Monday, August 13, 2007
With a little luck, the hottest days of the summer should now be past. I certainly hope so anyway. This past weekend graced the area with both lower temperatures and lower humidity, both a big relief to me. Around the mountain I’m starting to notice far fewer wildflowers than I saw just a week or so ago. Many of the summer flowers are gone or at least past their peaks. The forest has taken on that deep, almost dull green of late summer.
With the passing of the hottest weather, the area’s hawkwatches are starting to get more active with the first fall migrants. The reports have risen from a handful of raptors each day to perhaps a few dozen birds on the day after a front passes.
My meteor viewing this weekend did not go as planned, unfortunately. Saturday, the day before the peak viewing, was perfectly clear. I saw a few meteors early in the evening but felt tired and wasn’t out very late. Sunday was the peak of the Perseid shower, and the forecast was for another clear night. Unfortunately, as has happened so many times in recent years, the forecast was wrong. It was pretty cloudy and even sprinkled a bit, so I only saw one meteor before the overcast sky blocked all viewing.
My photo today was taken this morning before sunlight had penetrated much into the forest. Already, the sunrise feels a lot later than just a few weeks ago. Sunrise is now about 40 minutes later than it was at solstice, at 6:17 a.m. Sunset now more than 30 minutes earlier than at solstice, now at 8:07 p.m., so currently I have well over a full hour less of daylight each day. And there’s still a long darkening road ahead. By winter solstice, another 41/2 hours or so of daylight will be lost. In this area, the difference from the longest day to the shortest is about 5/12 hours of daylight, split between later sunrises and earlier sunsets. At this rate, it won’t be long before I won’t be able to take photos in the morning before I leave for work.