So...it is pretty cold outside. We have been having some pretty serious frosts the past few weeks and the ground is frozen solid. It is weather like this that makes you reflect on the drastic variation of the seasons. The good news is that we have passed the winter solstice (December 21), which is the shortest day of the year. Every day from now until the summer solstice will gain us a few more minutes of daylight. I actually like to keep track of the day-length as the season progresses. Like everything else, this is incredibly easy now on the internet:
In Seattle, from the beginning of November until early February, there are less than 10 hours of sunlight each day. Some people in the farming world refer to this part of the year as the "Persephone period". This name of course refers to the Greek myth in which Hades (god of the underworld) absconds Persephone (daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest). It is a good story and I won't attempt to do it justice here, but the general idea is that Persephone is forced to spend part of the year in the underworld and is allowed to return to earth each spring. The changing of the seasons corresponds to the yearly return of Persephone to the earth. The end of the Persephone period means that plants have enough daylight to start growing again and for that...there is much rejoicing.