Monday, December 21, 2015

The Shortest Day

Today (21 December) is officially the shortest day of 2015.  Mid-Michigan will only receive 8 hours 55 minutes 23 seconds of sunlight today - or we would if it wasn't supposed to rain all day.  From now until June 21st, the length of each day will lengthen until Mid-Michigan receives 15 hours 26 minutes 57 seconds of sunlight, at which point the length of days will again begin to decrease.  The days when the length of daylight is at its minimum and maximum are known as the solstices.

In honor of the Winter Solstice, the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy scheduled a sunrise walk for this morning at the Sylvan Solace Preserve west of Mt. Pleasant.  Unfortunately, the dreary weather limited interest in the event.  Nevertheless, a small group of four dedicated nature lovers made a walk around the property's River Loop trail. 

Trying to call a late-to-bed Eastern Screech Owl

Checking out a QR code

Observing the Chippewa River

Overcast skies hid the sunrise from view

A White-tailed Deer Skull along the trail

A close-up view of the deer skull

Looking along the River Loop trail

Pileated Woodpeckers have been hard at work

CWC intern Jonathon Breithaupt has an eye for debris

American Beech saplings hold tight to their leaves

A small colorful fungus or lichen covering a dead sapling

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