Life and LIVing is the light against the deepening and deepest darkening of December. The sun fades lower towards to then into the solstice. Here in Maine, winter arrives at 6:12 AM EST on Friday, December 21, 2012. This is an hour before sunrise. The length of daylight is 8h 55m 35s – the shortest daylight of the year.
Today’s sunrise was at 7:01 AM with sunset coming at 4:09 PM. I know this from my personal weather station (PWS). Another resource is Wunderground, the website that my PWS uploads data to. Click on the More Astronomy link for daily data. In addition to an adjustable star chart, the right side lists Civil, Nautical and Astronomical Twilight times. But I digress.
There are recognized negative effects – SAD-Seasonal Affective Disorder, Vitamin D deficiency, and general malaise with depression. So for good measure, the human spirit has created cultural holidays to combat this deepening & darkening time. These cultural holidays are Festivals of Light which include Hanukkah, Christmas Tree lighting traditions celebrations, bonfires and fireworks.
This year, in conjunction with my 365 Picture of the Day quest, I will be taking pictures of light and writing descriptive vignettes here on the Maine Forest Café to celebrate this year’s Festival of Lights. With a little luck, I hope to include some Aurora photography.
Stay tuned and come back here often.