Early January


01.05.14  Just as I suspected, it really is true that the sunrise is happening later these days.  The EarthSky blog reads this morning:

     “Sky watchers notice this phenomenon, which is part of an unvarying sequence each year. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the sequence is:  earliest sunsets in early December, shortest days at the solstice around December 21, latest sunrises in early January.  The natural order is part of what we can expect, every year, from nature.”

It was a beautiful, quiet sunset last night.  I had gone out to sweep the fresh snow from the stone steps up to the garage.  It’s always interesting to study the animal tracks.  I’m alarmed when I see a raccoon footprint, fearful they will figure out how to get through the cat door into the garage, and eat the kitties’ food–or worse, threaten the kitties asleep on their cozy bench covered with a heating pad.   But, there were just deer tracks and I wandered a bit into the woods, to see where they go.  A big family had walked across the unbroken snow in the yard down to the lake, where I can see they took a drink.  The kitties followed me down, as they always do, and walked out over the snow-covered rocks to have a drink of their own.  I swear they love it when I am down there taking photos of the ever-changing light of a sunset!  They actually frolic in the snow, chasing one another, dashing over the driftwood.  The only sound were the gunshots of bird hunters, permitted to keep shooting in the thirty minutes past sunset.  I’ve always thought that was so unfair, watching all the geese fly overhead in search of safe nesting for the night, and I tell them, “fly high, fly high.”

I heard the waves in the night, and knew the Arctic front was blowing in.  It’s 10 degrees this morning, under a sky full of sparkling stars.  At 8 a.m., they are now faint, and I can see the light in the eastern sky over the hill above me.  In an hour, on this clear cold morning, all will be pale pink and baby blue out over the lake.  It does take forever for the sun to rise in this new year…sigh.   Yet, I love how Earth/Sky talks about this phenomenon of the unvarying sequence.  There is such comfort in “the natural order is part of what we can expect, every year, from nature.”

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