Friday, December 21st marks the arrival of Winter. At least, on the calendar. Here in the Berkshires, it seems like the season rolled in weeks ago. Officially the Winter Solstice occurs at 5:23 PM EST on the 21st. I'll save the science-y stuff for someone else to explain. I'll just stick with the general knowledge that it means the shortest day & longest night for us.

December’s full moon will also appear on the night of the 21st, though it will not be at its absolute peak until the next day. We might get cheated out of the bonus moonlight though as rain is in our forecast for Friday night.

According to The Old Farmers Almanac, sunrise will be at 7:19 AM with sunset at 4:22 PM, leaving us with approximately 9 hours and 2 minutes of daylight. The times are for North Adams. Your numbers may vary the farther north or south you are. From then until next June, the days get longer, if by seconds. Even though the sun will rise a couple of minutes later for a few more days it will set later. By New Year's Day, we'll have gained a whole 5 minutes more of daylight!

So if you're one of those people (like me) who get a bit grumbly or worse with the seasonal shortness of daylight, take heart. Don't mind the fact that Winter will be with us until March 20, 2019--at least, on the calendar. Longer days are upon us!