Sunrise 10:39 am, Sunset 3:19 pm for a whole 4 hours 40 minutes of daylight. We’re gaining over 5 minutes a day, now, and the sun is seven times its own diameter above the horizon at noon. Obviously there hasn’t been much wind lately, but there rarely is in Fairbanks. Won’t be long before the sun’s shining in my south windows.

We’re still running very low on snow cover, but the snow stake now says 14 inches are on the ground. Still not enough insulation for the ground, but at least a little. And yes, that photo was taken around noon, looking nearly south. From the snow caps on the sheet metal stake and the wind spinner it’s obvious we haven’t had much wind lately.

Some of my amaryllis bulbs (really hippeastrum) are blooming in the south window, thanks mainly to the timed plant lights overhead. Here in Alaska, even plants that like dark rooms need a little help in midwinter!

The forecast for today is partly cloudy, with high temperatures around 10 on the valleys and 30 on the hills. Sound backward? Well, that’s why it’s called an inversion, and they’re very common here in winter. The cold air, being heavier than the warm air, drains into the valleys, and with no solar heating of the ground to mix things up, that’s where it stays. That’s why we have little wind and (for a “pristine” area) so much potential for air pollution. Some day I’ll explain that in more detail.