Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice

Well we‘ve made it through another year. Today is the shortest day of the year, the official First Day of Winter, Winter Solstice, and for many of the ancient civilizations the beginning of a new year. The Solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years by numerous civilizations. Some celebrated by decorating trees, some with big bonfires, some with gatherings and dancing an drumming, and some with less that pleasant rites that i will not go into. As humans changed from hunters to hunter/gathers folks took more notice of the seasonal changes to know when was the best time to plant, to hunt, to gather, and to hibernate.

In today’s society we have all but eliminated the need to concern ourselves with anything but ourselves. You want summer veggies in February???? No problem, just fly them in from somewhere warm. But many of us that are into agronomy have returned to watching the skies and the cycles of nature. For the past several years at the Frog and PenguINN we’ve been planting and harvesting and generally working in conjunction with the natural celestial cycles in the various almanacs. Whether this has given us a better harvest is still debatable (but Beatrice is really getting tired of seeing more and more bushels of veggies show up in the kitchen every year during the season).

So celebrating the Solstice’s and the Equinox’s, and most of the cardinal points in between, has become a regular thing here. This year’s Winter Solstice is a real treat starting with the Lunar Eclipse last night, and a full moon for tonight. Yes i was one of those that stayed up to watch but thanks to 2 hours of Christmas Caroling (for more on some old fashion town caroling goto earlier in the evening (and being frozen) i opted for the NASA video of the eclipse watched from the comfort of our library with the fireplace on, and short foray’s out to the patio toIMG_0831 check the real thing. BUT, with no tripod and my low end Cannon camera (Beatrice was in bed so no great pics from her) my photo attempts
were poor to say the least. 
I guess some may call it cheating, but photos of the monitor were the best. And the warmest, especially when i dozed between all the exciting action parts. At 2:45am i went out in hopes of seeing the ‘Blood Red Moon’ that was to be the high light butcapt_photo_1292926557035-2-2 alas it was just a dark moon. Probably to much light around here. BUT over ‘cross the bay’ in Manassas Va. it appears to have been just right. There was no name to credit this picture to so thanks to whoever you are.
Next is the Winter Solstice Fire this evening.


Montanagirl said...

The blood red moon is eerie. We were in bed watching the backs of our eyelids!

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to see the blood red moon, but clouds came and snow with them so there was no chance to se any of it ( it started 8:40 am here).

I´ve taken a break in growing vegetables for a couple of year, but started again this summer. But frost came early so the only thing I was able to taste was one tomato :-) :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

Anonymous said...

Mona, I think you had the right idea.
Sorry to hear about the clouds and snow Christer. I wouldn't give up on a garden though. In fact i am getting ready to try growing some veggies in our green house starting next week.

Out on the prairie said...

It was cloudy here. Now our days will get longer. I have been at a winter solstice celebration at the Henry Wallace Foundation home. Henry was very involved with the moon phases in agriculture, serving under FDR and starting Pioneer Seed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve. Our celebration was sort of small. Just me and Beatirce, but we had fun. Folks here start hibernating in late September and don't come out again till may :-)

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