GREEN-UP FINALLY HERE: Although delayed by a bit of cooler weather, green-up officially hit my workplace yesterday. It seems a bit late to me, but May 18th really does qualify as ‘mid-May’ so I guess it really isn’t as late as it seems. Green-up was officially recorded in Fairbanks, roughly 50 miles south of my workplace, back on May 10th, so my workplace seems to be running just slightly more than a week behind the lower elevation and more southerly locale of town.
SKEETERS AND SKEETER EATERS: Friday I was doing the Interior Alaska Slap Dance as the exposed flesh of my body was subject to the cravings as female mosquitoes seeking an easy meal. One truly knows that spring has arrived when the voracious blood suckers, including mosquitoes and politicians, start showing up in numbers great enough to become bothersome.
Fortunately, my favorite ‘skeeter-eaters’, the cliff swallows, have also returned to my work place. I enjoy watching their aerobatic displays as they snatch bugs from mid-air, fight among themselves for the best elevated nesting areas, and generally frolic about the sky. I’ve also seen robins hopping about, and the woods seem alive with birdsong. It won’t be long before I’ll need to mow the grass in the yard at the house.
NO MORE DARKNESS: This time of the year, the center of the sun never drops more than 6 degrees below the horizon. “Civil Twilight” is described as enough natural daylight to do things outdoors without artificial illumination.” We won’t see darkness again at night until late July.
Yesterday was the exception to ‘no more darkness.’ While much of the southern United States saw an annular eclipse of the sun we northerners saw a partial eclipse which, combined with dense storm clouds over my workplace, resulted in a short period of darkness – at least dark enough to trigger some of the work lights equipped with daylight sensor switches. Up here, about 1/3 of the sun was blocked by the moonshadow.
SWAPPING SUITCASES: At 10:00 tomorrow (Tuesday) morning I’ll go off duty from this duty rotation. I’ll only be home for a few hours, barely long enough to exchange my “work” suitcase for my “Outside” suitcase. Tomorrow evening I'll be taking a series of red-eye flights to Kentucky where I’ll be spending the next week doing a clinical rotation with Georgetown Scott County EMS as part of my ongoing training obligation. When I finally do get time off, I’ll have about six days before returning here for two weeks of night shifts.
Hopefully I'll have a bit more free time, and a faster internet connection, once I've arrived Outside to write a bit more in depth.