Monday, June 21, 2010

But an Instant in Time

The Shortest Day aka The Winter solstice is upon us 'down under'. In fact by the time this posts the precise second that the solstice itself occurs will have passed & we will be well into our longest night & the ensuing shortest day. Tomorrow we will probably get around eight & a half hours of daylight.

If you think of a solstice as an astronomical milestone, rather than a mid-point between seasons things make more sense. In meteorological terms, solstice doesn't fall in the middle of summer or winter.  The heights of the seasons usually occur around 6-7 weeks after the solstice due to temperature  & seasonal lags.

The first day of Winter in New Zealand (as in Australia & South Africa) is 1st June, so as far as I'm concerned we are almost a third of the way almost down - two & a bit to go ;)

The solstice itself is no reason to celebrate, but I'll certainly be celebrating the fact that the days can only get longer. I always feel slightly bummed after the event of the longest day in Summer, somehow feeling that from there on in it's a downhill slide towards the shortest.

It's strange in a way as I recall some years back when at the time of the shortest day it would get dark around 4.30pm yet today it was still light at 5.00pm. Only just light but it certainly wasn't the dark of night yet.

In essence all this means is that from here on in the nights get shorter & days start getting longer. Before we know it there will still be light at 10pm

.... & I wont be having to show my ineptitude with the night settings on my camera when I want to take a photo like this at 5.44pm ! 




Bobbie Pene said...

I just love the thought that from now each day will be longer which also means - summer is on its way!

Deb said...

Hi Bobbie,
Isn't that the best thought! I see you are in Auckland - so you get more daylight hours than us already. Isn't it great how, even in a small country, things can be so variable :o)

Patty said...

A belated happy Solstice to you, Deb! Here's to the sun!

Kim Henkel said...

I was having pretty much the opposite thoughts... I live in Northern Canada, and thought RATS the days are now starting to get shorter, and we are heading towards thouse dark dark long winter nights.... Oh well it will take a while to get there, and I will enjoy the daylight while we have it. I like your night picture!

Johwey Redington said...

Don't you just hate short days? It gets so gloomy. I experience winter solstice in December just a few days before Christmas which doesn't help give a festive mood - lol! But like you said, on the bright side, the days will only get longer from here on. Have a lovely winter :D