Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lagging behind the sun, remembering June

By 4:30 this afternoon, it was dark, and this isn't as bad as it is going to get--we are still 3 weeks from the shortest day of the year.  Optimistically, this means days will soon start getting longer.  Pessimistically, this means six full weeks will have passed until another day occurs as long as today.  Three weeks of ever-shrinking daylight must be followed by three weeks of slow, slow climb out of winter's hole of darkness just to get back to dark at 4:30.

The impending climb out of darkness isn't as hopeful as it might be for another reason also: the seasons lag behind the sun.  Here we are, almost at the darkest night but winter proper has not yet fully begun.  At night the ground freezes hard enough to hold the remaining beets tight, but they can still be prised out of the ground in the afternoon on a warmish day. Not for much longer, though, will the ground thaw so readily.  Soon the ground frost will settle in, having caught up with the fading sun at last.

What's needed now is a little cheerfulness.  Poking through the photos on my hard drive, I found proof that things will get better; that in June, 4:30 in the afternoon is still hours from dark.

June, 4:30 PM

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