We've gotten SO much snow the past week or so, and it's pretty cool. It's still not as high as it gets over on the other side of town, where the old school was, but it's the first year that it's gotten close since we've lived over here: It was fun to bring Esther and Iris out, as it was fairly warm (30 degrees), and while Esther sledded by herself and with other kids, I let Iris ride in the sled down little teeny drifts, me holding on to her sled. She really liked the feeling. She liked it so much that then she fell asleep! Here's Iris all decked out in her winter garb:Where's the baby in this picture?:Ah, there she is, and unhappy with me that I've stopped rocking her snow-cradle!:
We had an amazing morning of ice fog, also, which I've rarely experienced, and got some cool pictures of how it laid down frost in interesting textured patterns on stuff, like the antlers from the moose Tuluk caught last September (the moose whom we thank profusely everytime we eat him for dinner):
Many people, when remarking on aspects of my life in Alaska, say that I must get tired of the dark, since we have fewer hours of daylight in winter than people do in the lower 48. However, I always beg to differ. Even though we officially DO have fewer hours of daylight in the winter, it rarely seems like it.
Think about it, Midwesterners, East-coasters, Pacific Northwesters -- how much sunlight do you actually enjoy in the winter? When you get up, when you go to work, it's dark, right? When you commute home, or shortly thereafter, it's dark, right? It's the same here -- BUT only in the very darkest times, I would say about the month of December, give or take a few days on either side (I think at winter solstice we have a 4-hour daylight day).
Even if we officially may still have less actual daylight than other places at this time of year (Today the sun actually rises at 9:08 am and sets at 7:23 pm, with dawn/dusk giving us light an hour on either side), it FEELS like we have a LOT more light: since we are surrounded and covered with bright white shiny snow, and no trees or big buildings to cast many shadows, and the mountains are far to the north, walking outside on a sunny day is like walking around on a mirrored floor-- it's wildly bright! I'm willing to bet that we get our RDA of Vitamin D in a few seconds. And sunglasses are really a must for us in the springtime sun. It feels fabulous, way better than anywhere/anytime in the Midwest at this time of year.
Then, into February, we start gaining light by leaps and bounds, nearly 6 minutes a day -- that doesn't sound like a lot, but in a week that's another half hour of light, and in a month, that's two hours more light. By this time next month, it will feel like the evenings last forever, and let me tell you, my energy grows along with the light. Although sometimes I regret it in the morning, I can get SO much done with the light inspiring me and egging me on. It helps that spring is my favorite season, and that the excitement and anticipation for spring activities coming soon, soon pretty much infests everything I do.
By summer, it's just light all the time, and I love it. I love it that I have a job that lets me have a summer schedule, staying up and sleeping whenever, not knowing what time it is (especially out at camp), and just enjoying all the light. So, although folks think that the extremities of dark/light are a negative thing about living here, I think it's a positive, all the way around, because it's better than most places and never worse than anywhere else. :)
But, hey, in Iris news: She's sitting up by herself! It's kind of amazing, as it developed over just a few days this week. She's been rolling and kind of propping herself up for a while:
And then this week (she was 6 months on the 26th of February), she suddenly was able to pop herself upright, by herself:
AND she's figuring out how to push herself up into a crawling position, and rocks herself back and forth, sometimes creeping the slightest bit backwards. What a rock star baby! It's all very exciting, but I know it's near the end of us being able to be relaxed while we watch her... she'll soon be into EVERYTHING....:)