Winter Solstice & the Dark Days of Winter

With the shortest day of the year now behind us, we’ve gotten a taste of what winter darkness means here in Homer.  Hailing from Minnesota, dark, cold winters are nothing new to us, but it’s been interesting to experience it firsthand.

Here’s a snapshot of the sunrise and sunset times on the winter solstice for comparison:

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Afternoon sunset times are quite similar, so that hasn’t been a major change. The most noticeable difference between Homer and the familiar winters of Minnesota is the later sunrise.  And it is definitely darker in the mornings.  It hasn’t been a huge deal to us; although Papa B & I are definitely more night owls anyway.  In fact, we’ve been enjoying the colorful sunrises this season.

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Mid-December sunrise over the Kenai Mountains. This was taken around 10:45am.

While it’s our goal to get outside for a walk every day, I have been failing miserably over the past few days. Mainly due to two factors, the first being that my fabric finally arrived and I’ve been working like crazy on knocking out my sewing projects for Baby B. The second reason is a large winter storm hit over Christmas weekend, and Homer was hit with lots of rain. We’re getting a taste of what we hear is a very typical cycle around here: snow, melt, freeze, rain, freeze (or a variation of that)….or put more simply: ICE. Ice everywhere. For a couple of days, there was literally an inch or two of ice covering everything. And Homer and the surrounding areas are basically all on hillsides. We did get out and about to run errands, and it solidified a few things for us. 1) We love our studded tires and 4 wheel drive, and 2) we need ice cleats for our shoes. Without those, there was no way I was walking my nearly nine-month-pregnant self up and down the hills in our neighborhood. Thankfully, we’ve had a few warmer days and the roads are looking much better. Time to get back outside. 🙂

It does seem like as much as I try, between our scheduled activities, Little B’s nap time, and daily life, when we do get out for our walks it doesn’t happen until later afternoon.  Although things are cooling off by that time of day, we do get to take in the equally spectacular sunsets. Of course, I never bring the camera and the pictures I capture with my phone just never seem to do justice to the vibrant sky before our eyes.

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If Minnesota winters taught me anything, it’s that the first half of winter is the easiest part. Between the fresh snow and holiday lights, this time of year just flies by. We heard before we moved up here that people who have many hobbies tend to have an easier time with the long winters. If that’s the case, Papa B & I should be set. We have far more hobbies/projects/interests than we have time to do them all. It’s probably too soon to comment, but so far we’re taking the darkness one day at a time and savoring the sunrises and sunsets we don’t get to experience during the long summer days.  No doubt about it, though, we’ll be savoring those long summer days when they make it back to us as well.

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Mid-December afternoon at Bishop’s Beach

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