Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-06-21 – The difference

Typical Minnesota weather.  Yesterday, seventy degrees and humid, today down in the 50s.

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 4:49 AM
Sunrise: 5:26 AM
Daylight: 16 hrs, 47 min

So was thinking about my phone since yesterday, about how it has a compass built right in.  I thought, I could maybe use it to take a read on the sun’s position.  Wouldn’t be solstice-position, but a day off is pretty darned close.  Just don’t know if I can trust the reading, you know?  Certainly can’t if it’s hand-held, but what if it’s lying across the top of the camera?  (If the compass can be believed, the sun has moved 20 degrees across the horizon since the beginning of January – which is actually reasonable.)

And what a difference that twenty degrees has wrought!  Minnesota has gone from an icy, snow-covered landscape is depressing monochrome to all shades of green and flowers and warmth.  And funny thing is, the earth is actually at its farthest point away from the sun in its orbit at summer solstice.  But it’s not always about proximity; sometimes it’s about angle, and our 23.5 degrees of axial tilt gives us warm summers even though we’re farther away.

Yesterday proved that so long as I have a 3-hour nap before going in to work, I can function perfectly adequately.  It’s pretty amazing, what the human body is capable of.  I will enjoy being able to sleep in properly next year… though I wonder how long it’ll take not only to catch up on sleep, but to get used to sleeping six to eight hours at a stretch instead of a couple hours here, a couple hours there.

I’m starting to understand how it is that pro photographers get their amazing captures that stun folks with beauty or make the aspiring gnaw out their own livers in jealousy.  They don’t just research the area and then scout for the location they envision.  They’re also in their chosen spot every day long term until weather conditions are exactly right to create the image they’re holding in their mind’s eye.  There’s a lot of hidden time invested in those calendar photos and fine art prints.  And they have to have contingencies in place to deal with wet grass, bugs, swampy ground, long walks in the dark.  They also have to be creative enough to adapt to the real-life conditions that exist, on those occasions when they have limited time in a location and conditions refuse to cooperate.

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