Showing posts from December, 2018

Kick Off the New Year on the Right Foot and Join Us for a FREE First Day Hike!

Mt. Ascutney, 9 AM Easy-moderate hiking, approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hrs. All ages welcome. Trail depends on conditions. Pets on leash welcome.  Meet at entrance to Mt. Ascutney State Park. Dress in layers, bring water and snacks. Microspikes or snowshoes recommended. Lake Willoughby Area, 10 AM Join us for this First Day Hike in memory of Dave Hardy, who dedicated countless hours to the stewardship of the Long Trail in Vermont. This hike has beautiful overviews of Long Pond, Lake Willoughby and Bald Mountain and is considered moderate with a few tricky areas. Snowshoes or microspikes will be need for this 4-mile round trip. All ages, pets permitted on leash. Meet at Long Pond trailhead 10AM.(From RT 5A in Westmore, turn onto Long Pond Road at the Westmore store, continue up for 2.5 miles, go past Long Pond for about 1/8 mile, parking is on the left at the Long Pond Trail parking area). Please confirm with Jean Haigh at  or Cathi Brooks at cathibrooks@aol.

What Makes the 2018 Winter Solstice Special?

Winter solstice takes place Friday December 21, 2018 at 5:23pm. This marks the beginning of astronomical winter and is the day of shortest sunlight. I enjoy the optimism of days lengthening and darkness shortening following the solstice. If you are wearing a warm coat and mittens today, and you can remember sunny picnics enjoyed on summer beaches, then you know some things about seasons. All planets in our solar system orbit the sun. Our earth takes 365.25 days to travel around the sun, which is one year. While earth makes this journey, it also rotates around its axis, which takes 24 hours. That is our day length. Earth does not have a perfect, straight up and down axis, earth sits at a tilt of 23.5 degrees. This tilted axis is what causes our seasons. In December and January, the earth is closer to the sun than it is in July and August, but because of the axis tilt, North America is facing away from the sun during our winter months. During summer, North America tilts towar