Where I live the sun is no longer visible. Due to geography, my home is already in the Polar Night. Nevertheless, the sun is still visible in other parts of Lødingen.
My colleague in Finnsnes has a countdown to the start of the Polar Night on his competing blog. It should be noted, however, as I have previously pointed out, that these dates are often academic. In Lødingen the Polar Night should not begin until the 6th December…. but of course, the earth isn’t flat, and just like the place I live in Lødingen loses all sunlight the last week of November.
As the Polar Night draws ever nearer, we have now come to the point where the sunset is in the middle of the day! Where I live we are – to all intents and purposes – already in the Polar Night. Although the sun is still there, as you can see from this photograph, you have to get on top of the mountain to see it.
Our church is still lit by the sun midday, but even from here you will see that there is a difference between the maths of when the Polar Night begins and when it does in practice – if you look towards the sunset on this picture you will see the mountains on the other side of the fjord. These will in practice hide the sunshine from all of Lødingen from the end of November. That makes the maths that say the Polar Night starts on the 6th December academic.
The picture was taken at five to one this afternoon. The Polar Night has almost come!
This picture is the first “real” one in our series Daily Pictures. It was taken at midday November 8th. So it is the “freshest” Daily picture yet.
We are now very near the start of the Polar Night. Although the sun is still above the horizon in the middle of the day, there is a distinctive gloom; the light is much weaker now, and one feels like it is evening even though it is lunchtime. Depending on where you are, the sun will soon be disappearing…
Jon Blamire, my colleague further North will lose the sun in the last week of November, or at least he would if there were no mountains. In reality, he will be in the Polar Night after the 14th November next week! I’m a little better off because Lødingen doesn’t actually enter the Polar Night until the 6th December, although for the same reasons we won’t see the sun after the last week of November.
A curious thing about this time of year is the wildlife. There are seagulls everywhere! It seems as though they are taking a final physical exercise before the dark time ahead.
For the photo lovers, here is a bonus picture. As already mentioned, Daily Photo returns for registered users on the 4th November. If you are logged in, you can see a colour picture of our nature every day through the Polar Night.
This picture was taken from the ferry yesterday. It is fitting that I should post a picture of what is known as the “National Peak”. 22 years ago to this very day, I arrived from England to start my new life in this country. That was also a Friday, and I spent my first night at the residency of the priest on Hitra.
This gallery contains 7 photos.
I see Jon Blamire is reporting the onset of the autumn in his Arctic Organist blog. Not to be outdone, Yorkshire Viking Norway follows up with this gallery of images from Lødingen!
Temperatures are certainly beginning to fall now although, as Jon also reports, they are still higher than normal. Today the weather has been very wet and windy. During a brief respite from the precipitation, I took myself to Nygård mountain where Lødingen’s main TV and radio transmitter is situated. This gives a wonderful vantage point for photographs of our town.
Snow affects us all differently. How it affects us seems to change with age as well. I remember reading callmeSheBear, one of my favourite blogs a month ago, and that post pretty much summed it up for me.
During the Winter thus far, we haven’t actually had very much of it. That seems to have been rectified. The clouds are just rolling in, and instead of showering us in torrential rain every day are finally giving us the precipitation people tend to associated associate us with.
As callmeSheBear has noticed, there is a magic about the snow that transcends its nuisance value! I love it when the trees get covered like this. It’s also a very good indication of whether the snow is likely to melt too. When the temperature is at, or above freezing, the snow quickly melts from off the tree branches – so you can “see” from looking outside your window if it is above freezing.
Of course the snow really can be a nuisance. Once again I had to dig myself out, and all the way to the garage in order to do the shopping today. Some of my Facebook friends in England posted pictures of them doing the same, and a friend of mine in Carcroft really surprised me with the pictures he posted. Nevertheless, while it is clear that there is snow in England right now, I still think you English are getting off remarkably lightly…. that you should be making such a fuss about it!
So when I had finally gotten to my car, I drove first to buy my lottery ticket. If you see a flying pig, you’ll know that my numbers came up this week. In fact the lottery is on even as I am typing this, but since the telephone has not disturbed me I think it is fairly safe to assume that I shall not be going to Leipzig just now. I have decided that if ever I win it I shall take one month’s unpaid permission, and go to Leipzig in order to hear the one and only Thomanerchor. Oh well…
For me the snow is only a nuisance. I realize some people don’t like it, but I just don’t like having to keep clearing it up all the time. Nevertheless, it is all pretty normal, and unlike the United Kingdom we don’t stop every single service, and close all our schools whenever we see a little snowflake!
