Friday, 21 December 2007

Summer's on it's way....

It's the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere. My ever faithful GPS informs me sunrise was at 8.15am....well you don't think I was going to get up to see for myself did you? Horrible time of day morning, all cold and full of grumpy people.

Sunset is at 3.53 pm. That's a mere 7 hours and 38 minutes of daylight!

Of course it's so overcast and foggy here that the daylight is further curtailed. Realistically it doesn't get properly light until after 9.30 (so I've been told), and nightfall creeps in from as early as 3.20pm.

The blazing sunshine sometimes doesn't warm things up at all!

The decrease in natural light has a marked effect on our psychology. Melatonin increases disturbing our sleep patterns and serotonin is reduced causing lethargy, despondency and generally making us very bad tempered. Well, this the excuse I'm using for the behaviour of a certain cat....Max. He was sitting peacefully on the windowsill, so I bent down to say hello. Normally this would be greeted with a touch of noses and a purr, but today he decided to swipe me around the eye with razor sharp claws! With an angry cat now attached to my face, I grabbed his paw so he couldn't pull it free causing more damage and managed to carefully unhook it from my lower eyelid. We then had a scrap on the lawn which I made a point of winning. Later we made up over a saucer of milk (Max had one too). Winter is getting to us both.

Now I have a swollen eye that makes me look like a Rembrandt portrait.

By midday the sun was quite high, I assume (it was still obscured), and the temperature soared to nearly 1 degree.

It is traditional to light a fire to chase away the darkness. It is meant to be the largest log you can find as to last through the longest night. I was a bit short on massive logs so I instead celebrated, and marked the passing of 'Mr. Stick'.....Mr. Stick is made of stout pine and helps me explain things to those not willing to learn. He has been to hand when I had that run in with car thieves (See previous post 'Men in Black' gone bad...5th April) After years of faithful service in the role of home defence, Mr. Stick met an untimely end after a bizarre fly swatting accident!

Thank you Mr. Stick, you'll be sorely missed.

Nightfall was premature in the town tonight, but better longer lighter days are a coming, here's a boot up the arse of winter!.......


Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

I just posted about the solstice on my blog. Are your sunrise and sunset times on the GPS actual times for your location are they the times if you had a level horizon. Because of our hills, our actual sunshine was 6hrs 15mins today. And it was sunny.

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

As we have a wood burning fireplace, waste wood is plentiful here for burning, we will keep a log burning all night tonight.

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

Sorry to keep replying, I just posted a picture of me putting a (Yule) log on the fire, posted on Okanagan Daily Photo

Lesley said...

Is that a frozen spider web? I know it must be, but I have never seen anything like that.

Cats are very unpredictable creatures. They get in those bad moods and will swipe at anyone. Hope the eye is better soon. said...

we had some frozen spider webs last year... really neat looking aren't they?

glad you made up w/ the cat... your poor eye

Jessica Foster said...

Ouch! That looks like it hurts!!
Pesky pussy cat!

Wicket cool spiderweb, btw.

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

I always have strange dreams during solstice.
I am always ALWAYS visited by...? Paranormal-ish beings.
So, glad you and Mr.Stick found some closure. I would hate to think you didn't see him off properly.
Take good care of that eye!

photowannabe said...

I'm so glad you made up with your cat by a saucer of milk. Great pictures, especially of the spider web.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

zmoose said...

Good riddance to the Darkening, hail the Lightening.

JLee said...

Wonderful pics as always Barkfoot(except for the swipe on the eye) He narrowly missed your eyeball! yikes

R.I.P. Mr. Stick!

selinaoolala said...

merry christmas!!
p.s. ouch mean cat!

Sharon said...

So you like to sleep in!

I love the mornings because everything's so quiet & I can get so many things done before Mooky & Bill get up!

secret agent said...

be careful........the cats are deadly weapons
you are lucky you didn't lose your eye........
wouldn't be cute eyeless!

somewhere joe said...

That was some fly!

A few days ago, my host's conure reached out and nipped my ear. The animals are grumpy these days.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Your photos are amazing. The spiderweb blows my mind as I haven't seen that before but heck, spiders don't seem to exist around here because they have the common sense to go south... forever! But you have a nice blog and thanks for visiting mine.
Rocky Mountain Retreat