Midnight … sun?

Our yard at midnight. Daylight lasts about 20 hours this time of year, but even the four hours of “night” aren’t particularly dark.

Dear sleepless reader,

As promised, here is a photograph of the view from our house at midnight a few nights ago. Castle Mountain in the distance is still topped with snow.

As we near summer solstice, the sun officially sets just before midnight and rises again at 4 a.m. But during those four hours, it remains light enough to see and the robins and chickadees never stop singing.

Alaska is known as the home of the midnight sun, and as you can see, it is still nearly daylight at that hour. But as for the sun, it has been elusive. This summer so far has been rainy and cool. Of course when it did warm to 65 degrees, my husband and I complained about it being so muggy. My in-laws, visiting from Florida, might have disagreed. I guess “muggy” is a relative term.

What do your summer nights look and sound like? Do you have fireflies and croaking frogs? Streetlights and honking horns?





15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betsy
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 12:11:36

    Fireflies. Jet skis on the lake in front of my house. The 17-year cicada swarm has passed, leaving the land quiet once again.

  2. Alma
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 12:21:58

    Wow, what a gorgeous view from your yard.

  3. sardav64
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 12:42:15

    Wow to be light at midnight! In London we have had lots and lots of rain. It usually gets dark about 9pm but as we reach the summer solstice it begins to get a little darker each night. In London we have a lot of street lights . At the moment we have a lot of noisy air traffic above mainly because I live in an Olympic borough. Enjoy your midnight sun
    Best wishes

  4. Mrs Penfold
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 16:58:32

    We get cicadas singing and BBQ dinners outside. It gets dark by 9.00pm with daylight savings. Which is 8.00pm in normal time. When it gets really hot, say over 35 degrees, we might set up some card tables with friends in front of a boat shed and have fish and chips on the beach with cold drinks and our feet in the sand.

  5. Alexandra Mary Roach
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 22:34:16

    Here on the south coast of England it is finally sunny – but apparently it won’t last so I need to get the lawn mower and hedge cutters out before the rain comes again.
    It isn’t properly dark til near 10 and then it is light again about four so very short nights but still a night! The birds are chattering away in the garden – have just seen a thrush on the green house but there are many smaller ones …bluetits, chaffinches, sparrows… sparrows are meant to be in decline but there seem to be hundreds living in the pyracanthus. And the roses are out at last…

  6. Ann DeSalvo
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 01:33:08

    Last night in Iowa the low temp. Was 75 degrees and the high today may be 95 and no rain in sight for my very dry garden. I will be arriving in Wasilla June 28 and I am looking forward to the cooler temp. There were some fireflies in the yard last night but the caiada won’t start their noise until late July. Our night stRts about 9:15 and cast until 5:00 AM so I am resting up for the Alaska daylight.

  7. Claire 'Word by Word'
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 07:43:45

    Here they say you know summer has arrived when the cicadas start to sing and I heard them for the first time today.

  8. Vivian Faith Prescott
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 12:08:35

    Great photo! I love Alaska’s summers! It’s not so daylight at midnight in SE Alaska but almost.

  9. NathanDunbar
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 15:46:47

    So coincidental you’d post this now. I just finished Karen Thompson Walker’s upcoming debut, Age of Miracles. It’s speculative fiction about how the earth’s rotation begins to slow inexplicably and the periods of daylight grow longer and longer–it was a wonderful read. Glad you’re getting some warmer days! But send some of your “warm” here. It’s 95F in Chicago right now. *melts*

  10. Christy
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 00:10:10

    I think I’d take Alaska muggy over Florida muggy any day! I’m loving the longer day light hours. The sun isn’t setting until around 9 now. Very confusing to my 4 year old, Miles as he is sure it is not time for bed because “the sun is still awake.”

  11. Nienke
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 01:33:30

    Here in The Netherlands it doesn’t get dark until after 10pm! The birds start chirping around 5am (I guess because usually I’m asleep unless one of my little ones wake up). The last newborn great tit birds just left their nest in our garden. This year more rain then usual and temps around 60/65F, still waiting for the real summer to come.

  12. Barbara Jenkins
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 02:46:20

    I remember how long the days were when we took our Alaskan cruise last year. I watched the sunrise from our cabin–altho I don’t remember it ever really getting dark. We are having “muggy” weather–in the 90’s–but your picture makes me want to go back to Alaska!

  13. Mary Ivey
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 05:06:25

    How beautiful and peaceful. Makes me long for my childhood home. Summer nights in our home in Florida…the fans beating the air, the air condioner coming on and going off again, as dreams of the electric bill dance through my head, and my teenage son thawing icecream in the microwave at 3:45AM. Teenagers, never sleep in the summer,and they don’t sing like robins. Thanks for the picture, can almost smell the air. Much love.

  14. Fra
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 11:36:01

    Hello Eowyn.
    What a gorgeous view. Love that picture you posted. I never experienced anything close to a midnight sun… wow, 20 hours daylight. It sounds impossible to me. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the picture was taken at midnight!
    I live in Northern Italy and after an annoyingly rainy and quite cool spring we are now having some unbelievably hot weather. I prefer hot that cold but… here I’m talking sticky and humid. When you leave the house or work at lunchtime and you go out it’s so hot but also it feels like someone is blowing hot air towards you from a giant hairdryer lol.
    So nice to read posts from people so far away from me. It somehow makes the world a bigger and a smaller place at the same time.

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