Friday, December 12, 2008

December in The Interior

Thought I would start out with a picture from our back door. This looks down to our garden, and then down the Chena River. Right now It is a - 4 degrees F with snow flurries. We have received about 8 inches of new snow this past week. And unlike New Orleans, whose snow has melted, ours will stay here till April, giving us plenty of opportunity to play.

Thought I would discuss what surprised us about December here.

When we first arrived in North Pole 5 1/2 years ago, we noticed that a lot of people still had their outside Christmas decorations up. Well we thought maybe a lot of rednecks had come here to escape the south. That September, we were sitting in the Badger Den talking to this gentleman, when he said he had to leave to go put his Christmas decorations up.

I asked him why so early. His reply, I would rather do it in 50 degree weather than in December when it could be -30 degree F. Good point!! This probably helps explain why people leave them up year round, cause you really cant take them down till it warms up in April. Plus we are at the North Pole where it is Christmas 24/7.

Our first Christmas here we noticed that there were no Christmas tree sales on every corner like there was in Omaha. In fact, I learned of only one organization that sold trees, and that is the
Kiwanis Club, who sell their trees at the fairgrounds, inside!

To get you in the Christmas spirit I have posted a video at the end of this post, of our home at this time of year. Please ignore my heavy breathing.

The picture on the left was taken about two weeks ago, same shot of the first picture above, however here the sun is up. Notice the hills in the background are lit by the sun, but the trees below it are in the shadows. This was taken at about two in the afternoon.

What I am trying to show here is the sun does not rise very high in the sky during the day during the winter. This leads me to our next major event here in December, winter solstice.

This will occur on December 21. Why is this important here, means we will start getting longer days of day light. That day will be our shortest day of day light. The sun will rise at 10:59 and set at 2:40 PM. To celebrate this, the city of Fairbanks plans a celebration, just like they do for the summer solstice. Celebration

Reading the link above, I did not know that the sun is actually closer to the earth at this time than it is during the summer. The reason it is colder is because of the tilt of the earths axis. Never stop learning.