Sunday, December 27, 2009

Darkness Subsiding

Winer sky 12-25-09

Winter darkness is on its way out.

I took this photo on Christmas day while standing in the doorway of my apartment. Rudy had just ventured out for his afternoon scratch-n-sniff session and, in spite of the biting cold (that haze is the humidity that escaped from the house when I opened the door), I stood there for a moment, admiring the sapphire tones and azure hues of our southern sky in December.

Reminds me of a mood ring that I had in junior high.

Compostionally, this is no great shot, I know. It would have been better if I'd walked down toward the lake, away from the telephone poles and power lines, but the idea of bundling up and getting out there was less than appealing. I settled for a cluttered shot and hurried my dog along, so I could shut the door and get warm again.

Then I realized that the winter solstice had come and gone without my even mentioning it. Not that it's a big deal, exactly, but it does mark the point when we begin to gradually gain light again.

And that's a good thing.

Toward the end of January, the sun will peak above the horizon for the first time in about sixty days and by spring it will be our constant companion again. But, for now, this is the light we the afternoon...when it's not cloudy...or blowing today.

Wind from the E at 30 MPH (26 KT) gusting to 33 MPH (29 KT) Visibility 5 mile(s)
Weather Blowing snow
Precipitation last hour A trace
Temperature -4.9 F (-20.5 C)
Windchill -32 F (-36 C)
Dew Point -8.9 F (-22.7 C)
Relative Humidity 82%


Looks peaceful, doesn't it?


Sandcastle Momma said...

I think the power lines and buildings add to the photo. The idea of warmth and people snuggled inside and all... Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Do you celebrate the return of the sun in any way in Atqasuk?
In Inuvik they have s Sun Festival on January 6th which is the day when the sun officially makes it over the horizon

Kimberlee said...

Sandcastle Momma...
Thanks for seeing what I see! There are lots of different kinds of beauty, aren't there? I love opening the door and finding quiet and calm.

We don't have any sort of celebration at this point, but I think it's worth bringing up at a city council meeting. A few years ago, the community began celebrating goose season with a special day full of activities (in May), so maybe they'd be open to something that celebrates the sun's return as well. What kinds of things to they do in Inuvik?

Floridacracker said...

So was it difficult adjusting to the 60 days of gloom when you first moved up there?
It does look peaceful and quiet.

Kimberlee said...

I tend to enjoy the coziness, but it does seem to get some people out of whack. Not being able to get outside for any length of time can be monotonous. If you're not in to movies, reading, or the people you happen to live with...cabin fever can set in rather easily. I think having internet helps, but that's not always reliable.

The sunlight is actually more difficult for me to handle (not that it's bad) because it's hard not to want to "go" 24/7 when you've got bright (super-bright) sunlight all the time.

Bryan said...

Yep, I know that I would definitely have more trouble dealing with the constant sun than the constant dark. And you are right, it Does look like the mood rings we used to have! (and are still out there, my daughter keeps one around) Does the moon affect or come into play with the darkness any? I just know that last night I could have read the fine print in my cel phone contract from the light of the moon.

Kimberlee said...

Glad to hear that mood rings haven't lost their charm! :)

This time of year is the only time that we can see stars and/or the moon clearly. Sometimes when the sky is clear and the moon is full, the light bounces off the snow and looks like the moon reflecting on the ocean. A lot of the time, though, our view of the moon is obscured by cloud cover or blowing snow or fog.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

I think the return of the "longer" days, if only by a minute or two each day, is such a mental thing. You just KNOW you're on the downhill side! I don't mind winter at all anymore, though I used to hate it, but it's all because I began thinking about it differently a few years ago. Like, "look, you have these months to get all this inside stuff you like to do - reading, sewing, baking, movies, crocheting, etc. accomplished. How much can you get done? What projects can you complete THIS winter?" It helps to look at the enclosed time as a gift, instead of a punishment of the weather! And the constant sun in the summer drove me INSANE when I was in AK. I can't SLEEP when it is still light at 3am! Though I think I would need an artificial sunlamp next to my computer in the winter, just to make my brain not crazy by March. Stay warm!!!

Kimberlee said...

I totally agree. It sounds like we've come to some of the same conclusions. I LOVE staying inside and doing things that I would never get done if I could go out. I can sleep in the summer, but I definitely sleep BETTER in the winter. I look forward to winter, but always feel happy when the sun returns. For one thing the sun rises are awesome! I'll try to post some when the time rolls around. :)

Hope you are having a restful holiday. Happy New Year too!