December 18 – colors of the sky

colors of the sky
pastel mornings, oils at noon
watercolor nights

The angle of the axis and rotation of the globe have combined so that my day starts and ends in the dark.

Very few benefits to this but I get to see the sunrise and sunset each day.

It happens in my rearview mirror but still.

I had lived my entire life in West Michigan until moving to North Georgia about 10 years ago.

I thought that things like sunsets and twilight or first light and full dark were pretty much constant.

I never thought that these things might be influenced by a locations distance to the equator.

It makes sense, geometrically, but who goes through their day thinking geometrically (besides my brother the math teacher). posts the different times for:

Civil Twilight
Nautical Twilight
Astronomical Twilight
Length of Visible Light

I am not sure what the difference in those things mean exactly but I am sure my good friends Chesley McNeil at WXIA or George Lessens at WZZM could explain it.

Here in Atlanta for December 17, there is 10 hours and 50 minutes of visible light.

Further up the globe in Grand Rapids, there is 10 hours and 5 minutes of visible light.

There is more light down here in the south.

But if you compare the time from sunset to astronomical twilight, Grand Rapids comes out on top with a total of 103 minutes of total twilight compared to Atlanta’s 90 minutes.

We noticed this right away after we moved down here.

The sun comes up fast.

The sun goes down fast.

I look out the window in the evening and think we have time for a walk while it is still light.

By the time we get outside, it is full dark.

Not much color to dark.

Most likely if you were looking for a color based adjective for night time, the word you come up with is inky.

But daylight.

I have as much ability in art as I do in music.

I can look and listen.

I look at the colors of the day.

Pastels done in sidewalk chalk to capture the powdery pinks and blues of morning.

The strict separation of colors in oils for the full sun of noon.

Spreading wet watercolors on a damp piece of paper for the evening.

Alice Walker writes, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

I am not going to stop my car and get out and look at the colors in the sky.

I am not going to get out my phone and take a picture of the sky (I know it wouldn’t work anyway).

But I think God would be pissed off if I, at the very least, didn’t notice the show in the sky.

It happens every day.

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