Dim

View from Lynch's

I’m not crazy about winter’s lack of sunlight. I get by, but I don’t particularly enjoy it. One of my regular stops is the National Research Council’s Sunrise/Sunset calculator, which tells me the precise times of sunrises, sunsets and twilight’s beginnings and ends for any given day.

For instance, I look up December 21, 2006 and find that we got 8.43 hours (8 hours, 25.8 min) of daylight and another 1.2 of twilight for a total of 9.63 hours of some sort of light.

Now, on January 21, 2007, we’re moving up to 9.08 hours (9 hours, 4.8 min) of daylight, with 1.14 hours of twilight for a grand total of 10.22 hours of illumination. We’ve gained a whopping 39 minutes. Woo-hoo!

By Valentine’s Day, we’ll be up to 10.23 hours of daylight, 1.06 hours of twilight for a total of 11.28 hours of light. Sixty-nine more minutes of daylight than we’re getting now, not counting twilight changes. Not bad.

By mid-March, I’m usually feeling human again in the mornings. I get up in the light, John drives home in the light, everyone’s happy. Right? Well, technically, on March 11th, dawn would come at 7:09, with twilight starting at 6:37. You get out of bed in the light and jump into the day. The sun sets at 6:00 and dusk ends at 6:31. Lots of light, at just the right times. Except the government doesn’t like that. We’re starting Daylight Saving Time on March 11th this year, roughly a month early. Every bit of hard-won progress we’ve made will be nipped in the bud. Zap!

So, come March, I’ll be getting up in the dark, again. Sure, it’ll be light later in the evening, but that makes no real difference to us as John gets home between 6 and seven sometime and we roll right into the supper-Katherine to bed-evening work routine. I’m not sure what the real point of this was. I’m reserving final judgement on exactly how stupid an idea it is until we try it out, but I’m not happy.

Ben Franklin thought up the original idea of Daylight Saving. Franklin was a clever man. I’m not sure his successors, to whom I attribute this current manifestation of temporal distortion, are quite as illustrious. But I may have known that before the whole daylight thing came up.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    I, too, found difficulty with that period of the year when I’d go to work in the dark, and arrive home in the dark. My solution was a number of small lamps on timers. All used nightlight bulbs, and were brightly greeting me morning & night. Although not extremely bright, they provided enough of a “false dawn” and sunset to prevent the blues.

  2. sarai. says:

    I tend to agree with you, Vicky. I am enjoying the longer days that come from living at 45 degrees North as opposed to the low fifties, but I won’t be liking the return to darker mornings. The effect is worse the farther north you go, of course.

    Figures.

  3. Di says:

    G’day!
    We are coming to Newfoundland in June and was trying to find out about the hours of daylight when I stumbled into your blog. I just wanted to say that I love the photo at the top of your page and it makes us even keener to visit your area.

  4. VickyTH says:

    Thanks, Di! Drop me a line before you come. The photo was taken at Middle Cove, in Torbay, just outside of St. John’s. More photos of Newfoundland can be found here (the Middle Cove ones are in their own set):
    http://flickr.com/photos/taylorhood/sets/

    June will likely be cool and possibly foggy at the beginning. Of course, it varies greatly, but I’d suggest bringing a warm sweater and a raincoat, as well as shorts and sunblock. In June, you just never know WHAT it will be like!

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