The sun will rise this morning at 10:05 and set at 4:01 pm for a whole 5 hours 55 minutes of daylight. We’re gaining more than 6 minutes a day, now, and the sun is almost 6° above the horizon at noon. It was actually shining through the south window Friday, casting the shadow of the suncatcher on the north wall. It warmed up almost to 0°F last week, but it isn’t forecast to last. No more snow to speak of, though.

Driving is miserable, especially heading south into the low sun. At least the light now lasts long enough I can get some shopping done as well as getting the plastics and paper in to the recycling center.

No, we don’t have trash pickup here. Once a week I put the week’s trash into the car and haul it to the transfer station, which is a huge battery of dumpsters plus a recycling platform for things people might be able to reuse – furniture, clothes, toys – in fact, just about everything. This is supposed to discourage dumpster diving. It doesn’t.

Some things, such as plastic bottles, paper and cardboard, can be turned in for recycling at the Rescue Mission, and the University students recycle glass. So I generally have a pretty full car going into town Saturday.

The short light cycle and the lowered temperature in the plant room have worked their magic on the Christmas cactus, which has two to three fat buds on every branch. And the first blooms have actually opened on the sunquat. It’s still winter here, with temperatures expected to stay well below zero for quite a while yet, but spring is on its way.