Today is the day after the shortest day: the year has turned.
Yesterday was the shortest day of the year: it lasted for 7 hours and 49 minutes. Today’s day will be 7 hours and 50 minutes long. The daylight hours will increase every day until the summer solstice, the longest day, on June 21st when there will be 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, maybe even 16 hours and 38 minutes of midsummer sunshine.
Most plants do not grow when day length is less than 10 hours. We can all think of exceptions: snowdrops and the odd misguided clump of primroses in the depths of the winter for example; but even if the temperature is unseasonably warm most plants will remain dormant until the magic 10 hours of daylight arrives in the middle of February.
Conversely, the iron grip of sub-zero temperatures and weeks of frost, will not prevent 10 hours of daylight in February triggering most of the park’s plants into life. We can hardly wait!
Header picture by DKG