Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Solstice! Winter Arrives in the Pacific Northwest

With the winter solstice upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, it's the peak of our annual "dark days."  And we're getting epic snow in the mountains and rain in the lowlands that make it seem even more cave-like outside.

These short days make many of us want to hibernate, in the natural rhythm of northern seasons. I say it's perfect sleeping weather, or it's candle season.

Still, in the spirit of the season we get out, despite the messy weather and long nights that enclose us up here in the Upper Left Hand Corner

With the busyness of life, I've not gotten outdoors adventuring so much the last few months. So for today, I'll just share some random shots from around the region to celebrate the coming of winter.

Just because.


Seattle sidewalk art, in the rain. Columbia City neighborhood.
Yarn bombing. Old King County Courthouse, downtown Seattle.
Nightwalk along the Willamette River, Portland

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, along the Columbia River

Hiking in the  mist, Moran State Park, Orcas Island

Stevens Pass
Heavy frost, Carkeek Park
Silver Star Mountain
Besides sleeping, it's great reading weather.
Lake Crescent
Upper Ski Bowl, Mt. Hood

St. James Cathedral, Seattle

So I'll be lighting a candle to bring warmth and light to the short dark days.

How do you celebrate the winter solstice?

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons!

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Suezy Proctor said...

Ah...the Winter Solstice! A day I eagerly anticipate every year. It's only a couple days away, but I can't wait. It NEVER reminds me of long dark days, cold weather, rain, snow or hibernation. No! It, instead, reminds me that it is the shortest day of the year...and the very next day...the day becomes longer, inching its way to Spring. HAIL the Advent of Spring! Yes!

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbor: "Winter is dead.” A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

December 21 is my most favorite day of the year.

Thank you for the beautiful photos. It appears that not much keeps you down, and as a fan of your blog, I am very thankful for that.

Your #1 fan from Alabama

JoJo said...

I miss winter in the PNW. It's so funny here in Massachusetts listening to everyone complain about the dark, and some stupid state rep wants to stick us in the Atlantic Time Zone w/ Nova Scotia b/c of it. I just laugh and tell them they'd never survive in the PNW. I loved the dark, rainy days when the streetlights don't even switch off during the day. I am so jealous of your nonstop rain right now, and it's good to see the mountains coated with snow again. Rainier was unrecognizable this summer.

Lisa O. said...

Nice pics, Jill. It is candle season.

What do I do to celebrate the solstice? I used to host a kick-ass party, but not this year. I'm going to miss the big event, but it takes so much time to prep and recover. Would rather be out skiing or walking in the woods!

Will reinstitute the Solstice Party tradition again in the future. Miss the chance to pull a big group of pagans together.

jill said...

Hey Suezy! Love your inspiring comment, of course! I sort of enjoy the dark embrace of this time of year, like JoJo says. It's extra cozy or something. By mid-January, though, I'm happy to see a bit of extra light each day. And you quote a couple of my favorite childhood authors, perfect! happy holidays!

JoJo, Did you make it out here this summer to see Rainier? Yea, I embrace the dark rainy days as you describe so well. Today is just like that - rainy, dark, wet, chilly, but the Christmas lights on my block and around the city are spectacular! Seems to be more and more each year. Holiday cheers to you!

Hey Lisa! I miss you great Solstice bashes, but I say a few years off is good. I bet it was a lot of work because you always do everything so well. Okay, need to get myself back in shape and onto the slopes soon, keep hearing about how fantastic it was last weekend at both Crystal and Stevens. Soon. cheers!

jill said...

Grr, typo in my comment to Lisa. the editor always cringes...miss YOUR great Solstice bashes.

Lesley said...

I've got to agree with Suezy -- celebrate that days are now getting longer! However, I'm loving scampering up Saddlerock in the snow -- three times in the last four days. Wenatchee is wonderful in winter.

Todd Carey said...

Awesome photos Jill ! I really like the mix of locales, weather, snow, not snow. So much snow in the mountains! Ya! Break out the candles, to light this darkest of nights.

Happy Solstice All,