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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

lightness and darkness in the Yukon

8:15 am

9:30 am

4:30 pm

4:30 pm

5:15 pm

My firend Sarah beat me to it the other day on her blog. I had just been thinking the exact same thing as her, that I don't write nearly enough about life here in the Yukon. I've read it in my comments that people like to hear stories about the Yukon, and sometimes I forget that this place that I live in might seem exotic to others, so I have decided to make more effort to write about it here on my little blog. I'm sure when I'm older and I come back and read my blog, that someday I'll appreciate that I wrote more about it here.
So this post is going to be about the daylight or lack there of in the wintertime. A real contrast to what it was like here in June.
As most of you know, we are approaching the shortest day of the year, December 21st, Winter Solstice. And since Witehors, Yukon is above the 60th parallel, we receive the least amount of light on Winter's Solstice and the most light on Summer's Solstice.
Right now as we approach December 21st, our days get shorter and shorter by a difference of 6 minutes each day (or so I've been told, correct me if I am wrong). What that means for us is that when we wake up, it is still very very dark outside. You can see this in my first picture that was taken outside my back door at around 8:15 am.
The second picture was taken at about 9:30 am, it is starting to get lighter outside but the sun still won't be fully up until at least 10am or so.
And as for the sun setting, well it is quite noticeable at around 4:00 that it is getting dark. The sun actually set today at about 3:45. The third picture you can see was taken at about4:15 in the afternoon. The last picture and most dark was taken at 5:15 in the afternoon-complete darkness.
With the days getting shorter and shorter and the temperature hovering at around -20, you can probably imagine that we really feel the effects of winter here. To help combat feelings of hibernation, it's important to get out during the day and to try and get some sun as often as we can. Vitamin D is essential, as is finding places to let little ones romp around (thank goodness for libraries and sports centers). These are just a few of the survival tactics that I am beginning to learn about.
Another important survival key is to remain social and to get out and interact with others. Just today I took Noah to the library for story time and then we went out for coffee with some of the mamas and babes in the class, as always it's so nice to socialize and be around others. It can be easy to just want to stay in and not venture out when it gets dark and cold, but after one too many days of that kind of behavior, cabin fever can start to take over. So I do my best to make sure that Noah and I have many things planned and places to go if we need to get out of the house.
And so that is my little explanation of lightness and darkness in the Yukon.
On the 21st I have planned a little Winter Solstice dinner that will be held in candle light. I'm actually kind of excited to see how dark that day is and to allow the feelings that come of being submersed in darkness take over our household. All in all, I would say that I have been enjoying this transition into a slower season.
Hope you have enjoyed this little Yukon post. For all those Southerners, if you would like me to write on a specific topic or want to hear more about the Yukon, please let me know in the comments section.


  1. Johanna, I do love the posts on the Yukon. What little I know of the Yukon was garnered from the pages of Elizabeth Hays' book Late nights on Air, which I am sure is loosely based on real life. So that means not much.

    Are there lots of transplanted people there, or most of them native to the area? How does your husband find it after working in Hamilton. It must be vastly different!

  2. I have a good friend who grew up in Alaska so I love hearing her stories of her mom putting foil on her windows in the summer!
    I'm too excited for solstice this year! Your dinner sounds wonderful.

  3. love the pictures ! :) you're really good!

  4. Thanks for the comments so far ladies!
    Chania, I plan on answering some of your questions in a post pretty soon! xox

  5. wow! this is amazing. such lovely photos.


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