In fact the sunrise is now actually later than it was on the solstice, when it rose at 7:26 a.m. Sunrise is now at 7:29 a.m., on its way to a sunrise of 7:30 a.m., where it will remain until January 9, when it will inch back one minute. It’s the sunsets that are arriving later now. Still the earliest sunset was not on the solstice but from December 4-11, when the sun set each day at 4:42 p.m.
Today the sun sets at 4:50 p.m., and it’s only when you add up the daylight hours between the sunrises and the sunsets that you can find the shortest day on December 22. I am nearly always up before sunrise in all seasons of the year, but I can already tell when I return to the cabin in the evenings that it’s not as dark as it was during that long, dark week after Thanksgiving. So the day feels longer to me, though the actual length of the daylight hours is hardly different. Somehow, those few minutes seem to make a big difference.
My photo today is of the common Christmas fern, which is lovely even in winter. The fern retains its bright green color, even though the fronds no longer stand up and are nearly hidden by the fallen leaves.