Monday, December 21, 2015

More or less

Winter solstice. Almost.

Sunrise, such as it was on a grey, rainy day this morning, was at 8:17 AM. And we will have 8 hours, 4 minutes, 6 seconds of daylight; 5 seconds less than yesterday. It's not until the 23rd that the day will be longer than today, by 7 seconds.

December Solstice (Winter Solstice) is on Monday, December 21, 2015 at 8:49 PM in Campbell River. This day is 8 hours, 18 minutes shorter than on June Solstice. In most locations north of Equator, the shortest day of the year is around this date. (timeanddate.com)

Tickling the moon. Laurie's photo, Oyster Bay, 2009

We tend to think in absolutes. Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. In the far north, they have 6 months of daylight. Sunrise is at a precise time. The sun is overhead at noon. The moon is 384,400 km. away. It's 3 degrees above freezing today. High tide is at 12:42, at 14.7 ft.

And that's all wrong. It all depends on where you are, when you took the measurement, how you counted.

Temperatures vary from one spot to the next, a few feet away. Noon is an approximation, averaged over an entire time zone. Dawn sneaks up on us through the different stages of twilight, over a period of a couple of hours.

The moon today is 368,726 km. away from Campbell River, where I am. Tomorrow it will be farther away. Noon, when the sun is as high overhead as it's going to get, is at 12:19 PM. And the Solstice is at 8:49 tonight, long after sunset.

And so on.

It's not only living things that are fuzzy. Everything is.

Hydroids on eelgrass, anemones, and floating critters.

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