Don’t doom us to darker days

October 3, 2019

 Take Back The Clocks wants daylight saving to be abolished:

. . .Louis Houlbrooke, chief executive and founder of Take Back The Clocks, said the twice yearly changes disrupted people’s sleep, were unnatural, and made international business much more complicated.

“They cause disruption and inconvenience to people’s lives in a trivial sense but also in more serious ways with tired drivers and the impact on dairy cows.” . . 

Most people who favour shifting clocks forward want more light for recreation in the evening. They don’t take into account that that means less light in the morning for people who work, making it harder to do early morning tasks like milking and mustering.

He suggested moving New Zealand to permanent “summer hours” – the change in late September that leads to sunnier evenings and darker mornings.

If there is any change to daylight saving it should be shorter not longer.

When it started clocks went forward in late October and back in early March. Someone decided if some daylight saving was good, more would be better without taking into account we don’t get the same amount of daylight all year.

We were waking up to light at 6am last week, this week it’s nearly 7am and before the clocks go back in autumn the sun doesn’t rise here until about 7:50. It’s even worse further south.

Waiting a few weeks in spring before clocks went forward and putting them back in early to mid March would make a big difference to the amount of light in the morning.

If daylight saving was permanent, mid-winter sunrise wouldn’t be until 9:30am in Invercargill.

Children would be walking and biking to school in the dark, roads would be icier until later and there would be no benefit from a bit more light in the evening when it’s so cold.

Daylight saving is too long now, please don’t doom us to year-long darker dawns.


Another week of dark mornings

March 30, 2019

The sun was just starting to rise at 6:50ish a couple of weeks ago.

Last week it was only just getting light at 7:15ish.

We’ve got another week until the clocks go back.

Sigh mutter, mumble.

Daylight saving starts to early and finishes too late.


Mutter mumble #%$**&^%$!

September 30, 2018

It’s that time of year again.

It was getting light around 6am until this morning. Now we’ve lost an hour ant it’s dark until nearly 7am.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was both sufficient light and warmth in the evening. But we’ve only just passed the spring equinox, there was fresh snow on the Kakanuis a few days ago and it’s still too cool and dark too early at the end of the day.

In another few weeks when the sun has moved further south it will be lighter, and hopefully warmer, at both ends of the day.

Until then I will resent the lost hour in the morning – and those getting up earlier to milk, shear, muster, nurse or any of the other worst hat requires early starts will lament the cold, dark, later dawn even more.


365 days of gratitude

August 15, 2018

In Hawes Bay yesterday spring had sprung.

Daffodils were in full bloom and rhododendrons were in flower.

Back home spring is a bit later but the grass has started growing again and the first of the daffodils are blooming.

Today I’m grateful for signs of spring.

 


Clocks forward permanently

April 1, 2017

The scheduled return to standard New Zealand time tomorrow morning has been cancelled and clocks will stay one-hour ahead permanently.

A spokesman for the Department of Infernal Affairs, Ms Sunny Disposition said that putting clocks back signalled the start of winter to many people and since summer weather had been so disappointing, few if any were ready for it.

“Most people agree daylight saving is good and if some is good then ipso facto more must be better,” she said.

“We can’t change the weather, but we can keep the clocks forward and allow people more daylight. The sun comes out in the day and after the sorry excuse for summer over much of the country that’s what we need to cheer us all up – more day and less night.

“We’ll all get more vitamin D and save power with less need for electric lights.”

A reporter who pointed out that whether or not clocks stayed forward an hour, there would be less daylight as the sun moved north, was told that wasn’t in the Department’s brief.

“Clocks and time are our preserve, if you have a question about the sun you’d be better talking to Met Service or NIWA,” Miss Disposition said.

“I understand someone from one or other of them will be available to talk around mid day.”

 

 


366 days of gratitude

August 18, 2016

The trees are still bare but daffodil leaves are poking through the ground, snow drops are flowering and the daphne is in bloom.

Daphne’s scent always evokes memories of my mother’s garden.

Would it smell as sweet if it wasn’t for those memories and the knowledge that the flowers are fleeting?

Possibly not, but I’m enjoying it while it’s here and am grateful for it.


366 days of gratitude

August 2, 2016

We’ve had an unusually warm winter but the last few days have reminded us which season it is.

Sunday was showery, yesterday was one of those cloudy days with a southerly straight from Antarctica and we woke to a heavy frost this morning.

But the sky was cloudless, the sun shone all day and at last we’re getting more daylight hours for which I’m very grateful.


366 days of gratitude

June 21, 2016

Today is the winter solstice when the sun reaches it’s northern most point.

We often get the coldest and stormiest weather after the solstice, but today is the day with the shortest time between sunrise and sunset.

Now each day we can look forward to more light, if only by minutes, as the sun makes its way south again and I’m very grateful for that.


366 days of gratitude

April 11, 2016

Autumn has only just started to make itself felt with a nip in the morning and cooler evenings.

We’re not getting the mists that Keats celebrated but we are getting the mellow fruitfulness and I’m grateful for that.


366 days of gratitude

April 3, 2016

More than not a day too soon, at least a couple of weeks too late, the clocks went backwards early this morning.

Yesterday the sun didn’t rise until around 7:30, this morning it was an hour earlier and oh how I’m grateful for that.


366 days of gratitude

March 15, 2016

Yesterday was summer, today it’s autumnal to wintry.

The rain is welcome, the cold not so much.

Thankfully the cold is outside not inside and I’m very grateful for that.


366 days of gratitude

March 3, 2016

The seasons don’t follow the calendar but it’s nearly 7am before the sun rises and there’s definitely an autumnal feeling to morning temperatures.

