Happy New Year! We didn’t get a great start, weatherwise — the indoor-outdoor thermometer read LL (below -40°) when I got up yesterday, and while I don’t totally trust the outdoor dial, it was cold! Hope that isn’t a portent for the year. It’s not distance from the sun; we’ll be at our closest for the year day after tomorrow. At least the clouds are moving in, which should warm things up.

Sunrise will be 10:53 and sunset 2:57, for a total day length of 4 hours 3 minutes — we’ve broken 4 hours! Solar noon altitude is now increasing by about a tenth of a degree per day – 2.5° today – and day length is increasing by about 4 minutes a day. By the end of the month we’ll be up past 6 hour days, and increasing by more than 6 minutes a day.

I put up the suncatcher that my sister gave me for Christmas, but there’s still no sun for it to catch in my windows. The plants, however, are basking in the fluorescent lights, even though I have them on short days. There is no question now that the Christmas cactus is budding, though I’ll keep it on short days until the end of the month. My sunquat (lemon-kumquat hybrid) is fairly bursting with fat green buds, and even the rose I brought in for winter is budding. I’m already looking forward to spring.