Friday, December 01, 2006

the dark days

These are the dark days of the winter, that several weeks or so before solstice in which the darkness bears down with help from the cold. In three weeks the days will start to lengthen on the evening side, but it takes a while to feel it. No wonder people want to fend away the darkness with Christmas lights and such.

So I leave home at sunrise, and come home pretty much in the dark. I seek sunlight during the day, and find it during my noontime walk which I have been forcing myself to do. I walk out to the main street, across the river, then around our drainable ponds which are used for raising muskellunge. Today I scared two bald eagles from their perches in trees above the river. My blessing for the day.

It could be terrible weather by now, that would be normal, but other that a few nights around zero it hasn't been too bad. No ice storms or such. We have kept plenty warm with our wood stove.

I have started a new exercise routine. I wake up by 6:30, time to practice 20 minutes of yoga or Pilates. I checked out a couple tapes from the library, but today The Hermit surprised me with a 4 DVD set of yoga plus Pilates. I can't wait to watch them; there are beginner tapes, along with intermediate routines in each. Just what I need! And I should be ice skating before too long, and cross country skiing...time to work off all the damage that has been done. I have been way too inactive these last few years, and it shows.

In other news, I have been desperately placing the Bavarian Ale on top of the stove, in any place it will find warmth, just to get it going. I smelled it tonight, and it smelled nice and yeasty just as it should, it just has been a little slow in fermenting. I would bring it in the house, but with dogs/puppies...the airlocks would be knocked off in no time, especially in my space.

Which reminds me...the windows are coming the 13th. Nothing like getting stuff delivered in the dead of winter, but our carpenter says he works any day above ten degrees. Here's hoping for global warming...

But I like watching the feeder birds this time of year. Word is, there are a few errant Rosy Finches frequenting a feeder in Cloquet, just forty miles north of here. Nothing that unusual here, just the exuberant chickadees that make a Minnesota winter worthwhile.

Here's to the introspection that the dark days bring. May it be useful.


LauraHinNJ said...

I was just reading today that there are only about 288 hours of daylight in all of December - just 9 hours of daylight and 15 of darkness. I'd agree on the reason behind all those glittery lights at this time of year.

I've been trying to get out at lunchtime also, but I'm not so lucky to see bald eagles around the office.

Floridacracker said...

From down here, you can sense the change in "up north" blogs once the dark really kicks in. At least I noticed it last year.
The posts get longer and deeper.

pablo said...

You and Walter at Sugar Mountain Farm are both quite entertaining as you race winter to get homes built. I hope when the time comes for me to build at Roundrock I have the good fortune to control the timing of it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure feeling the lengthening darkness. I really have a hard time not wanting to leave the house after dark in the winter, so I seem to need to fill the daylight hours with the whole day's worth of activities.

I saw a bald eagle yesterday driving north on 94, just north of downtown Mpls, where the freeway follows the Mississippi. I know they follow the river when they move south, but it was still a thrill!

Deb said...

lauraH- every bit of light is precious. I found some Christmas lights in the garage today; I think I'll put them up tomorrow.

FC- That's an interesting observation. I, for one, am glad I don't live north of the Arctic Circle; the darkness would get to me!

pablo- better do some careful planning! I don't look at it as racing winter at this point; Now I'm hoping to be in by the first of spring.

lynne- I rarely feel like going out after dark either.

Bald eagles are always a thrill, no matter where you see them. One interesting thing I've noticed in the cities, often times I'll see red tailed hawks perched on the freeway light poles.