Friday, December 21, 2007
The Wandering Sun
At shortly after midnight early this morning the sun ended its long journey south, by reaching the Tropic of Capricorn, a latitude which passes almost through the middle of Australia. There are some interesting markers along the path of this line; the one on the left is just north of Alice Springs, Australia, and the one on the right is in Chile (pictures courtesy of Wikipedia Commons). This is, of course, the furthest south that the sun will track, and now it begins its slow voyage north, to bring light and warmth back to our frozen gardens; the strength of the sun's rays today are only 21% of what they will be on the first day of summer.
Walking in the garden this morning, everything is covered in crusty, uneven ice, with a huge blizzard just now winding up over our heads; there are predictions of freezing rain followed by 4-6 inches of snow, all blown by arctic winds of up to thirty miles an hour, plummeting temperatures to close to zero by tomorrow night.
So the sun today is wandering the blue oceans of the southern hemisphere, lost to us in banks of clouds and mist; many a cold and wind-swept day will pass before birdsong and melting snow signal the sun's triumphant return. Now a thick, cold fog is settling into our valley, the approaching storm presaged by a faint stirring of the black, bare treetops. I'm not sure whether to get out the seed catalogues or travel brochures today.