Long Shadows At Noon

One of the distinguishing features of a northern winter is that the sun is very low in the sky, even at noon.

On Sunday, while walking in Borden Park in Edmonton, I noticed how long the shadows were. These pictures were taken at around midday on October 25th.

Edmonton is above the 53rd parallel, or circle of latitude, around the earth. It has similar sunrise and sunset times to Unalaska, USA; Dublin, Ireland; Manchester, England; Hamburg, Germany; and Tolyatti, Russia. During the winter solstice, the sun is above the horizon for about eight hours a day.

As you can see, even at noon the sun is still very low in the sky. On a sunny day in winter, motorists need sunglasses all day because the sun never seems to rise above the windshield. People with daytime jobs, however, usually go to and from work in the dark.

On Sunday, I enjoyed seeing the blue sky, sunshine, and long, long shadows. And, I’m glad I rarely have to drive anywhere!


  1. It has its own beauty in Edmonton, but here the grass is still green and the leaves are on the trees and I am so glad for that.

  2. It indeed looks like winter has arrived in Edmonton. Even here I am quite aware of the sun being much lower on the horizon now and, until the time change on Saturday night, the sun rises at about 7:15 AM. It sets somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30 PM. It is a delight to me to get to sleep until 7 because Buddy does not see daylight until around then! However, when I was working, I recall leaving home in the dark and then driving back home in the dark too. I was adversely affected by the increased darkness in those days. I felt that if I could make it to March, I really would have accomplished something. As I have aged though, the dark is almost welcomed. I am given these dark times to go inside myself and consider where I have come in this passing year. 2020 presents so very much food for thought. I have been adverse to looking back the last month or so, however with each day now I am aware that I am preparing to do just that. It has been a year that will require a lot of processing!

    I noticed the thermostat reads 65 degrees this morning. Just about time to switch the furnace on I think!

    • The reduced hours of daylight have an effect on all of us, but for some of us it is definitely a time for hibernation and/or introspection. This year, as you say, is certainly one that will cause a lot of food for thought. It is everyone’s annus horribilis.

      Our furnace kicks in at 20C which is about 68F, so yes. You should switch your furnace on, Mary Beth!

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