I decided my Amur Maple was big enough to defend itself against moose this winter. Not so sure about the weight of snow, though.

Sunrise today 10:33 am, sunset 2:50 pm and we’re losing about 4 minutes a day. Only a bit over two weeks to the shortest day. The photo was taken shortly before sunset.

Fairbanks and North Pole are demonstrating the role of clouds in surface temperature today. Clouds radiate back to the surface, which otherwise radiates energy right out to space. Fairbanks is relatively clear, with a temperatures of -20 F (29 C); North Pole (24 miles away and somewhat cloudier) is at -6 F (-21C). Usually North Pole is several degrees colder than Fairbanks.

The photo is an excellent example of the ability of our eyes to see just about any wide-spectrum light source as white, as I discussed in Planet Building. When I look at this scene directly, I see the snow as white or gray-white.