The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Inflection Day

Inflection Day

Inflection Day is our first Walden-Effect-created holiday.  Anna did the math and decided January 13 is, on average, the coldest day of the year in our area.  It's all uphill from here!

We looked at the weather and decided to observe the holiday one day early
with a visit to Bays Mountain's park and planetarium.  We climbed a few hills, took in the watery exhibits, and peered at a partly frozen lake.  Thanks for sharing the special day with us, Adrianne and Joey!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'm so glad you pointed this out. I don't know why I'm having a hard time with winter this year and it gives me a little perk to know that we might be past the coldest of the cold - at least if western NC has the same average cold day as SW Virginia. I've been trying to focus on the fact that at least the days are getting longer.
Comment by Karyn Mon Jan 13 11:23:16 2014
Glad you had a fun day. I was looking back and I had the 13th as the supposed coldest day last year, found out by a google search. We haven't met that description this year or the last, but hey, it's still something to celebrate.
Comment by Brandy Tue Jan 14 20:40:39 2014

I'd like to point out that the Earth was at his perhelion on January 3rd. That's when Earth is closest to the Sun, and it is winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere. Thus Earth's distance from the Sun does not affect what season occurs. Instead, Earth's seasons come and go because Earth does not rotate with its axis exactly upright with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. Earth's axial tilt is 23.4 degrees. This puts the Sun farther south in December and January, so the north has winter and the south has summer. Thus winter falls on that part of the globe where sunlight strikes least directly, and summer falls where sunlight strikes most directly, regardless of Earth's distance from the Sun.

So this means that it can only get warmer until around July 4th, when the Earth will be at aphelion (further's from the sun) and it's axis will be tilted towards the sun. Then it's downhill from there until January 3rd again!

Comment by Nayan Mon Jan 12 18:01:30 2015
But of course, Nayan, doesn't experience tell you that the hottest part of summer is usually late July/August, and likewise the coldest part of winter is often late Jan and into Feb? In my understanding this is because the oceans act like huge thermal sinks, taking a long time to heat up/cool down and thus keeping the weather's average min/max temperatures from occurring until some weeks after the solstices. I lived near Lake Michigan as a kid and the water only became bearable in August. Still frigid at the Fourth of July!
Comment by Heather in CA Tue Jan 13 00:52:26 2015
Your images can be pretty symbolic, Mom pointed out. I think it is a cool shot of Mark with the sunglasses.
Comment by Maggie Tue Jan 13 10:00:39 2015

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