Happy Equinox, when day equals night, here it happens on September 23
The term collisions of seasons was a term coined recently by one of my flickr friends and is so appropriate this time of year. In Alaska, I have grown accustomed to two seasons, summer and winter. They are broken up by short events, milestones really, we call freeze up (fall) and break up (spring).
Fall and spring do happen here of course, but they are often so short in time it is hard to decipher them. Many years, the colors of fall are hidden under the white blanket of the silencing snowfall. Indeed some of the plants turn their colors after the first snows, only to be seen in the coming summer (spring?).
As a photographer I seek out the reds, the golds and all the colors of this fleeting event. As an Alaskan I relish this last colorful event before the landscape turns cold and shades of grey, but for the color of the sunsets, and of course the fantastic Northern Lights.
Yellow tree and rock
Sea scape, Turnagain Arm
Capturing this season transition is one of my projects that I come back to year after year, hoping to get that one better shot or that unusual scene that I may want to publish someday. I love the pass through by the magnificent Trumpeter Swans, knowing when they fly out it will signal the end of the season for good.
The photo opportunities are often fleeting this time of year, with cloudy skies day after day, and only unpredictable and short lived clearings, as the typhoons of the north Pacific spin off their moisture in massive cyclonic fronts the size of the lower 48 that cross Alaska. In September, average high temperature is 60 degrees at the beginning and 40 at the end of the month, as the Siberian cold air begins to win the battle of dominance, and the Polar jet stream can dip southerly driving cold air anywhere from Point Barrow to Southeast Alaska.
This summer there were only 2 days that reached 70 degrees, which is a new record. It ranked 3rd in the coolest on record as far as daytime high temperature. The National Weather Service records here date back to 1917. It has been a very cloudy summer here, which gives one the perception of coolness, but actually helps keep the warmth in at night.
If you don’t see me around too much for awhile, please just know I am out there chasing the rainbows to share with you. Always a rainbow somewhere, keep one with you for when you need one!
For your listening pleasure, another old favorite of mine