Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summer is Coming, Part 2

One of the most frequent questions I am asked by Outsiders* is, "how dark is it there?" No matter what time of year, people assume it's dark all the time, because they heard that 'somewhere'. I enjoy telling them that in Whitehorse during the winter, it is indeed pretty dark, but the sky is still light between 10 am and 2 pm, with true darkness setting in at 4pm. (which isn't all that different from Ottawa, where I grew up).
In the summer, on the longest day, it hardly gets dark at all. As we get closer to June 21 (the solstice), nighttime becomes something we hardly see. It is light out when I go to bed about 11 and warm morning sun is already streaming in when I awake around 7. I haven't seen a star in months, and likely won't again until the end of August.
This abundance of sun means a few things.
For one, plants grow at an increased speed. This is really cool to see firsthand, like with my friend Johanna's crazy bean sprouts that are already monstrous after being planted mere weeks ago.
Also, when I get to doing projects after Abby's gone to bed, I often feel as though it's much earlier than it is. It's not unusual for me to be heavily involved in baking or reading before I check the clock and realize it's getting close to midnight. During summer, I always feel like I have all the time in the world to get things done.
The longer days also mean heat. Without much nighttime, there isn't much chance for the weather to cool down. In the Yukon's northernmost community, Old Crow, it's typical for houses to have air conditioning systems built in, because it is sunny all day long up there. During eight-month winter it's regularly -30 in Old Crow, but come summer months it's a scorcher nearly every day.
I took these pictures of the sky the other night, as I let Skylar our for one last pee before bed. Beautiful sunset just before the sun tucked itself away behind the mountains for an hour or so of rest before rising again!




* the term we Yukoners use for those who live South of the 60th parallel

2 comments:

  1. I have never heard the term Outsider before! Perhaps just a Whitehorse thing? I have only heard the term Southerner when referring to someone from south of 60.

    ReplyDelete
  2. At the paper, we refer to anywhere south of here as Outside (capital O)!

    ReplyDelete

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