Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunset, Sunrise

If you're outdoors regularly at sunrise and sunset, you may be pretty sensitive to the subtle changes in the daylight. And guess what? The sun is already setting later. But, you may say, what about the shortest day of the year being December 21st? Well, the sun is still rising later, and that won't change until the end of December. So, the average of earliest sunset - Dec. 14th, and latest sunrise - December 29th, gives us the northern hemisphere's winter solstice, that day with the fewest hours of sunlight, December 21st.

Sunset at West Campus today, with crab-apple tree in foreground
December 16, 2009, S. Hochgraf photo

So linger a moment outside these days, and enjoy that lengthening afternoon light!

And hey - where are all the birds anyway? Hunkered down against the cold and wind of winter which is really just beginning - despite those later sunsets.

Today Nick, Lynn and I spent 15 minutes out birding, and found:
American Goldfinch, three
Dark-eyed Junco, five
White-throated Sparrow, several
European Starling, one
Ring-billed Gull, one
Canada Goose, 27
Anything at the feeder I missed? let me know!

The dates I mentioned above are averages, gleaned from a variety of sources. For really detailed information try the U.S. Navy's Astronomical Information Center:

1 comment:

  1. Our female Downy has come to the feeder everyday for the past week!