes all the difference in the world (heehee) between what time the sun rises and sets in your latitude and longitude  and how long it may take for the days to lengthen, how quickly the time reverses in both directions. (I’m at  the latitude and longitude of 45°2′31″N   122°40′2″W)
(Taken at 10:17 am on Dec 21 , when the fog was finally lifting.)

Where Lene lives near the Arctic Circle in Finland there are the sun rises and set at the same time for 3 days: Dec 21, 22, and 23rd – which they call the Nesting Days. After which the days lengthen at both ends.  Finland is on the sunward side of the tilted planet.

Point Barrows, the northernmost town in Alaska is on the dark side of the tilt during the winter months, thus they have an even longer period of Nesting.

On Nov 21, 2011, the sun rose at 12:54pm and set at 1:38pm and there it will continue to rise and set at the same time until Jan 21, 2011! Two dark months with scarcely one and a half hours daily of the sun skimming the horizon. Once that date is hit the change is very rapid there in Point Barrow, within three days the sun will rise at 12:08 pm and set at 2:59.

Fascinating stuff!View down our road at 10:45 am yesterday morning. We had a number of errands to run and so loaded the pickup and drove from our mostly sunny small valley (due to a ridge on the east the sun actually rose yesterday at 9:14, and sank behind the southwest ridge shortly before 3:30pm)

Looking towards the Abiqua Basin, picture taken about 5 miles from our place at 11:04am.As we headed further west into the Willamette Valley the fog became denser, skimming the ground. Later we drove north to Portland and passed through areas of frozen fog (not snizzle) where the temperature never got above 33F, finally reaching sunny and warmer Portland. How varied the weather in a relatively small area!

Even in the darkest days of December there is color in our area; the varied greens of winter and red tipped blueberry plants.

Tomorrow daughter and s-i-l, Aurora and Haymaker will be coming over for an early Christmas Eve dinner followed by attending the evening service at our Friends’ church in this village. Tonight we’re heading over to Haymaker’s parent’s to celebrate our granddaughter, Gail’s birthday. I need to stop here, run to town to pick up eggs I forget to get while out and about yesterday, bake brownies to take tonight and a pecan pie for tomorrow. I’ll wait until tomorrow morning to make rolls and all the other items for the dinner.  There are still presents to be wrapped and some laundry to tend. Good times!


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

17 thoughts on “More Solstice Stuff”

  1. I understand, I did my housecleaning this morning so that I can
    “pretend” to take the rest of the weekend (and Monday) “off”.
    Much time will be spent the next few days with family, friends, church, food,
    fun, fellowship!
    Maybe I will bake some cookies this afternoon! Whee!
    I started a lace table cloth early this morning (great expectations for
    2012). It is not laceweight yarn but a mid (between fingering and lace)
    weight cotton, and there is a massive cone of it!
    I think I have plenty of “dark” days to work on it… next summer it
    may be too big to be on my lap….or, maybe it will be done????
    Happy Christmas!

  2. Love winter solstice. Its a time when going from dark to light, you go light to dark–at least in my world if you get my meaning.

    (Turkish delight.)

  3. I’ve been watching Lene’s blog too….I’m not sure that I could handle that much darkness. Especially with herds of reindeer running around!

    I forgot to get oysters for oyster dressing (a family tradition)…..I couldn’t even get into the parking lot of the only grocery store that carries fresh oysters this afternoon. My plan is to get up early and be there when they open the doors tomorrow……which will be before the sun is up. :^(

  4. There’s a noticeable difference in amount of daylight between where I used to live (Friday Harbor, WA; latitude 48.5) and where I live now (La Grande, OR; latitude 45.3), even with only a 3 degree difference. And it’s a HUGE difference from where I lived long ago (Wilmington, NC; latitude 34.2).

    (Aegean spindle again. Love the branches and stars…)

  5. I am a faithful reader of Lene’s blog too. Lighting up the darkness with candles makes the heart feel warm. A lovely thing to do wherever you live. Happy Holidays to you and all your readers.

    (Put my name in for the Aegean again, please. Such a lovely spindle…..)

  6. Adding another comment. (Does that give me another entry in the basket? 🙂 I met with a friend today and she gave me an angel carved out of olivewood that she bought for me in Israel! I think it and my olivewood Aegean need to be displayed together.

  7. Your last pic, with all the green, reminds me of what the landscape looked like here until last night. We really feared we wouldn’t have a white Christmas – which has happened before but is still a highly unusual occurence – but Mother Nature came through and everything was covered in white when we woke up this morning. Phew!

  8. I beat the sun up this morning as I still had some last minute mittens to finish, pleased to say they are done. Number 1 great-grandson loves red so red mittens he gets.

    I made 5 loaves of Banana Bread and your Sour Cream Sugar Cookies they have a problem, can’t keep them in the jar long way to many people like them, this includes me who is trying to lose a pound or two it’s a losing battle.

    Christmas Eve services are always beautiful and spiritual and I’m looking forward to tomorrow night. Have a good day tomorrow.

  9. That’s really interesting! Even though I must admit, I think I didn’t understand everything 😉
    Need more coffee! Will try again afterwards 😉

  10. We live in Tasmania now after years in Queensland. The long long twilights down here at the moment are amazing. I can’t get used to going to bed and it’s still light outside. One more job on my list for Christmas Dinner tomorrow and that’s cutting the beans! At least we won’t be eating in the swimming pool as we’ve had to in the past up north where there was nowhere cooler to be found. Have a peaceful day tomorrow.

  11. I had no idea the day length would change that quickly! Being in the lower US for so long, it wasn’t until I lived in Ireland for a month this summer that I really saw the impact of longer days.

    Back for the Turkish again 🙂

  12. How well I remember all the weird temperature and weather changes of northwest Oregon. Oh and the freezing rain and black ice…take care!

    Our Christmas celebration was mostly on the 22nd when the adult children were amazingly all in the same city at the same time.

    Still loving the knitting needles 🙂

Comments are closed.