My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

The First Day of the New Year.

December 21, 2010, the winter solstice, the day with the least amount of daylight in the year. From now on, the days get longer, and the nights get shorter. In just a few days, I’ll put up my 2011 Trout Unlimited calendar. I don’t know why our “official” Calender begins on an arbitrary day like January1st, as far as I am concerned, the New Year is just beginning today. From this day until the Summer solstice, the amount of daylight we get each day increases. Slowly at first, with just a few precious seconds per day, then later in the year, a few minutes more daylight per day. Soon those seconds and minutes add up to hours, and even before the our Northern Hemisphere throws off the cold mantle of snow that accumulates over the winter months, I’ll be able to feel that winter is ending, and spring is just around the corner.

The end of January is often times the coldest part of winter around here, but I will be feeling spring coming. By then, there is a different feel to almost everything outdoors. It may be 5 degrees below zero outside, but if there is any sunshine, it will have a different feel. It is stronger by then, it penetrates deeper, through the layer of clothes I am bundled up in, and I can feel it in my bones, and my soul. The birds feel it too, I’ll hear them on those days, starting to practice singing their mating songs for later in the year. The air has a different feel to it as well, it is “heavier”, for lack of a better word, there is more to it than the emptiness of November and December. The animals know it, I’ll often see them out and about enjoying the coming spring as much as I do. Even the trees “know”, for by then, I’ll see the tree buds starting to swell in preparation for the new growing season, a new beginning, new life!

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