Friday, September 09, 2011
Sliding towards the Equinox
Here on Kodiak it isn't quite Fall - Yet. But a couple of weeks ago in the Brooks Range of North Alaska it was already Fall, and I gather the leaves have already turned in Anchorage too. So slowly but surely Fall seems to be moving our way.
One of the surprises of our Sheep hunt to the Brooks Range was how light it still was up there. The sun came up at 5 AM and did not set until around midnight. Since it was already getting dark at night here on Kodiak I expected the same up there. But if you think about it, 'equinox' means 'equal night'. Night and day is the same time - and this is true no matter where you are in the world on that particular date. All the nights are equal. Up North in the Brooks Range there is more light than places down South until the equinox and less afterwards. However, since there is so much more light in the summer and so much less in the winter the daylight slides much more quickly between the two extremes. On Kodiak this time of year we lose around 5 minutes of daylight a day, but up there I bet it is closer to 15 minutes a day.
Because of our maritime climate Kodiak seems to have Falls that last forever. The leaves do change in September but we do not usually get snow until sometime in November, and we usually eat out of the garden well into December. But I am pleased to note that the pushki has already died back and that the fireweed has already turned red. Fall is slowly coming to Kodiak.
Photos: Fall colors from the Brooks Range in Late August.