I can understand:
- that these days teachers often live at a distance from the schools they teach in
- that there are no studded, winter tyres in England (and these are also illegal too)
I cannot, however, understand why there should be the chaos every time it snows there. From what I can see, there really is very little compared to us. Yes it can be icy; but I cannot for the life of me think of meeting the same conditions as met me on my drive to Vestbygd last Monday – there was sleet, a lot of water underneath thick slush, all of which rested on thick frozen ice. Now that was slippery! I crawled along at about 25 miles per hour (see I even converted my speed for you!).
What is more, we are miles away from large population areas; most schools in England, closed even as one can see tufts of grass showing on their playing fields, are well within such areas. Yet snow apparently renders all civilisation helpless, for some reason. Perhaps they have the wrong sort of snow over there. It must certainly be very dangerous, given they have so little of it!
callmeSheBear is right, I think. Those of you reading this in England will have to read what she says about it. She rediscovered the magic of snow. Oh, and she has some absolutely wonderful photography on her blog as well.
“We drove back home from our winter walk in the woods, and I wondered when I lost that ability to see the magic in winter. I doubt that I will figure out exactly when and why I lost it. All I know for sure is that I saw a hint of some familiar magic in the snowy landscape that day and I want more of it.” – callmeSheBear 27th December 2012
That post from callmeSheBear was called “Feel the Magic”. When I see what has happened to my backyard, I completely agree!
This winter has been rather special. We haven’t had that much snow. As you all know, because of global warming, we shall soon be able to sunbathe under palm trees from every street…
As you may gather from my cynical tone, I don’t hold much truth in that theory, but then neither am I so worried when it doesn’t snow. It means more work for me. I have to dig myself out. What is worse, when I have cleared a path to the garage, the snow plough comes along to clear the road – leaving a pile dumped at the swing (which is where my garage is) and I then have to manually dig myself out of that.
We don’t have a lot of the stuff yet. More is now forecast, so I suppose I shall just have to get used to shovelling myself to the garage every morning…. and afternoon…. and evening:( Thankfully the temperatures have plunged below zero again, making the snow more like dry sand. It is far worse when wet because then it is very heavy.
Everything looked so beautifully fresh and white today that black and white just seemed to suggest itself automatically. Perhaps you can’t see the problem I have with the snow plough on this photograph, so take a look at the next.
When the plough has come along, there is usually a wall of snow at the sides of the road, blocking my path from the garage. It is extremely, extremely irritating when I have spent half an hour shovelling free access – and then just as I am sitting down getting my breath back inside I shall hear the plough coming, and see to my dismay that I have to go out and start afresh. What is worse, the plough tends to leave more snow than there was in the first place! When this is wet, as mentioned above, this is backbreaking work.
Norwegians have a saying about the snow (at least my type of Norwegians, who aren’t fond of all the trouble that comes with it). We say “snow is nice – up on the mountain”! Nevertheless, I must admit that there is something very special about the lighting conditions when snow first falls. It conjures up a certain excitement from childhood years, and everything looks strangely different. You see things, quite literally, in a new light.
It is hard to believe that only two weeks ago there was no day, and only twilight. Today the sun came up at ten o’clock and went down at half past two! The light grows stronger each day, and this is made yet more powerful by the snow. I shall soon require my sunglasses in order to be able to drive.
So like the Brits, the snow has also come to us. Needless to say, we shall not be closing our schools, shutting everything down, and life will go on pretty much as normal. That is apparently not what happens in the United Kingdom, with much less of the stuff than even we got today.
Today I have been preoccupied with an Advent concert in Lødingen Church, and because the Adwick School business has also taken considerable time in preparing this blog, I have not been able to take any photographs.
However, true to my word, there will be at least one photograph for you photoholics throughout the Polar Night. This was taken yesterday, just at the time my school friends were visiting my old school. Tomorrow we shall be having a concert in this church.
Lødingen Church in the Polar Night