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. (

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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