December 1, 2012

Darkmonth.

December is upon us. A string of 31 days in a row with just about 9 hours of sunlight up here in The North. Maybe where you are it's not as dark, but what are you doing to deal with the dark?

What I'm doing this year is adapting my sleeping hours so that I experience every bit of the light. Sunrise took place at 7:10 this morning, but the pre-dawn light arrives much earlier, and I was up at 5, absorbing every trace, even imagined glimmers and mere moonlight.

Last Thursday, after class, walking home at 5...

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... I absorb fading twilight....

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... over Lake Mendota.


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38 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Long, dark winter nights in Woodstock!

Out here in the mountains, there is no ambient light. So, when I take a midnight walk in my back yard in winter, the moon and stars shine brilliant.

A good place and time to contemplate one's mortality.

Like all things, all is not perfect. An occasional jet roars by at low altitude from time to time. Approaching Albany airport.

Just got in 10 sets of acoustic guitar strings and 10 sets of electric guitar strings. Lot of shit to be rehearsed for upcoming gigs. Woodshedding. Long, dark winter nights are good for that!

rehajm said...

...what are you doing to deal with the dark?

This, though not just at breakfast.

rhhardin said...

It's always day on the internet.

Meade said...

You look a little like Calvin.

Tank said...

Night time is when all the best music happens.

The darkness is my friend.

Sorun said...

"...what are you doing to deal with the dark?"

I have Christmas lights up, which makes it significantly less dark at night.

ricpic said...

The miracle of Christmas, for us seculars, is the barely perceptible increase in daylight four days after the solstice. Barely perceptible but there, finally.

bwebster said...

We live in Colorado (southeast of Denver) in a long house that's elevated on a ridge, that's oriented east-west, and that has large windows in every southern wall. As such, we tend to be aware of every minute of light, from the earliest pre-dawn glows over the eastern plains to lingering twilight over the Rockies. It helps this time of year. :-)

Carol said...

It's time to practice my music and finally get into Kindle downloads of public domain stuff...right now, loving Henry James' sendup of radical feminists in the The Bostonians.

Also, drinking.

Noz pkr said...

A remedy for seasonal darkness:

The movie... Life of Pi. Faithful to the Martel novel; brilliant cinematography and CG effects, dazzling physical and moral light.

A must-see for a Life of Pi reader and highly recommended for those in darkness of the time of the year or of the spirit.

pm317 said...

I though this picture in your photostream was stunning.

pm317 said...

I share your joy. I saw a beautiful moonrise over the Potomac as I drove back from work on Thu. Too bad I was on the road doing 50+ and couldn't take a picture. But I absorbed every bit of it into being.

Here is some unsolicited advice.. if you have a long commute, first thing you do us to buy a new car. Lexus CT200h, great commute car!

Lawyer Mom said...

Why do I feel like I'm in a McDonald's in Paris?

Lawyer Mom said...

Why do I feel like I'm in a McDonald's in Paris?

Ann Althouse said...

"The movie... Life of Pi. Faithful to the Martel novel; brilliant cinematography and CG effects, dazzling physical and moral light."

But don't go to the movies during daylight hours. Find artificially lit things for evening, but by day, get outside or work in front of a big bright window.

Palladian said...

I love the cold darkness and curse the light.

pm317 said...



What if there are no windows and you are cooped up in a cave doing stuff that should not see any daylight?

pm317 said...

I should add, not everyone works in the open (and the unhinged) academia.

DADvocate said...

This explains the earlier than usual blog posts. If I leave work promptly at 5:00PM, it's dark by the time I get home. If I leave at 5:20 or later, it's dark by the time I get to my car.

edutcher said...

In my pedestrian days, I used to love the sunset as I walked home.

The dark doesn't bother me the way it bothers Herself. She's very sensitive to SAD.

Meade said...

You look a little like Calvin.

She reminds me of somebody in that shot.

Love the hat.

Ann Althouse said...

"I love the cold darkness and curse the light."

You need to migrate north. It's so much darker in Madison in December than in NYC.

edutcher said...

PS Is it a Roger Simon fedora or a derby?

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, I just looked up the difference in sunlight. It's around 15 minutes more sunlight in NY. My perception was really distorted.

Erika said...

My plan is to bitch about today's predicted high of 85 here in SoTx. A bit ridiculous, even for us. I'm running my damn air conditioner on the first of December. It gets light before 7 and isn't dark until around 6, maybe a bit later.

I would like to have a little dark and dreary (cozy!) winter weather. I miss the Decembers of my youth in which it didn't get light until well into the school day and it was dark by 4:30.

galdosiana said...

There are no windows in my office.

Ann Althouse said...

"PS Is it a Roger Simon fedora or a derby?"

That's a real Borsalino fedora. Buy one here. Great gift if you know the head size. Mine's extra large.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Like bwebster, we also have fabulous early morning sunrises (Early morning winter sunrise in snow)and long lingering afternoon light. Our house is also situated to receive a solar contribution all day long, with windows and skylights that gather the light. Unless it is overcast, which is rare for us. We have mostly sunny skies year round.

Like Althouse, I go outside as often as I can during the day to garden or sit by a window if I am reading or knitting.

I'm not tied to an office anymore and don't have to punch a clock. I wake up when I want and go to bed when I feel like it. Free!!!!

ndspinelli said...

Sounds like Althouse has S.A.D.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mine's extra large

Fat head? :-D

Sorry couldn't resist.

MadisonMan said...

Do you have a lightbox? My wife needs one, and my sister (who lives even further north, about 62 N), uses one also.

By January my wife can taper off her usage.

The one we have has fluorescents -- a variety -- to produce natural light. It's kinda old, and I think a LED one now would be a lot smaller.

Meade said...

MadMan, can't you're wife just go out to the SW Commuter Path and stand under one of the test lights? Presto - depression gone!

MadisonMan said...

And let me add, about that Thursday photo: This past Thursday, with all that sun and no wind, was about as nice a day as you can ever expect in late November. It was so delightful outside. The picture of you, although good, doesn't do that day justice. More November days like that please !

William said...

I recommend sleeping late and taking a Vitamin D capsule. The world is a far sunnier place if you sleep late.

Palladian said...

Actually, I just looked up the difference in sunlight. It's around 15 minutes more sunlight in NY. My perception was really distorted.

There's so much more exterior artificial light here than in other places, which may be why you remember NY as so much less dark.

ALP said...

This is my household's fourth year of unemployment - thus our fourth "Unemployed Winter". If you are unemployed, winter is the best time. You can indulge your body's tendency to sleep much longer - almost like semi-hibernation. It is wonderful to be able to follow the rhythms of your body perfectly - not so much fun watching savings deplete. Additionally, since being laid off, we have stopped getting the flu during the winters - who would we catch it from?

Jim S. said...

I'm in Belgium, which is farther north than the lower 48. So the days get significantly shorter in winter than what I was used to in the States.

Will Cate said...

I noticed also the virtually-full moon brightening the pre-dawn hour (as I was walking my dog).

Winter Solstice is my favorite day, since the days all get longer afterwards.

AmericanWoman said...

Great pictures Ann. Our Madison evening skies have been unusually beautiful lately - I am loving them.