Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Edges of daylight

The days are shrinking...

I always find it amazing how fast the daylight seems to change as we move away from the summer solstice. Somehow, I don't notice the change right away - but this week I feel like it has slapped me in the face. On a non-commute-to-work-by-bike day close to the solstice, I could easily grab a before-work ride at 5Am. At that time of the morning now it is still quite dark.

Just out of curiosity, I went to the National Weather Service Sun & Moon page for this area to compare the daylight hours. On the day of the summer solstice the sun rose at 5:17AM and set at 8:26PM, for a total of 15.2 hours of possible daylight. Today, the sun rose at 5:45AMm and set at 7:55PM, for a total of 14.1 hours of daylight.

You wouldn't think that difference would be noticeable - it's really just an hour, split between the edges of the day. It creeps up, easing the change into your conscious. And all of a sudden, it seems to jump out and slap you in the face.

Sun rising, morning commute to work, 6:30AM...

Heading home, shadows encroaching, 5:45PM...

If you're worried, it wasn't anywhere close to dark at this point - I was just traveling down a partially shaded road.

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