Sunday, June 21, 2009

long days and short nights

england is known for its rainy weather and dreary days, but one thing i forgot to consider before i moved here is just how far north it lies on the earth! nottingham sits at a latitude of almost 53° north of the equator. due to the tilt of earth on its axis, when the north pole is facing towards the sun (summer in the northern hemisphere), the sky doesnt really get dark until well after 10pm and the begins to get light again before 4am!

i realize places even farther north get less, or no dark time, but i've never lived in a place where i experience this and i have to say - it's weird! when i wake up and feel light pouring in my system and think to myself - oh, it must be about time to wake up - but then open my eyes and see that's its only 4:30 am!?! maybe it should make me happy that i have so many more hours to continue sleeping, but i've been having a hard time getting back to sleep in such brightness (even with my eye cover, but that does help).

anyway, all this complaining is mostly to say that i'm very excited to celebrate the solstice tonight because that means the nights will start getting longer again in the northern hemisphere. yay!!

some friends are having a party and our goal is to watch the sun sloooowly set and then stay awake to watch it rise again!

happy solstice!


amydove said...

Of course the other side of the story is winter. I would have gone nuts without the sun!

Unknown said...

thats true - it felt a little defeating to be sitting at work at 3 pm with darkness outside the big window next to my desk! (i had to mention the window part, since we didnt have window's in our offices as graduate students in austin ;)

Julia said...

That is a fantastic idea for a party.

Eva said...

I just realized I will have TWO winter solstices this year... I didn't think of that when I planned my trip to the other hemisphere.

Big Mark 243 said...

When I was teen, I began to set my body to the solstices ... esp. the winter one. I would tell myself that each day there was more light, more energy to charge my body with.

There was a film ... Al Pacino did the American version of it, where he had to solve a crime in Alaska and had to deal with all the sunlight, coming from the lower 48 as he was ...

... on the other side of that, is the movie '30 days of night' and silly and unapologetic vampire movie that made little sense, but was big fun!!

Be well!

Niall said...

Who cares about short days in winter when you can have the magical moment of wandering home from the pub with a faint residual glow in the sky to the north.

TallTchr said...

I'm not sure if last night or this night is the year's shortest, but I'm celebrating the solstice with a cigar and a brandy on the back deck with the setting sun. Hope you enjoyed it, too.