Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Savings has ended ...

Daylight savings time (DST) has ended, or as the British call it "Summer time", and the days are now much shorter here. I was driving home from my parents' this afternoon around 5:30pm, and it was quite dark. There was just a little bit of sunset remaining over the horizon.

To many Americans (particularly those who are significantly south), you may not realize how short and long our northern days vary through the seasons. In the summer, where I live (in southern Canada), we lose the last remnants of daylight just after 9:15 on the longest days. In the winter, we'll lose the last remnants of daylight by 5pm on the shortest days, which are about 6 weeks away. I was shocked by how much shorter and longer the days are just 150 km north of here. I lived in Arnprior for 1 year, and the sun set around 4pm in the winter, but lingered until 10pm in the summer. [In the northern communities, the summer sees 24-hour sunlight in the summer and 24-hour darkness in the winter.]

I lived in southern England for 4 months for the first 4 months of 2005, and was amazed at how much more northern this much more temperate climate is. It was dark shortly after 3pm, but instead of the subzero temperatures we experience in Canada, southern England didn't often dip much below freezing! Lucky them, getting the Gulf Stream (or North Atlantic Current) to warm them up!

Driving home, on the one hand I was depressed by the shortening days, but on the other hand, I was excited when I thought about the upcoming holiday season. I love December! So I might as well look forward to December for now ... because the short days aren't so pleasant in January and early February when there aren't the holidays to add a little sparkle and joy!

No comments:

Post a Comment