Up until now the days have been pretty short and the nights long but recently two things happened which dramatically shifted us into the light. First we went away for a week for spring break. When we left there was some usable light after school and we were starting to be able to get out and enjoy it. At this point we are gaining over 2 minutes of light a day or 15 minutes a week and an hour or more each month. Second, daylight savings kicked in. That added an hour so when we got back we had an extra hour and 15 minutes of light after school. By the end of March the sun is setting at about 10:30pm giving us almost 7 hours of after school light as opposed to the 3 and a half-ish at the end of February, about double.
While this is great for playing and having fun on weekends it does have its drawbacks. It can make it very difficult to get to sleep not only because it feels like day and your body doesn’t want to sleep but also because if you are not watching the clock you may not realize how late it is getting. The first problem is solved by most people with heavy blackout curtains, boarding up windows, or putting tinfoil over the windows. I will soon
need to work on covering the window but I would like to delay that as long as possible because we are also in peak aurora season. Sometimes if I wake up at night and am lucky I can see it through my window. If not the stars are nice too.
The other issue has to do with the students and village. Because it is light all the time the kids are out playing until they get tired, which lets face it, is never. That is fine on the weekends but come school when they have to get up it makes for a lot of tardies and sleepy kids.
I should also mention that temperatures have been fluctuating. We had a long stretch in February and March were it was near or above freezing but only a few days ago it was down near 0. Yesterday it was in the 20s and snowing and blowing and today it is up into the mid 30s. Tomorrow it could be in the 40s or back in the teens. The snow is feeling slushy today and a little more heat could turn the drifts into lakes.
If the warm wether continues it will also affect a number of activities. The Kobuk 440 is scheduled for this weekend. It is a dog race from Kotzebue to Kobuk and back but if there is no snow or too much overflow on the rivers and lakes then it may not happen. While the Kobuk 440 is probably safe the wind has taken a lot of the snow off the tundra and the sun is melting what is left meaning that the high school hot springs trip will probably not happen as it is a 50 mile ride across open tundra by snowgo. And the upriver prom, which is scheduled not quite a month from now in Ambler, is also in jeopardy. If the river is too dangerous or there is not enough snow to travel by snowgo then we would only be able to afford one plane load of kids(7) if that. Last year break up was the beginning of May and the river stops being safe at least a month before. With the warm winter and current warm weather we might be looking at a breakup much earlier this year.
So I guess the moral is that all this warm weather and light is nice but it would be great if the snow and ice would last just a little longer.
P.S. A mistake of mine deleted the pictures from all my past posts. I am trying to put them back but it will take time. So if you have not seen a particular post with pictures check back often.