A Polar Night Blog

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  • LIFE CLUSTERS AROUND SUNLIGHT

    LIFE CLUSTERS AROUND SUNLIGHT

    Above: 1200 the suprising lightness of midday during the early weeks of the polar night. Photo courtesy of Josh Crompton

    Even from below the horizon, the sun begins to light the landscape from about 1000. On a clear day 1200 is surprising close to full daylight which is, in part, amplified by the reflective snow. By 1430 everything outside submerged in blue, with a period (currently) between 1445 and 1500 where the snow looks like white clothing in UV light- only a little duller.

    Above: 1000 blue view from outside my room

    In just over two weeks I have seen only a hand full of different species in the flesh, all of them apart from human between the hours of 0900 and 1500 (Hawk Owl, Willow Ptarmigan, Waxwing, Willow tit, Great tit, Blue tit, Bull finch, Green finch, Dipper, Crows, Magpie,Hooded Crow, Husky,Vole).

    Above:1500 view of bird feeder. The birds keep the same office hours as the receptionist during the polar night

    In a my poorly thought out theorising on polar night life I assumed that a place with such extensive hours of dark would be a hub of activity for it's nocturnal inhabitants.Two points (amongst no doubt many) which effect this theory are 1.)nocturnal animals are going to hear/see/smell me well before I get a chance to hear/see/smell(?) them. 2.) apparently a lot of nocturnal animals change their behaviour during the polar night to become 'day active'. This last point about animals changing their periods of activityin response to the polar night is of particular significance to my project and is a concept that I endeavour to explore in more detail.

    While my lack of animal sightings during night hours are not from my lack of being outside at those times, a quickl sketch tabling the hours I have explored reveals that I too (unintentionally) have been clustering about daylight.