Daylength, neighbors think I'm crazy

digit(ID/WA)October 14, 2010

The neighbors think I'm crazy. Because, I don't keep "regular hours."

We will make that ridiculous change of our clocks in awhile. (It can't come soon enuf; I think they wait until a required number of early morning pedestrian fatalities occur . . . :o( Maybe I should have my own clock -- based on "hours from sunrise."

The guy across the road is young, probably not much past 30 but he is absolutely punctual by the clock in his comings and goings. Winter and summer, that big black rig starts up - he spins his 180, and he is off to work, hi ho! His dog in the backyard begins to bark, 3 minutes before he arrives back home in the afternoon, hi ho.

Me? In mid-summer, I head off before he makes it out the door and, often, return long after he has popped the tab on his 1st can of Bud. These days, it's different.

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

We have just dropped below 11 hours of sunlight here. It happens so quickly that even after over 40 years living at this latitude, I have trouble adjusting. It is no surprise that after so many hours of dark skies and twinkling stars, frost covers the lawn as the sun rises. But a week ago, and despite unseasonably warm weather, daylength was putting the brakes on plant growth.

I mean, my garden gets right at 16 hours of sunshine on the summer solstice. Of course, soon it will get 16 hours of darkness.

Here is a webpage set up by a guy with a lot of talent! You can find all the numbers here about your sunrise, sunset, daylength - just find your location and allow your cursor to hover over the graph:

You can also look at other locations to compare. Take Barrow, Alaska, for instance . . !! Like to have a 1 minute day on November 18th . . . and then 2 months of darkness?? Yikes!

Steve âº

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears

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Dan Staley

I don't wear a watch, but tell time with my hands when I need to know human time when outside. It is a good conversation starter, and if I'm not too geeky that day, a good teachable moment as well.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 4:37PM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

Okay Dan I'm game. How do you tell time with your hands? I know how to approximate how many hours to sunset using my hands, thanks to Les Stroud, but that's my limit .

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Dan Staley

o You have to know ~sunset-sunrise times.
o Each finger is 15 mins, 4 together is an hour when hands extended fully.
o Put 4 fingers together, extend hands all the way as far as you can, and subtract up from horizon.

So SS tonite is ~6.20, subtracting 4 fingers up on right hand is 5.20 + 2 more on left hand is ~4.50.

Harder at zenith because of sun path, but doable. I've been doing it for years so really fast and often when hiking I can look up without using hands, usu to surprise of hiking buddies I'm within 10 minutes (the rule is telling time only for when to start dinner).


    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 6:47PM
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("Are you hungry?"

"I don't know. What time is it?" ;o)

You sure that ain't a way to measure a horse, Dan? One hand equals 4 inches. The British still do it that way, too. I wonder what else they retain of their Imperial measurements.

The US is stuck pre-revolutionary times. You'd hardly know that the USA is a free nation the way so many cling desperately to the past. And in this case, a colonial past . . .

Along with Burma (reactionary people, ain't they?) and Liberia (former colony for resettling US slaves), the USA stands outside of the International System. It has gotten so we even have a tuff time talking about units of measure with the Canadians. They made the change over 35 years ago so there are plenty of adults who have had no experience with the Imperial system.

The USA, on the other hand, is permanently stuck as the 13 Colonies.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 7:47PM
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david52 Zone 6

So you can do that the other way and tell when the sun is going to set.

I have a mountain on the western horizon that figures in the deal, and pretty quick here, the sun starts setting behind Sleeping Ute, which makes things get dark a whole lot sooner.

I once worked in Nigeria, where we had to deal with UK gallons, US gallons, and liters.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 8:00PM
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OK, this is too much for me you geeks, lol.

I can usually just look up and be within about 15 minutes of the correct time, no head stands, or counting fingers, shoes still on, thank you very much.

Anyway, I hate this time of year. The colors (note: not the British spelling) are beautiful, but the time changes and lack of daylight hours actually depress me. I read somewhere that it is a clinical depression issue, but I don't care what type of fancy name they want to tie to it, its just winter onset, then comes spring, Hip, Hip, Hooray!!

OK so is it time to place bets, who is going to get the first catalogs?? Who from??


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:16PM
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david52 Zone 6

I got my first Christmas catalog from LLBean in freakin' August, and now have several more from other outfits.

Oh, seeds. None yet.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 4:08PM
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I got the Harris "2010-2011 Professional Ornamental Growers' Seed Catalog" about a week ago . . .

Anyone want to buy 500 gladiola corms for 2011?


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

LOL! Yeah, I'll take a couple of those deals, Digit! Let's see! I could put 5 or 600 down my drive out front, and line the veggie garden with the rest of them! They have any other good deals in there???

You don't even grow glads, do you?


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:05PM
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Skybird, I have a special relationship with glads: I grow less of them and often buy more of them each year . . .

If you grow glads too close together to try to limit their size, making them more useful with other flowers in bouquets, that is the result. There are fewer corms of good enuf quality for fall storage after a season of being grown cheek to jowl in a cutting bed. But no, I don't need to buy 500 at a crack!

I remember that you are a fan of Harris, Skybird. All of their paper catalogs are available and, you can really find everything online. Even their relationships with the greenhouses in their plug & liner business is online.

You may want to line your drive with a daily plant sale in 2011, Sky!


Here is a link that might be useful: Harris Catalogs

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:12AM
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Ok, I got the Stark catalog the other day, but in their defense it is the "fall" catalog, whatever that is supposed to mean. I am not dragging my behind out there to plant bare root trees in December that won't make it through till spring anyway. I will, however use it to compare and decide what I will be planting in the yard next year. I'm thinking an apple orchard in the archery range, what do you think? If the target blows away, you can just aim for the apples and have a snack if your successful. And, maybe money permitting, almonds on the north border.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 11:07AM
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