Posted by: christinelaennec | December 21, 2011

Headed into the light

This was the sky over Aberdeen at 10 minutes to 4 this afternoon:

Solstice sunset, 21st December 2011, 3:50 pm, Aberdeen.

Although I always think of the 21st as the winter solstice, the Farmer’s Almanac tells me it isn’t officially until tomorrow this year.  According to, the sun rose today in Aberdeen at 8:46, and set at 15:27.  Tomorrow it is due to rise at 8:47, and set at 15:27.   But after that the trend reverses!  Friday the 23rd, we gain a minute of light (sunrise at 8:47 and sunset at 15:28).  By the 31st, we will have gained 5 minutes of light!  Oddly, those minutes will be at the end of the day (sunrise 8:48, sunset 15:35).  I know that after that it will pick up momentum until before we know it we will be marvelling that it’s still light at 5 pm.

I didn’t really used to pay that much attention to the solstice, but certainly since I’ve come to live in Aberdeen, the occasion of the days beginning to lengthen has become an important marker for me.

I wish you a very happy winter solstice!



  1. What magic colours! Very nice picture!
    Have a happy Christmas!


  2. I can totally emphasise with this and really looking forward to days becoming longer again. It’s amazing how quickly one can notice the difference!
    Have a lovely, peaceful Christmas my dear Christine.
    Love and hugs from Wales xoxo

  3. Gorgeous solstice sunset! It’s almost as if the sun knows her day is coming, isn’t it? I remember the early sunsets the first winter I visited Maine. I can hardly fathom your short days in Scotland…

  4. What a beautiful pictures this is, love the colours…

  5. Such a lovely sunset with the silhouettes of the chimneys against the beautiful sky! Here in Washington State we have similar daylight hours and it is always a much anticipated date when we can start to look forward to the lengthening days. It is interesting that the length of the day increases at the end! I do hope you have a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and Blessings for the New Year to you and your dear family. xx

  6. Ohhh what a beautiful picture !! And a happy winter solstice to you and your family.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my new blog. I’m hoping 2012 will bring me a trip to Scotland.
    Beautiful photograph of the Solstice Sunset!

  8. So pretty, but 4:30 does seem too early. enjoy the solstice and your holiday!

  9. gorgeous picture, Christine. as the light increases, may you truly be headed into the light with regards to your delightful daughter’s health. wishing you and your family a joy-filled and light-filled new year.

  10. These minutes of light are so important. Strange tho it may seem, I sometimes long for more time to savour the dark time so that I can enjoy the climb back up into the light all the more.

  11. We drove back from a memorial service this afternoon and the sky, the colours in the fields, just took our breath away. I always feel that up here it is so clean and clear… just amazing. But I too look forward to more daylight hours, particularly in the afternoon as thats when I do my art work and just a wee bit of a wine down. Happy Christmas Christine and to your family.

  12. I guess that means it must be summer solstice here in Australia. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful that 3:50 pm here is somewhat brighter than downtown Aberdeen! I might add that our sky is nowhere near as pretty as yours.

  13. Dear All,

    Thank you so very much for all your good Christmas wishes. I return them to you!

    Linda – I do know what you mean about savouring the dark time in order to better appreciate “the climb back up into the light”.

    Jill – Yes, there is a “clean and clear” quality about the skies up here, when it isn’t dreich anyway. I like your phrase “wee bit of a wine down”!

    oldblack – Indeed, you have had your summer solstice. And I’m sure your sky is often very beautiful!

  14. Beautiful picture of the sunset now we can look forward to the shorter nights and slightly longer days and Spring Time instead of the dark days of winter


  15. As an Aberdeen resident, I totally agree that before living there, the solstice wasn’t something I paid attention to. Now it’s a day to truly celebrate! 🙂

  16. Dear Susan and MedalSlut, yes going towards the Spring is really something to celebrate!

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