Sunny and Short

StonehengeSunrise1_3530553bHere are the two of the only three things I like about winter: (1) fewer and slower mosquitoes, and (b) my hair grows more slowly. In other words, while there are still mosquitoes to swat and shaving to perform, dealing with these nuisances is easier and less time consuming. Bee Eff Dee, innit?

As for just about everything else about winter — everything — I dislike it entirely, starting with the colder weather, and going right into every clodpate in south Florida who delights in sharing how “refreshing” it is. Why are you wasting precious space on the beach and using up my sunshine if you like cold weather? You like freezing your ass, get back up north and make naked snow angels.

So the advent of the winter solstice tonight, signaling the first day of winter, is hardly a reason for celebration. But that brings me to the third and last thing I like about winter:

The winter solstice happens every year when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, when the North Pole is tilted farthest – 23.5 degrees – away from the Sun, delivering the fewest hours of sunlight of the year.

The Sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere during the December solstice and is closer to the horizon than at any other time in the year, meaning shorter days and longer nights.

The day after the winter solstice marks the beginning of lengthening days, leading up to the summer solstice in June.  —Telegraph

That last line. Starting Tuesday, the days start getting longer again. Sure, they’re cold and dark, but with every sunrise and sunset they’re getting a little less dark, the ratio of sunlight to darkness steadily increasing daily. Not much to go on, but about the only reason for optimism winter offers.

Well, that and less work with the razor and mosquito repellent.

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5 Responses to Sunny and Short

  1. Beardsley says:

    Interesting about the hair growth. To prepare for winter, the fur on most animals grows thicker and longer. You observe that yours does the opposite. As a scientist, I find this odd, but knowing you, not surprising.

  2. Helen Highwater says:

    I don’t mind the break in heat and humidity, and I like it that it doesn’t rain every damn day (although this dry season is a misnomer). You’re right about the skeeters. And all the other flying biting stinging critters.

  3. Strega says:

    Hey squats, you sure you’re not Wiccan? That’s how we celebrate the Yule Sabbat; with much optimism. Of course there’s gift giving, food, frolic, fun, as well.

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