At the bottom of the year, in late November and December, a sunny day is notable. For one thing, sunny days are relatively rare this time of year, and with our seasonally short days and long nights, sunshine is hard to come by. When there is a sunny day, notice how the sun follows a path along the southern sky before setting in the southwest, never getting very high in the sky.

Shadows are long even at noon. Lit from the side, trees and houses in the neighborhood literally glow in their southern exposures. Black capped chickadees and nuthatches flying back and forth from a wooden fence to their feeders create bizarre, stretched out, flying shadow patterns to the north. Any last straggling flock of ducks or geese are usually too high to create a shadow from the low sun.

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