The sun rose this morning at 9:19, and it will set this evening at 3:50 for a mere 6 hours 31 minutes of daylight. At its highest, it is 7° above the horizon. The snow depth was 10” at noon yesterday, the last time I was home and had daylight enough to see.

We’re not getting the blizzards that have been hitting the west coast of Alaska, but we are getting a very light, powdery snow with perhaps an inch a day accumulation. Winds are generally light, so the snow falls vertically. And it’s cold. It’s above zero right now, but not by much, and by midweek the daily highs are forecast to be well below 0°F.

Saturday the shortness of the days really came home to me. I left the house almost as soon as the sun was up for the “Mesozoic in Alaska” class. When the class was over, a little after noon, I had lunch at my favorite restaurant, and then did some essential shopping. By the time I arrived back home, it was almost too dark to drive. Granted it was a cloudy day, but clear days are even worse this time of year, as the low sun makes it almost impossible to see.

Luckily I am not subject to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and I probably would have left Alaska long since if I were. I do have a problem with the short days since I cannot drive at night and public transport here, even for the handicapped, is extremely limited. I’d like to attend the Fairbanks Symphony concerts, for instance, but from late October through February they let out too late for me to drive home, even from a matinee. Taxi? Well over $100 round trip, and that’s a little out of my budget. I hope I can get a ride for the Christmas concert.