I’m not yet ready to farewell summer but one of the benefits of living where we do is that we do get different seasons.

While I don’t enjoy that we sometimes get all four in a single day, I do like the changes seasons bring to the colour and produce from the garden and I’m grateful for that.


Yawn, sigh, mutter mumble.

September 27, 2015

Daylight Saving commences on the last Sunday in September, when 2.00am becomes 3.00am.

It ends on the first Sunday in April, when 3.00am becomes 2.00am.

Yawn, sigh, mutter, mumble – it’s that time of year again for my annual declaration that daylight saving stats too soon and ends too late.

Sunrise is too late in the morning and it’s too cold at both ends of the day to enjoy a later dawn as the price for more light in the evening.

Changing clocks just two or three weeks later, when we’re well past the equinox, at the start and sooner at the end would let us have lighter mornings for longer and be more likely to be warm enough to want more light before dusk.


Should never have called it ‘global warming’

December 2, 2014

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of summer but the weather wasn’t co-operating with the calendar.

It got down to 9 degrees in the middle of the afternoon with a wind chill that left it feeling even colder.

We woke to a light frost this morning but now the sun is shining and the forecast promises us a balmy 14 degrees.

Whoever first came up with the name ‘global warming’ made a big mistake.

What we’re experiencing is weather and a few unseasonal days isn’t enough on which to base climate science but the name ‘warming’ sticks and makes it much harder for those with genuine concerns about climate change to get their message across.


Too soon, too dark, too cold

September 23, 2014

Just five days until the clocks go forward but it’s still winter.

Fresh snow fell on the Kakanui Range on Sunday night and yesterday temperatures barely got to double figures.

It’s warm in North Otago today but that is not likely to last.

Further north it’s worse:

Daylight saving works in the middle of summer but the end of September is too soon to start when it’s too dark in the mornings and too cold to enjoy longer evenings.

Delaying the start by two or three weeks until the sun is closer to the south would give more daylight at both ends of the day and allow temperatures to get a little more spring-like, if not yet summery.


Matariki

June 28, 2014

Today marks the start of  Matariki, the Maori New Year.

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises just once a year, in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.

Cycles of life and death

Traditionally, Matariki was a time to remember those who had died in the last year. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.

Modern Matariki

Matariki, or Māori New Year celebrations were once popular, but stopped in the 1940s. In 2000, they were revived. Only a few people took part at first, but in just a few years thousands were honouring the ‘New Zealand Thanksgiving’. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.

The Northern hemisphere celebrates mid-summer but here it’s over-shadowed by Christmas and New Year which follow it.

Matariki provides us with an opportunity for a mid-winter celebration.

Some have suggested making it a holiday but the changing date would make that problematic.

Besides, we shouldn’t need an official holiday to celebrate – it’s something we can do with family and friends by ourselves or in our communities as we choose.

The coldest weather is almost certainly still to come, but we’re now nearer spring than autumn which is as good an excuse as any for some fun.


Shortest day, longest night

June 21, 2014

Today marks the winter solstice.

At 10:51 tonight the sun will be at its furthermost point north of the equator.

We’ve had a few frosts but the worst of the winter weather usually comes much later than the solstice.


Oh happy day!

April 6, 2014

For the last few weeks we’ve been waking up in the dark and it hasn’t been warm enough to want to linger outside at dusk.

Thankfully this morning the clocks went back an hour giving us an extra hour of sleep and more light in the mornings – bliss.

Apropos of time and light, the Daily Mail asks are you living out of sync with the sun?

 

Each morning residents of the east India state of Assam watch the sun rise more than 90 minutes earlier than the west of the country.

This is because time on the clocks across India are set to be exactly the same in each of its states and provinces, regardless of location.

The result is a huge discrepancy between the time shown on the clock and where the sun is in the sky – a problem that this map reveals is widespread throughout the world . .

 

solar

 

 

 

 

 

Lucia Maria shares my view that daylight savings lasts too long.

Some is good but more isn’t better because of the shorter time betweens sunrise and sunset in autumn and spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Too soon, too late, too long

March 4, 2014

Last summer was one of the ones I remember from childhood – day after day of blue skies and sunshine.

That wasn’t good news for those for whom it mean drought, but it was great for the rest of us.

This year some areas are facing drought again even though most of the country hasn’t really had good summer weather.

In North Otago we’ve had the odd day or two of temperatures in the mid 20s but we’ve also had far too many when they barely reach the late teens.

And now it’s autumn and feeling like it – we woke to fresh snow on the Kakanui Range yesterday morning.

It’s not just autumnal temperatures, it’s also dark in the mornings as dawn creeps later.

It’s going to keep getting worse for the next month because we have to wait until the first weekend in April for the clocks to go back.

Yet another reminder that daylight savings starts too soon, finishes too late and lasts too long.


Has anyone seen summer?

January 27, 2014

There’s nothing unusual about water skiing in January – but there is something unusual and unseasonal about snow skiing.

Avid skiers are heading to Canterbury’s mountains this morning after an unexpected dumping of snow overnight.

Staff at the region’s biggest ski field, Mt Hutt, say the dumping has left around 20cm of snow on some parts of the mountain.

“In the base area, we’ve got around 10cm on the balcony,” ski area manager James McKenzie says. “We think there’s probably a little bit more up high, we’re just heading up there on the snowmobile now.”

There was fresh snow on the mountains around Wanaka when I was there last week.

We had heavy rain at home yesterday and the autumnal feel in the air when I walked round the farm this morning had more than a little to do with the fresh snow on the Kakanui mountains.

Day after day of warm sunny weather we enjoyed last summer is a distant memory.

If anyone’s seen summer, please send it this way.


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