The Longest Night of the Year

In my just released novel Beyond the Precipice, the longest night–winter solstice–is symbolic. In Bret’s darkest hour…

btp-frontcover-2-dwpHe skidded to a stop just short of the house and threw the gear into park prematurely, causing the car to lurch, throwing them into their seat belts at the last moment.

He stared into the wintry void as the longest night of the year absorbed them.

(Beyond the Precipice)

 

In Edmonton, Alberta, winter solstice falls on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3:44 a.m. Daylight hours run from 8:49 a.m. to 4:16 p.m., but cloud cover has a significant light-dampening, day-shortening effect.

Outside it had clouded over, and dusk settled in at half past three.

With daylight lasting a mere 7 hours and 27 minutes, the winter solstice day is a whopping 9 hours and 35 minutes shorter than on summer solstice in June.

The sun in the winter in Canada is also distinctly different from that of other seasons.

The Christmas lights had been left on in spite of the bleached winter sun’s attempt to brighten the living room.

Often, winter brings a unique, monochromatic beauty,

As the sun’s disc glowed through a veil of white, hoarfrost fell from trees in silent chunks, chipping away the platinum brilliance…

while at other times, you experience exquisite, unexpected splashes of colour.

The setting sun lit the underside of the broken clouds with flamingo pink, its orange orb casting the illusion of flames across the glassy snow. He left the house, walking on cold fire…

The segments below are taken from Chapter 44: “Farewell

photofunia-1474218227

The shadow of the headstone that bore his father’s name stretched across the snow toward him.

Snow, fine as dust, blew from the small grave marker, tinted orange by the setting sun.

In the dying rays of the day, the snow lay awash in deep orange. Stray clouds glowed pink against a gradient of turquoise to deep blue. Black branches crisscrossed the canvas that was the sky.

When he looked around the graveyard once more, the “blue hour” had settled in, that time between sunset and darkness when snow and sky appeared as if viewed through a blue lens.

christmastreeball_photofunia-1470502063Have a wonderful winter solstice. Remember: after this day, we begin to climb out of the pit as daylight makes its return, if only in minuscule increments at first. By March, as we head into spring equinox, we will be gaining day length at a rate of 4 1/4 minutes per day!

Weather and daylight geek signing off.

Oh, and the book isn’t about weather. However, it aligns nicely with this time of year!

Related

Orange Clouds, Rainbow Sun Dogs, Blue-White Snow

Harbinger of Winter Does Not Stop Festival City

References

Time and Date

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disabilities and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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4 Responses to The Longest Night of the Year

  1. JJAzar says:

    “Black branches crisscrossed the canvas that was the sky.” What at image! That has to be my favorite line of the bunch! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Edmonton daylight: 8:49 to 4:16.
    By comparison,
    Toronto: 7:49 to 4:44
    Vancouver: 8:05 to 4:16
    New York: 7:17 to 4:32
    Miami: 7:03 to 5:35
    Our late sunrise in Edmonton makes it so much harder to start the day! Looking forward to this: 5:05 a.m. to 10:07 p.m., with first light around 4 and last light around 11! (summer solstice, June 20, 2017).

    Like

  3. Pingback: Post-Christmas Letdown | Beyond the Precipice

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