THE NATURAL WORLD
By Tina Mitchell
The sun rises later every morning. Night falls earlier each day. You walk the dog before work in pitch black, hoping that the local coyotes aren’t prowling the darkness a few feet behind you. After work, what’s left of the daylight fades fast and you do outdoor tasks in twilight. You stare into the seemingly interminable darkness, morosely remembering the long, lazy, languid evenings of summer. Is that what’s troublin’ ya, friend?
The approaching winter solstice, this year on Dec. 21, brings the shortest day of the year because it features the latest sunrise and the earliest sunset. Right? Well, actually – no. After the winter solstice, total daylight does increase a minute or two every few days. But those of us who mourn the waning sunlight can look to an earlier milepost. In early December – this year, around December 2 in Central Colorado – we’ll experience the earliest sunset of the year. On that date, sunset holds around 4:43 p.m. for almost two weeks; after that, it inches back a minute later every few days.