I am moving steadily towards the Winter Solstice, and so too is my garden. Here in Dungarvan, it will happen on Friday at 10:22pm. I know because I use timeanddate.com to know things like that, and I know about it because my brother told me about it. Equal day and night occurs, and thereafter the days will get longer. However, I admit that I was perplexed by another set of data. Yesterday at approx 5pm the distance between the Sun and my garden in Dungarvan stood at 147,193,000km. By midnight it had reduced to 147,189,000km. The garden was 4,000km nearer to the source of all life! I was perplexed, as I’ve already mentioned. In fact, as I’ve mentioned it twice now, my level of perplexity is doubled. I needed to go back to some of my school science lessons. This did not help at all. I needed the help of my brother Micheál.
How come the earth is getting closer to the sun, and it’s WINTER?, I asked.
Winter is caused by the tilt of the earth away from the sun, not by the distance from it. Simple science, really, says he.
Today, as I write at 6pm, the distance is reduced by a further 9,000km to 147,180,000km, and most of this movement towards the sun happened while I slept.
It’s now time for my weekly Short Days Challenge summary since last week:
Thursday, December 13th: Today’s winter garden: WET. Continuing #shortdayschallenge as I briefly log winter here in Waterford, Ireland. Time to focus on the little things, such as 38.6mm of rain.
|Heavy rain, then more heavy rain|
Friday, December 14th: Incredibly, its the front garden. This is its’ debut photo. A winter scene including narcissus tete-a-tete, polyanthus, viola and an ivy. The narcissus is almost in flower. I think it is a display model intended for an indoor window-sill. But I’m not having any of that sort of thing (As Ted & Dougal would say: Down with that sort of thing.)
|Front garden debut photo|
Saturday, December 15th: Oh the weather outside is frightful, and #stormdeirdre is is on the way, bringing bucketloads of wind and rain. These pretty #kalanchoe (K. blossfeldiana), commonly known as Flaming Katy, are safely tucked up on the kitchen windowsill, and brighten this miserable day.
Continuing #shortdayschallenge as I briefly log winter here in Waterford, Ireland. Time to focus on the little things. The big thing is due after 3pm.
Sunday, December 16th: A trapped leaf among the pebbles. It has been there for the past week, standing erect despite the buffeting winds of Storm Deirdre. Also, a single rose petal.
|Storm Deirdre couldn’t move this stubborn leaf|
Monday, December 17th: The apples are under water. There’s been over 48 hours of constant rain, and the saucer is flooded despite having three small drainage holes. No doubt they are clogged with leaf debris or something other. I’ll have to get the Council out to clear it.
|Apples: drowned by Deirdre|
Tuesday, December 18th: Since red is the colour of blood, it has historically been associated with sacrifice, danger and courage. Modern surveys in Europe and the United States show red is also the color most commonly associated with heat, activity, passion, sexuality, anger, love and joy. In China, India and many other Asian countries, it is the color of symbolizing happiness and good fortune. (from Wikipedia)
Have you any thoughts on red in the garden? You will, no doubt, be aware of red and green being the traditional colours of Christmas. Note: not white!
|Traditional colours of Christmas|
Wednesday, December 19th: How is today’s winter garden affected by sunlight? How is it affected by distance from the sun? A close look at both screenshots shows that in 7 hours the distance between the sun and my garden has decreased by approx 4000 kilometres. Thankfully winter solstice is very close and the garden will start to get warmer as the distance narrows further.
Continuing #shortdayschallenge as I briefly log winter here in Waterford, Ireland. Time to focus on the little things. Actually they are huge things, yet the small daily changes may not always be noticed.
|147.193 million km just before 5pm|
|The earth is a fast mover!|
Would you like to join in? Simply use the hashtag #shortdayschallenge either on your blog, Facebook or Instagram to connect with many others noticing the little winter things that bring delight to these short days.
Páraig (also known as Pat) is the author of Petals by Paraig. He loves his roses, winter solstice and small plants such as Flaming Katy. He also likes Timeanddate.com and watching the rain from the kitchen, but not when there’s a bucketful (like maybe 36.4mm) during a storm called Deirdre.
Until next week, enjoy the Christmas season.