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December Skies

December 20, 2009

December morning sky (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) I love December skies.

The skies of March and October are more celebrated here — a hard-edged, intense blue that contrasts sharply with the white of March snows or the orange and scarlet of fall foliage. March and October skies shout, “Look at me! Look at me!"

But December skies whisper.

With the barest hint of rose at dawn, December dawn (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Treetops glow on December morning (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) … and the soft glow of treetops in the slanted rays of the morning sun,

December skies are a pale, pellucid blue, almost aquamarineDecember sky (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) softly whispering promises of longer days to come.

Happy solstice everyone!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2009 11:44 pm

    Oh Wow! I forgot it was the solstice tomorrow. Thank you for reminding me. Isn’t it interesting how the sky does look different depending upon the time of year? Your December skies are beautiful.

    • Jean permalink*
      December 23, 2009 11:20 am

      Noelle, I have a feeling each solstice is a bigger deal the further away you get from the equator. My part of Maine is actually a little south of the 45th parallel, so a little closer to the equator than to the north pole, but the difference in length of day between December and June is still quite dramatic. And, of course, for my blogging friends further north in Alaska, most parts of Canada, Germany, the UK, and Scandinavia, the solstice is more dramatic still. I love the winter solstice at least as much as the summer solstice. I’m not bothered by SAD, and I love the soft light and clear dark starry nights of winter.

  2. December 21, 2009 10:51 am

    Happy solstice to you, too, Jean. What beautiful, brilliant skies. In addition to the brilliant blue, I also love twilight during the winter months… the black outline of tree branches against the darkening blue sky. Did you get any of that crazy winter storm your way?

    • Jean permalink*
      December 23, 2009 11:24 am

      Liisa, I know what you mean about winter twilights — those wonderful deep blue-violet hues as the first stars appear. I sometimes turn out all the lights in the house and stand in my bedroom window to watch the show. Alas, I didn’t manage to get any photos of those wonderful twilight colors.

      We didn’t get any effects of the big storm; it went out to sea to our south. I drove south to RI on Monday morning, and it was interesting to watch the snow get deeper as I went south — a dusting in Portland, 2-3 inches in southern Maine and coastal NH, about 6″ in northern Massachusetts, and about 18″ by the time I got to my brother’s house south of Providence.

  3. December 22, 2009 12:26 pm

    Hi Jean, I agree that December can have beautiful skies. In my native Minnesota they were often a crisp blue, and here in southern Germany the evenings and mornings can be a delicate mauve. Nice photos.

    • Jean permalink*
      December 23, 2009 11:27 am

      Barbara, I would love to see your delicate mauve German skies. I’m assuming that the differences in sky color from one time of the year to another have to do with the angle of the sun’s rays, so I would expect them to be more pronounced further north.

  4. December 24, 2009 10:31 am

    Snow and blue sky are a wonderful combination. Unfortunately blue is not the default winter colour over here!
    Have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

    • Jean permalink*
      December 24, 2009 4:47 pm

      We’re lucky here in Maine that our winters usually combine lots of snow with lots of sun. High and low pressure areas move through in pretty quick succession at this time of year, bringing a snow storm, followed by brilliant sunshine and blue sky, followed by more snow, etc. During winters that I’m in Pennsylvania teaching, I’m acutely aware of how much grayer winter days are in the mid-Atlantic region of the US.
      Thanks for the Christmas wishes; I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

  5. January 6, 2010 11:02 am

    Your photos are so marvelous, Jean! Just love the colors in them, truly a treat for me from the tropics!

    • Jean permalink*
      January 6, 2010 10:17 pm

      I’ve always assumed that the different sky colors we get at different times of the year are a result of changes in the angle of the sun, which would mean that the effects are greater the further you get from the equator. But then, again, you get to grow all those marvelous plants in the tropics!

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