Here Comes The Sun

Two months from today, I am scheduled to leave Antarctica. I’m not quite ready to deal with that, but today was a lovely day (minus 17F/minus 27C, virtually no wind and mostly clear skies) and I finished work half an hour early,  so it seemed like the perfect time to take a walk.

I set off shortly before 2pm. The sun will not officially rise here until the 19th, but as you can see from the photos, we are treated to a couple marvelous hours of light every day, and each day we gain about 15-20 minutes more of it.

The approach to Hut Point at about 2pm local time, looking north by northwest

I walked down to Hut Point and stared at the red and orange sky to the north, aware that in just two months I will be flying over that great expanse of ice, back to civilization. It made me both excited and sad, so to get my mind off it entirely I watched a great Fata Morgana mirage on the horizon shape-shift. I love Fata Morganas because they move like mist but seem solid and utterly real.

The view north from Hut Point

Northern Sky... Tent Island and Accessible Island on right horizon

More of the northern sky. It might not look like much to you day-dwellers, but I stood there mesmerized for some time.

Hey, how about another shot of the same thing? I couldn't decide which one I liked best.

Iceberg, dead ahead! Kidding. Fata Morgana on the horizon... the "real" horizon is flat. The block-like shape you see does not exist.

The same spot on the horizon a few moments later. The Fata Morgana has shifted into what, to me, anyway, resembles a spaceship

McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica, about 2:45pm 10 August 2011. Home. The building in the foreground is Scott's Discovery Hut.

The following photos are not in the order I took them, so don’t be wondering why, like the final scenes on the Pelennor Fields in Return of the King, the lighting goes from light to dark to light again.

Yes, it’s been weeks since I made a Lord of the Rings reference. I felt it was overdue.

A winter's worth of snow piled outside the entrance to the laundry (photo taken around 3pm... you can see how much darker it's gotten already)

Ob Hill and the near-full moon, taken shortly before 2pm but looking south, still a lot darker than the sky to the north

Piston Bully with a pompadour of snow

After about an hour, the light was fading and my hands were getting cold, so I strolled back home to get ready for a big day tomorrow. It’s my last day off before season-end room inspections, so I’ll be putting furniture back together to create four beds, organizing my stuff and cleaning.

And maybe taking another walk.

The Great Southern Dire Wolf photographed in the wild... check out my ice mascara! Hut Point at about 2:30pm


2 thoughts on “Here Comes The Sun

  1. Incredible post. Fantastic pictures. Fata Morgana – sounds like an obscure Roman Catholic affliction or the stage name of an old school stripper.

  2. Thanks, Ernie…. and LOL about Fata Morgana. If I ever try burlesque dancing I think I know what my stage name will be. I also feel the distortion caused by wearing my puffy red parka, which seems to add 50 pounds to my frame that I certainly don’t need, is called a Fat Morgana mirage.

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