solstice

Lisa Johnson

Next week at this time, we'll be celebrating the longest day of the year with almost 16 hours of light, and the first day of summer.

If you want to celebrate now, though, go ahead; Larry calls it summer when the wildflowers out in the open outnumber the ones in the woods.

Trees are blooming, birds are raising babies, infant turtles are being threatened by infant racoons, love is in the air for mink and green frogs ... now if it would just rain.  About five inches worth would catch us up nicely - just not all at once.

©Jason Mandich. Used with permission.

Some people say winter officially starts with the December 21st solstice.

The National Weather Service says it's December 1st.

Larry Weber says it's when rivers freeze, but he also says, "Who cares? Just get out and enjoy it!"

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr

Your overnight temps probably depended a lot on your cloud cover, Larry's disgruntled by the lack of snowfall on the ground and in the forecast, but there are plenty of new things to enjoy in the natural world, whether it's an unexpected goldfinch or  a green comet.

Terry Priest/Flickr

Summer officially arrived Thursday morning at 5:07am.

Here in the Northland, the sun came up at 5:14am.

Today, it came up at 5:15am.

Leave it to Larry Weber to point out the days are already starting to get longer.

Stephanie Brown/Flickr

We've got daylight from 5:15am to 9:00pm this month, and from fireflies to songbirds to butterflies, dragon flies, frogs, wildflowers and trees, Mother Nature is taking advantage of every single second.

"Christmas in the Trenches, 1914," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com

Larry Weber says, by his reckoning, winter officially started this week.

For one thing, the rivers froze.

For another, it was -17 yesterday morning.

And of course, it was time for his favorite holiday tune.  (You can hear it after Larry's piece below)

You can read more about Christmas in the Trenches here:

You can see a music video about the event, backed with John McCutcheon's song here: