Sunday, December 21

On the shortest day of the year...

So, if you've read any of my posts or seen my profile you know that I live in one of the farthest northern places in the USA. Fairbanks is less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle. And today, the shortest day of the year, we had only 3 hours and 42 minutes of daylight. Funny thing - this far north, the sun doesn't rise in the east and set in the west. It rises in the southeast, follows the horizon instead of going directly overhead, and sets in the southwest. The only way for us to get enough vitamin D in the winter is to take vitamins or sit near a "happy light", or full-spectrum light (SAD - or Seasonal Affective Disorder - is extremely common here).

Since today is the winter solstice, it is technically the first day of winter. But Fairbanksans have been calling it "winter" since the beginning of October. If my memory serves me correctly, snow flew on Friday, October 3 and stuck around for good. Yes, the kiddies in Fairbanks go Trick-or-Treating in their snow boots and winter coats every year! The good news is that every day will get longer. Sometime in February, I will finally be going to work and coming home again with a little daylight instead of complete dark!

I live about 10 miles northeast of Fairbanks. Because there are fewer people and less traffic, we tend to see more wildlife and in greater variety than in town. At the end of summer, we saw a family of 5 quail in our backyard. They had been wandering in our area for a few days, and then they wandered into our yard (well, I guess yard isn't the right word - we live in a very wooded area and don't have a lawn. It's just trees and ground cover for the majority of our property). I had never seen a live quail before, so it was a treat to see a whole family!

And you must always be prepared to welcome 4-legged guests, like our neighbors did a few days ago. The moose just camped right outside their front door! We sat and watched for a few minutes, and it looked as though it hadn't moved for quite a while, and it wasn't GOING to move for a while! I bet the kids at their house were going nuts! The scene reminded me of the children's book, If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff. That moose was hangin' around for something, but who knows what? Moose are unfathomably stubborn and one of the most unpredictable creatures on earth. You never know WHAT will happen when you meet a moose!

Well, I think that's it for tonight. Sorry there aren't any pics of my creations. School let out on Friday afternoon, so the last couple of days I've been relaxing and running errands. I'll get back to creating some more stuff to share tomorrow. Happy Winter Solstice!

Edited to add: Make sure you go over to SheetLoad Shortcuts for their FROSTy giveaway!

pictures courtesy of Google Images

4 paper smiles:

Cassie said...

Great pictures! Well, I guess on the bright side (no pun intended), you get 3 hours of fantastic sunrises and sunsets!

I would love to see a Moose like that. Just out minding his own bees-wax in the front yard!

I always wondered about the "happy lights". I loved the program "Men In Trees" (boo for the people who canceled that show), and saw that the sheriff used one. Do they really work?
Happy Holidays!

Lorraine A said...

what lovely photo's :-) I live in the Mediterranean ( Gozo, Malta) and its practically desert here , very hot summers, it does get cool in winter but never freezing.
I will post a view from my balcony on my blog later today so you can pop by and see it if you like :-)

Heather said...

Hi Cherri,

I wanted to stop by and let you know that I have not forgotten about you.

I am sure you are wondering where you Mega Pile of Blog Candy is, and you are still getting it, I just have had a horrible December with sick kiddo's and the weather.

I have not had the chance to get it all packed up and to a post office.

It has been so cold some days I have thought I could go out that day and get all the Candy mailed out, and then it was so misserable and icy I did not want to get 3 little ones out in that weather and wait in the long lines that have been going on with the Christmas hustle and bustle of shipping gifts.

I also had some computer problems and have lost the addresses you gals all sent me when I posted who won the blog candy.

Can you re-send me your address please???

I know this has probably been a disappointment to you and I am sorry for that, but you will be getting all your blog candy as soon as Christmas is over and I have a little more time to get it mailed out!!!

Oh by the way I loved your pictures!!


Heide said...

What wonderful pictures!!!!!

Some day I will also come to visist Alaska. It's one of my dreams. It must be very very beautyful up there in the north, I suppose!

Have a wonderful season time!

Hugs from Germany


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