I don't want to say that I'm over the whole 24 hour daylight thing, but this year I went to bed at 11pm on the 21st. I've done the stay-up-all-night thing before, and just didn't feel the need this year. It was a crazy week, with work, meetings and multiplying commitments all making me feel tired and old. A good night's sleep--as good as I could get, considering just how bright it is in this cabin with its thin curtains--was more valuable. I did snap a picture from my "desk" (the sewing machine table with my laptop on it) as I sat up reading resumes on Wednesday night. At 11:04 pm, there was still bright sunshine out:
And yeah... the window doesn't stay open on it's own, so I use a rolling pin, and my grandmother's crystal lives next to a random cracked mug, some Ikea candle holders and my Donna Akrey sculptures. I don't quite have the shelf space to display my objets d'art appropriately.
For comparison, here's a photograph from 2008, taken at 1:52 am:
Sunset-ish down at river-level, but up on the Dome above town it would have been even brighter. The settings on the camera actually make it look darker than it was.
I was more diligent back in December, when experiencing my first winter solstice in Dawson. I didn't manage to take a photograph every hour like I planned, but did get a few. This is 10:18 am on December 21, 2010, before the sun was up:
It was only -31 outside--cold enough but not too bad. At 12:36, the sun was just above the hills south of town:
And then the sun was pretty much set by by 4:36 in the afternoon, although the roses that Ben brought for me kept things cheery inside:
Looking at these dark photos it helpful for perspective: I shouldn't really wish these long summer days away, because once they're gone, there is a long succession of long winter nights to follow. It's the balance and cycle that keeps it tolerable--and being able to go Outside and get away from it every now and again. Going to the beach in January--even if it wasn't a tropical beach as such--cures a lot of things.
Botanical Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on Vancouver Island was chilly enough to require toques and scarves, but it was still fabulous. And lovely to see the family--that's my brother, his wife and their baby-in-a-backpack watching the waves.