The Arctic Ocean pushes sea ice into jagged heaps of translucent blue near shore. Further out, fog swirls on the horizon below a brooding sky.
Point Hope, February 18, 2012.
It has only been two weeks since winter solstice and I can already tell the sun is stretching higher into the horizon. I wasn’t the only one who sensed this. On Sunday, I was amazed to see the community bustling with activity. People were out tooling around on their snowmachines (snowmobiles to you in the lower 48). Children were out playing in snow clothes, tethered to sleds. There were combinations of people pulling sleds by snowmachine. The general air in the community was buzzing with life and movement.
Besides the sunshine, the other noticeable difference was the temperature. It was 39 degrees! No hat was needed. No gloves were needed. It was downright balmy. Ok, maybe that’s a wee bit of exaggeration. But it was way warmer and sunnier than it has been.
After enjoying the beautiful day and contemplating the amount of activity, one more glance at the sky revealed a sunset beyond words. The sky was an unspeakable pink on an azure backdrop. The photograph taken is a good representation of the colors. Now, imagine being engulfed in this sky.
We are always amazed by the skies up here. The combinations of the clouds, sky, and angle of the sun result in stunning views. The morning sky (dawn is about 10:30 a.m. now) is beautiful. The sun peeks over the horizon and paints the clouds with a mesmerizing orange and pink glow. As we head toward winter, the sun makes its way across the sky much closer to the horizon. This means the color and the warmth of light differs from what I’m used to. Most days there are some varieties of clouds in the sky which add to the picture. Sunset these days is around 8:30 at night. A friend took a picture of the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen. It will be posted soon.