Thirty three degrees F/one degree C. 16 hours 12 minutes visible light today.
Well, what a nice day this has been. I walked around taking photographs for a bit, dressed in a sweatshirt and no gloves. My first photograph records our temperature. The mercury at my cabin has risen above the freezing mark for the first time this year. I believe the last day we registered temperatures above freezing was mid-October of last year, nearly 6 months ago. Night-time temperatures are still in the teen’s and 20’s, but the forecast suggests we will have no more frozen daylight this year.
The snow is showing signs of melting and the spruce is greening up again. I can detect new growth on them. Every day’s twilight lingers a bit longer. Believe it or not, it is more difficult for me to adjust to the longer days of spring than to the shorter days of winter. The reason? The late night twilight is a trickster and fools me into thinking it is earlier than it really is. I stay up too late.
Yesterday and today I took my seventh graders out for nature walks. We try to get the kids outside in the spring. It is good for the soul and good for science. We collected spruce cones and looked for the signs of spring. Some of the cones will make there way to Texas, others are destined for points farther east.
People tell me all the time that they can’t imagine living in a place so cold and dark. Those aren’t so hard to bear as you might think. More difficult for me has been the long absence of the smell and the feel and the look of the earth.
This has been my first year above the Arctic Circle. It has been an experience unlike any other I have ever known. We are certainly not in Texas anymore! They have a saying there, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a moment and it will change.” Well, if you don’t like Alaskan weather, prepare yourself for a bit of a wait.
It is 10:05 pm and twilight.