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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Winter Solstice (And Carp Fishing)

Already it has been good and cold this winter. We have not had snow yet. It is 32 degrees at my house right now. That seems warm compared to 21 degrees just days ago. Winter is upon us in many ways.

But wait. What season is this? Today, Tuesday, December 20, 2011, right now, what season is this? It feels like winter, it looks like winter, it must be winter. Hmmm… It’s still the fall.

The Winter Solstice comes this year on Wednesday, December 21. Here in Washington State, it will occur at 9:30 PM. Our earth rotates on an axis. The Winter Solstice is the time when because of the axial tilt of the earth we are the farthest away from the sun thereby receiving the least direct sunlight. It is also the day when we have the fewest hours of sunlight and the most hours of darkness. For me personally, the long hours of darkness have always bothered me more than extended periods of rain.

It is cold and wet, and yet it is still the fall. The days are short and the nights are long. The coldest and harshest weather is still ahead of us. Winter will “officially” begin here soon.

Even though we are beginning our nastiest season of weather the days will slowly begin getting longer again. I appreciate the irony or paradox of winter beginning as the days begin getting longer. Maybe those aren’t the right words; maybe it’s the symbolism I appreciate. As I have aged the cold weather bothers me more and more. I like winter less and less. It doesn’t feel like it today and it won’t feel like it on the many cold days ahead but the Winter Solstice signals the beginning of change. Even as we prepare for the worst weather of the year change will begin slowly on Wednesday. Longer, warmer days will come again.

In times of reflection, as always, I pray for the good health, overall well being, and safety of my family and friends. I work to trust that during the coming winter, change is already beginning. On Thursday the days will begin getting longer again. Thursday will have 5 seconds more of daylight than Wednesday. The light will return. And I like that.

As the winter begins I will do, and enjoy, winter activities. Fly tying is so satisfying this time of year. We will also do some snow shoeing in January and February.

I accept the bad weather and at the same time I look forward to the spring when fat Carp return to the shallows. As part of looking forward to those warmer days, tomorrow morning I will post a YouTube link to the first episode of "Lessons From the Carp Lodge."


  1. Beautiful reflection. May winter (and the coming year) treat you well...

  2. Mr.P.,

    I missed this somehow. Age effects me also, hard as that is to admit. Today high 40's and rain, same for the next 2. Broke a possible record dry December for my area. I should be out carp fishing in my spring pond, but I hemmed and hawed and never went. Still no December carp for my wimpiness. Maybe the sunny Jan.1., less warm but still above average. And, I am often tied to my vise now, heck, all the time, but it's a good excuse. You and other new blog pals have me tying esoteric stuff so I've lots to do. Have a great new year and much luck with your video project!