Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Winter Solstice!

Tonight is the longest night of the year.   According to some really anal scientific data I found online, we had fourteen hours, ten minutes and thirty seconds of darkness for our specific geographic location.  Tomorrow we gain almost one second of daylight.  For whatever astrological reason, the sun will be setting later, but the sun will not be rising earlier until a month later on January 21st.  Heck, I don't care as long as ol' Sol is hanging out longer.

Speaking of the sun, it's been severely lacking the past week, not only because the extended length of darkness, but because we've had overcast skies for what seems like forever.  On the few occasions the sun did manage to peek through the clouds, I practically grabbed Rhiannon and pulled her outside or to the window to "look at the SUN!".  I didn't realize how long it had been cloudy until a few days ago when the sun did come out (for like three and a half minutes) and I was like, Whoa!  What the heck is that?!

Of course, even though the sun is coming back, we're just heading into the coldest part of the year.  I've only had to chop ice out of the stock tanks two or three times and the temps at night haven't been lower than the mid to upper 20's.  That hasn't stopped me from keeping the wood stove chocked full of wood though.  

With "sun" on the brain, I've also been itching to get the yearly onslaught of seed catalogs.  Not that I need any more seeds, but it's just so nice to flip through the pages and see green stuff.  Last year's garden (or lack thereof) was a bust.  I'm hoping to get a jump start on things this year, although I probably won't start much indoors.  I've never had much luck with seed-starting and honestly, the only benefit I really get from them is having an early harvest of "special" plants that you can't get at the nurseries around here.  What usually happens is that I'll plant sixty-four cells of one kind of vegetable and then won't get around to planting them, then they get all leggy and do poorly once I do manage to get them in some dirt.  There are plenty of people in the area that grow and sell heirloom starts that I'll probably buy early plants from them.  I've had better luck just sticking seeds in the ground once it the weather starts warming up and my fall gardens have always produced better anyhow.  That is if I can keep the damned chickens out of the area.

Fencing.  That's what I really need to focus on.  I didn't want to go outright hillbilly on it, but I may just pound in some t-posts and put chicken wire around the raised beds.  In my sometimes overactive and overzealous mental plannings, I had envisioned a wattle or picket fence around the beds, but that has yet to come to fruition.  I believe it was about this time last year I talked about doing it.  Yep...still on the To-Do list.

But hey, I've got a second more daylight tomorrow to accomplish some things!  Things like fencing, kidding pens, sheltered hay feeders and goat huts.  And two hundred fifty three other projects.

Guess I'd better get my bum in gear.....daylight's a burn'in.


  1. After doing another "pop test" with our popcorn last night, we too are really thinking about next year's seeds. I hope to increase our bounty.

  2. It's our first big year of eating lots of canned good from our summers garden. What a treat and a big motivator to plant and store more food for next winter, but like you...tired of all the grey days this December!

  3. There is nothing that warms you up more than paging through a few seed catalogs. Whilst sipping something aged in an oak barrel. I love celebrating longer days!

  4. I went to a nice solstice gathering last night. I've had good luck using rabbit fencing and making mini-cages for my veggies, cheap and re-usable! Has worked well the last 2 years...

  5. Geesh, all you crazies (meant in the most loving way possible) eager to get back out in the garden have way more energy than me. I still want more hibernation time this winter. (And I have enough stored fat to qualify for hibernation!)

    Hubby commented this morning that if we didn't still have our hook-up to the grid, along with our solar power, we would be in deep depression by now. We, too, have had gray days for so long I'm not sure I'll recognize the sun when (if) it ever comes out around here again. Nor will our solar panels remember how to process it anymore.

    I'm so glad to know that tomorrow I'll have one more second of daylight in which to get things done. No excuse for any laziness now!

  6. Carolyn,

    I've been sitting for about 15 minute every night with seed catalogs marking pages and making a wish list.

    It's been dark, cold, foggy, and wet around here and outside work's been calling my name.
    The big question, will the work get done tomorrow??? Probably not!!!

  7. The more I read your post, the more I realize we are WAY too much alike. lol!!!!