Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's Gettin' Dark Around Here

Curse thee, return to reality! Curse thee, early darkness so long avoided! Not only has the sun risen and set earlier than we’ve been accustomed to, but now we’ve been hit solid in the face with the return of Standard Time.

It would have been easier if we just let Mother Nature take her course: a minute or two darker in the morning, the same in the evening. But we jacked it up by a sudden hour in the Spring and then chopped it off just as suddenly in the Fall. For that, we pay.

Some years ago, we had a person from Uganda living with us. When it was autumn, he noticed the sun was setting more toward the south, and was worried. We casually told him it happens every year at this time: toward the south in the winter, toward the north in the summer. He never heard of such a thing.

“What happens where you live?” I asked.

“I live on the Equator. The sun comes up at 6:00 a.m. in the east,” he said, “and goes down at 6:00 p.m. in the west. It does not get dark so slowly in the evening like here; after about ten minutes, it is fully dark. It never changes.”

I told him about twilight when, in the summer, you can hang out after sunset as the sky slowly darkens, how the sun’s position in the sky changes over the course of the year, its rising and setting times maxing in late June and minimal in late December.


Anonymous ruthc said...

It's light earlier in the morning again! Am I the only one who is happy about that?

I HATE!HATE!HATE! getting up when it's pitch black out---and will remain pitch black the entire time I'm getting ready for the day.

November 04, 2007 10:06 AM  

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