The day of the Winter Solstice dawned cloudy, windy and cold.
View of the Sunwheel with a cloud covered sky before sunrise. We gathered at 7:00 a.m. for sunrise on the day of the Winter Solstice.
View across the Sunwheel with the West portal in the foreground and looking toward the East portal.
In spite of cloudy skies, gusting wind and frigid temperatures, 22 people attended the sunrise gathering on the day of the Winter Solstice. A small group remained after sunrise to ask questions, and we were treated to colorful clouds in the West.
Smiling faces of visitors for sunrise. Notice that everyone present was dressed for the arctic conditions!
The Winter Solstice Sunrise stone marked the direction to look to see the rising Sun. Even though the sky was cloudy this year, we had faith that the Sun rose.
My daughter Laura, who flew in from Chicago to help me at the Sunwheel for the Winter Solstice gatherings. After helping put the display materials away, she stood in the direction of the winter solstice sunrise.
Horray for the arrival for another season celebrated at the Sunwheel!!! Thank you, Laura, for your help, and for taking this picture of me. :)
Although we did not see the Sun in the direction of the Winter Solstice Sunrise stone, we did see Laura there in her multi-colored winter hat.
We gathered again at the Sunwheel, this time at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon for sunset on this shortest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere).
Those present were treated to photos of the Sunwheel throughout the seasons.
The "standstill of the Sun" for which Solstice is named was described, along with the remarkable way the solstices inform us about the tilt of Earth's axis of rotation.
The clouds in the West parted as sunset approached.
Visitors lined up near the center of the Sunwheel to each have a turn to view the direction to the setting Sun over the Winter Solstice Sunset stone.
As sunset approached, the shadow of the tall stone marking the Winter Solstice Sunset extended over 60 feet to the center of the Sunwheel.
Visitors continued to ask questions after viewing the sunset from the center of the Sunwheel.
Many visitors were at the Sunwheel for the first time.
Shadows continued to lengthen as the moment of sunset arrived.
Sure enough, we saw the Sun set directly behind the Winter Solstice Sunset stone.
One visitor asked about the Moon's 18.6 year cycle.
As the Sun was setting, a gorgeous light illuminated the trees to the East of the Sunwheel.
The last rays of light on the shortest day of the year at the Sunwheel.
Thank you Laura and David for your help during the gathering -- carrying boxes and tables, answering questions, counting visitors, and taking pictures. A total of 75 people were at the Sunwheel for sunset!
A joyous solstice to everyone!