Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012

Christmas day was beautiful at Lake Wicwas.  It started with a fresh coating of white, which became absolutely brilliant when the clouds broke and the low sun reflected off the lake.

Christmas White

One of my favorite aspects of snow on the lake is watching long shadows move across its surface as the low sun transits the southern sky.  It's an effect you can't see in the summer, or even when there's ice on the lake without snow cover.
Long Winter Shadows Even at Mid-Day

We are now past the winter solstice, and the days are already lengthening.  

After sunset the moon rose with the planet Jupiter acting as its guide and pilot.  It added a dramatic finish to special day.
Conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon
The last few weeks we have noticed an unusually large population of Red Squirrels.  One day we had six of them, all more or less sharing the dropped seeds under the bird feeders.  Usually they are quite territorial, but these were rather tolerant of each other, only occasionally shooing one away.

They are always pretty this time of year, with fresh, healthy red fur coats.  It must have been a good summer for them, either due to plentiful food supplies, or more likely, fewer predators.

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