The sun will rise at 9:24 this morning and set at 4:50 for 7 hours 28 ½ minutes of daylight. It’s high enough to shine in my south windows pretty freely, now, almost 10°. High enough, in fact, that it was downright blinding on the snow Saturday. Won’t be long before I can go to afternoon events and be able to drive home before dark.

It was cloudy Sunday, but today is supposed to be clear, with temperatures as high as 20 above. Sweater weather, after the month we’ve just finished. That’s not a good forecast for breathing, though – clear skies and warm temperatures this time of year mean really warm temperatures aloft – a ground inversion that will give us an air pollution problem. Politically, the problem is that fine particles and carbon monoxide are not visible the way ice fog is. They’re as bad or worse for your health, though.

I’m a little worried about the Christmas cactus. The buds are beautiful, ready to open, and promise to be an unusual color. The leaf-stems, however, look like they don’t have enough water. I hope this is just an indication that all of the water is going to the buds, but I’ve moved it into the kitchen were I can watch it more closely as well as enjoying the flowers.

P.S. As of 9:30 this morning the sky is clear and the temperature is up to 0°F. Also, the Yukon Quest got off to a good start from downtown Fairbanks Saturday, and is being covered on the internet both through our local NPR station and via the Quest organization.