|Tennessee Sunset from my Guest Photographer's Sister|
When I found out that there were, indeed places which had 24 hours of light in the summer and 24 hours of dark in the winter, I began to wonder about what it would truly be like to see the sun at midnight, or experience total darkness.
As an adult, I haven't had that opportunity (either way) except through the Internet.
In 2008, through a website called Eternal Sunset (which appears no longer to exist), I tracked a location in Antarctica and a location in Fairbanks, Alaska for an entire year. However, neither location has the true 24 hour swing - Fairbanks, for example, has a maximum daylight time of 21 hrs and 45 minutes (approximately.) They do have 24 hour "light"on the day of the summer solstice but the sun does set.
For a while, I would visit an actual 24 hour web cam location - in Norway. Svalbard Longyearbyen, to be exact. In June of 2009, as I wrote this post, it was almost midnight. The sun was right on the horizon. The web cam was pointed at it. It was 28 degrees above zero F, with snow on the ground, and several people on snowmobiles were clearly visible.
What is it like to live there? It made me wonder.
There are photos of this area, and stunning would not begin to describe it. What does the person who runs this website do for a living? Does he sleep at all during the arctic day? Has he ever been to more temperate climes? If so do our days and nights seem weird to him?
Meanwhile, in Fairbanks, they will hold their 113th Midnight baseball game tonight. According to the Alaska Goldpanners (Fairbanks) website, the first game was held in 1906, but several times there was more than one game in a year.
This is a video of the 2016 game, which ended at 12:18 am. If you forward to 3:58 in the video (as the game ends), you will see the setting sun.
What a thrill.
If you are a true baseball fan, you can watch several minutes of a young Tom Seaver (Hall of Fame pitcher) pitching the 1965 Midnight Sun game.
This annual late night game is played in its entirety without artificial lighting and there is a special Midnight pitch. Tom Seaver is wearing a red uniform in this footage - the quality, by the way, is terrible.
One day, I may make a dream come true, and go to that game. But until then, I will continue to watch sunsets in my native New York State. Today, the sun will set for us at 8:43 pm.
Have you ever seen the Midnight Sun?
Time to greet summer - and, perhaps, Play Ball!