21 December 2010

Seasons

Last night two significant events occurred.

The first of these was the winter solstice. Last night was the shortest night of the year, and from this day forward the nights will be getting shorter and the days will be getting longer. Today is the first day of winter.

The second of these significant events, one that very likely passed right by without notice unless you made a special effort to see it, was the eclipse of the moon. It was the first time the winter solstice has had a total moon eclipse in almost four hundred years, but the next one will occur in 2094, only eighty four more years from now. So, if you missed it you won't have as long to wait.

I like to joke that here at the Refuge we don't grow grass in the yard, we grow rocks. Every year we get a fresh crop. That's not as much of a joke as you might think.

The ground water close to the surface freezes and creates patches where the ground pokes up in hundreds of tiny fingers, as if it was caught in the act of exploding. When there are rocks under the surface, this ground water freezes underneath them and forces them to the surface. This is how we get a fresh crop of rocks every year.

As you can see in the photo, the new crop is coming in nicely.

2 comments:

SINVILLE said...

I went outside but it was too early and I had not paid attention to the time for the eclipse. The moon was glowing and clear and the night light had a strange brightness to it. I thought afterwards that I really didn't miss anything because I saw something different.

Larry said...

I got out in time to see the red moon, about midway through, but I didn't stay out long because it was pretty chilly. The clouds kind of got in the way, but it was still pretty impressive.
Thanks for dropping by SINVILLE!