Thursday, May 21, 2015

Land of the midnight sun and myths

Taken May 9, 11:30 PM
I currently live and work in the largest state of the union.  No it is not Texas, it is Alaska.  Alaska actually is much bigger than Texas.  When people hear I live in Alaska, I hear "oh yes you have 6 months of light and 6 months of darkness!"  My response is "What do you think we do?  Hire someone to turn the sun off for 6 months?"

I'm far enough south that even in winter, I have about 6 hours of daylight and in the summer,  it never gets fully dark because the sun does not go far enough below the horizon.  It is more like a dusky twilight look.

Kenai River, Fishing, Boat, Alaska
Summers are fun when you get light most of the time from around the end of April to September or so but it also depends on what part of Alaska you live in.  If you are down by Sitka, they get less light than if you are up in Barrow in the summer.

Denali National Park, Alaska, Winter
In the winter, you have to be above the Arctic circle to get the extremely long nights.  To get the super long nights or total darkness for 24 hours, the sun has to get 6 degrees below the horizon to get full dark.  If you are just above the Arctic circle, you can still have one hour of sunlight per day from the light rays peeking over the horizon. 

Even in Barrow, they do not get 6 months of darkness.  They only get about 2 months where they don't see the sun at all.

Moon, Mountain, Alaska, Winter, SnowNo we don't live in igloos.   The only igloos I've seen have been those made during cultural heritage week.  Igloos are actually an emergency building used as needed but not lived in for a whole winter.  Hunters and travelers have also made emergency buildings out of snow.

One of the coolest things about winter is seeing a moon that is almost as bright as the sun on some days.  Yes, there are times when both the sun and the moon are out at the same time.  It is also cool watching the moon circle above the horizon .

The joke up here is that Alaska's state bird is the mosquito.  I hope everyone is enjoying their spring/summer. 

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