Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's September...


And the leaves outside are highly yellow. Fall in interior Alaska! The light hitting the yellow leaves and white trunks of the birch trees is very pretty, extraordinarily so when set against a complimentary blue sky:

Yellow Fall Colors

Birch Grove

Up above the treeline, the tundra scrub is a deep red, the likes of which I have never seen anywhere else, with intermixed pockets of yellow:

Denali scenery


Alpine pass


And the sunsets, prolonged by the steep angle of the northern sun, rarely disappoint:

Sunset along the Parks highway

Sunset along the Parks highway Sunset along the Parks highway

It dips below freezing at night now. The days are getting shorter - when I returned to Alaska in July, there was no nighttime; tonight there will be around 8 hours of darkness. The sun is still up for around 45 minutes longer than it is in Arkansas; in two weeks, our daytime will be shorter than that in Arkansas. Our first snow will come soon, and it won't be long afterwards when the lakes and rivers freeze up. After that, we will be firmly in the winter regime - white, dark, and cold. We will be frozen into that state until the end of April, but all of those months are not created equally; Old Man Winter will be noticeably losing his grip on the landscape by the beginning of March. It's just that a Fairbanks winter has a lot of inertia to it, and it takes a while for the springtime sun to pry the land free of the ice.

It has been overcast and rainy for the past few days, and looks like it will continue to be so for the next few. This is disappointing - several CME's are due to strike Earth this weekend, and the resulting geomagnetic storms should make nice aurora viewing, if only we could see through the cloud layer. C'est la vie.

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