Grandad vs Astronomy — 8 Comments

  1. I'm with ya' on this one.  Today is the solstice over here.  It is at 11;19pm tonight.  This is my third favorite day of the year.  From today onwards the days are getting longer.  Yea!  Between now and the vernal equinox we will have our coldest and nastiest weather.  Then a mere 90 days after the vernal equinox we will come to my second favorite day of the year, the Summer Solstice where the day is the longest.  From there there is only 62 days to my favorite day of the year, my birthday.  Even though it heralds the end of summer it's always nice and warm on my birthday, but for today I'll just be glad it's the winter solstice and the days are getting longer.

    • I have given up on birthdays – in a few weeks time I'll hit my 70th which is a dubious celebration [but better than the alternative].

      I know the shit weather is still ahead but the brighter days and the signs of life in the garden make up for that.

  2. It's still a mystery how the birds know daylight's no longer getting shorter – been far more noisy for a couple of days now in this area. They're Sparrows;  not my favourite critter.

    And yes it's been an issue since ancient times, with quite a number of structures made primarily to suss out the winter and summer solstice. Stonehenge being the most famous in the UK, mainly because it does both.

    In Orkney they have the Ring of Brodgar that's good for summer, but kind of difficult for winter on account the sun's kind of elusive up there.

    Maybe why this business of the 25th December – that used to be a low key midwinter festival is a few days late. Those guys could only guess when the sun had reached its lowest point. They couldn't see much more than a lightening of the gloom – and even that'd be messed up with clouds. 

    • We have quite a few prehistoric monuments to the solstice here too.  Newgrange is the most famous and there was the usual crown up there waiting for sunrise yesterday.  As usual it was cloudy and foggy!

      There's a Robin singing his head off just outside my window at the moment.  Lovely and cheerful!

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