These are the days of long shadows.  As we get closer to the winter solstice the sun is lower in the sky as the earth tilts.  In Minnesota and Wisconsin we are north of the 45th parallel so “our tilt” seems more noticeable.  This photo was taken at noon, but my shadow is nowhere close to being right beneath me as it is in the summer.  Instead the sun is only 123 degrees above the horizon, elongating my shadow.

This is our winter — longer shadows, shorter days, colder temperatures.

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Our temperatures climbed into the 20’s today, making it much more enjoyable to be outside.  I headed out for a walk in the woods this afternoon.  All was quiet except for the sound of my boots breaking through the snow.  Occasionally the wind would kick up and rustle the remaining oak leaves that have stiffened in the cold and still cling to the trees.  As we’re in the northern part of the United States, north of the 45th parallel of north latitude, the sun still hangs low in the sky even near noon, resulting in lovely shadows that stretch across the landscape.  With snow covering the ground, these shadows create patterns and designs that are soft and seem to dance in the wind.  It was a beautiful show that was put on for me as I stood in the relative quiet to soak up the available sun.