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Winter solstice 2017


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I thought it worth noting that it's the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere today.  I like to celebrate the fact that after this, the days get longer even though autumn has come to a close and cold winter has arrived.  I'm sure my friends in the southern hemisphere are excited at the arrival of their summer today as well!  The good news locally was that we actually got rain in my part of Southern California which was a welcome break after a very dry late autumn which correlated to all the fires.  I haven't looked at weather maps to see if Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties were so lucky as to receive some rainfall, but I know it would be a helpful respite in fighting the fires.  The locally bad news is the clearing winds from the system passing which turned into a Santa Ana (dry offshore winds.  This will not help firefighters. 

My garden doesn't seem to mind that it is now winter, it has just sloooowed doooooown a bit on the growth with the cooler night temps and shorter days.  How is your garden doing this winter solstice?

33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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Growth has pretty much slowed to a crawl here.  Not necessarily a bad thing.  I am still playing catch up in my gardens.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Here in HI, we hit our earliest sundown back in Nov IIRC, so evenings have been staying lighter since then.  But morning darkness will lengthen till sometime in Jan.  Something to do with our proximity to equator.  This winter is way diff from most recent winters;  we have had 3 frontal passages on Big Island, resulting in some really cool morning temps not to mention strong northerly winds, ugh.  Feb is actually our coldest month.  This is gonna be a long winter by HI standards, if the trend persists.

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Days are now getting longer - in tiny increments. But the coldest part of winter always lags behind the solstice. Statistically, that is the next 2-3 weeks here. But we all know you can manipulate statistics to say just about anything. The next 3 months will be when I try to catch up with last year's breakneck growth cycle and lingering damage from Hurricane Irma in weather that doesn't approximate the 7th circle of Hades. I got some serious decisions to make about the gardens. But that's for the new year coming.


Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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Palms here have slowed to a snail pace. My Royal has only grown 1cm in about the last week and a half. Looking forward to Spring!

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Yesterday was a fitting start to the season, cold, blustery.. not any warmer than 60f, followed by what may be one of, ( if not the single ..) coldest night so far this season.

While statistics suggest were right in the thick of the coldest portion of the year, most people in the Phoenix region know the surprises that can occur between now and roughly the end of February.. so to call the winter season, is a bit early.

Regardless, there hasn't been much to complain about so far. Evenings are starting to get longer, mornings will follow in about 4 weeks.. 3 weeks beyond that,  our winter is pretty much packed up and headed north, and plant sales season begins again.  Aside from that, hoping to do some packing of my own this spring.;)

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