Solar calendar marks rise of winter solstice | VIDEO

WHETHER you’re a winter person or a summer one, there is much to rejoice about right now.

For those who prefer the colder months, this past week has certainly seen some brisk mornings in the Bega Valley to get your heart pumping and breath pluming.

For those missing the sun, you will be pleased to know that as of Saturday the days are once again getting longer.

Saturday saw the Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Among those marking the occasion – in a very literal sense – was Bega’s Frank Scott.

Mr Scott has constructed a “solar calendar” in his front yard, making note of the point where the sun emerges over the horizon on the first of each month.

From a specific vantage point on his verandah, 12 poles line up with the first sunrise of each month, with two extra showing the position of sunrise for the March and September equinoxes – where day and night are of equal length.

Two additional red poles mark the extremes of the sun’s migration across the eastern sky.

On Saturday morning, the sun rose above the distant hills in alignment with the northern-most pole, its light bringing to an end the longest night of the year.

Mr Scott said he took on the project as something to show his grandkids and was inspired by his wife’s job as a primary school teacher at St Patrick’s Bega.

From Saturday, daylight hours will continue to lengthen through until the summer solstice on December 22.

As an aside, readers might be interested to know people living close to the Arctic Circle, including members of the BDN editor’s family in Finland, are enjoying a “midnight sun” during their summer solstice, when the sun kisses the horizon, but doesn’t fully set.

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