The Great Midnight Sun Is Dwindling

by Lynn

People always ask me if the darkness of our short days bothers me throughout the winter months here in our part of Alaska. The short answer to that question is, no.

The Midnight Sun and I, however, have a different relationship.

While extended daylight does provide extra time to do certain activities, it’s easy to lose track of time and before you know it, it’s 2am. This is great if you are a night owl like I was in my younger days, but the older I get the more I appreciate 7 solid hours of sleep, without that sleep being broken.

During the summer, broken sleep (and a lack of sleep) is something I’ve become used to, but is something I dont like. We have blackout curtains, but a little light still comes through the top and any cracks. I told Daryl earlier this summer that I’d like to tint the windows, but that isn’t something that’s high on the priority list, if at all.

Maybe it’ll happen next year? We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose.

The Midnight Sun
This is a summer shot that Daryl took from the top of the fuel truck when he was still hauling fuel.
The time was 1:19am near Paxson. I guess in the case, it would be after midnight sun!
He was heading home, but had to stop and get this shot of the sunset.

Angry August

I really wish I was the one that came up with the phrase, “Angry August”, but I’m not. That credit goes to an unnamed person from when I worked at the fuel docks in Valdez. Most everyone was a bit snappy that day and he said something like, “angry August making its arrival”.

Boy, oh boy, he wasn’t wrong! I laughed at what he said and we both got a good chuckle.

By the time August rolls around, the lack of sleep has finally caught up to me and I tend to be a little moodier than normal. Add in the extra traffic from everywhere, the list of chores that are only growing, and everyone just needing a break in general.

This time of year is crunch time before the snow starts flying, and it’s also when hunting season is kicking off. We start trading one set of chores for others while still having to do some of the same things regardless.

Some have been on the list all summer and haven’t even been started…

Saga - Deadliest Catch
“Saga” docked at the fuel docks in Valdez, Alaska

You Can Feel The Clock Ticking

As this month has gone on, you can feel the shift in the air, as always. The days are now getting shorter and you can feel fall coming in the air and all the visuals around you. In our area, the Fireweed has now lost all of its flowers and we’re just waiting on it to turn into a web of cotton.

“When fireweed turns to cotton, summer is soon forgotten.” 

— Unknown

The snow is coming further and further down Mt Drum, but the termination dust on the lower peaks hasn’t made its appearance yet.

Fall is our shortest season of the year, or so it seems in our area. The leaves have started turning now and before we know it we will be shoveling snow and nestled down for the winter.

Last year the snow came in late September for us here in the Copper Valley. I believe the Fireweed, and I’m fully expecting another September snowfall again this year.

Goodbye summer — hello fall.

Winter, we see you coming.

Here’s to the shorter days of winter!

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