Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Darkest Days in Reykjavík

We are nearing the darkest days of the year in Reykjavík; there will be two more weeks of increasing darkness until the Winter Equinox. Then slowly, the reversal begins, back to brighter days, and the frenetic activity of summer.

When I first moved here in September, things outside looked pretty much like they did back in New York State. It was bright and cheery when I woke up at 9am, and then dark around 9pm, pretty much like autumn. This picture was around the beginning of October.

Come November, I started to say, wow, this sun is quite low in the sky, and everything is golden-hued from sideways lighting. You can absolutely feel the shortening light, which at its peak, decreases by about 6 minutes every day.

Now in December, there is less light lost per day, but it's just basically grey out a lot. If it's cloudy, then it's even dimmer. When it's sunny I like to run out and stare at the briefly-appearing ball of light, just to say I saw it that day. The sun doesn't climb high enough in the sky to really melt even the frost on the sidewalks, so if the temperature stays below freezing, the sidewalks could stay slippery for a whole week.

To some, it sounds depressing, which it could be, especially for people working- they go to work when it's dark, sit in an office for most of the day, and leave when it's dark- one might never see the sun all week unless to go out for a lunch break. But because of my schedule here (or lack thereof), I can go out for a walk, do some exercises, go to the pool; having this kind of change in daylight is really quite magical. Time really does move differently this time of year; people are sleepier, they have more parties at home, they might be a little quieter.

Today the sun officially rises at 11:01am and sets at 3:37pm.
This is a shot of my bedroom this morning at 10:45 in the morning! It be dark.

And this is a shot of my bedroom at full daylight, around 1 in the afternoon.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for my early afternoon nap. Yawn..

1 comment:

ECS said...

as a person working I have to point out one great benefit I experience in my window-filled office on a high floor. Nonstop sunrise/sunset action for the month of December, as long as the weather is clear! It's sometimes nice to not have to get up at 5:30 in order to witness sunrise.