Saturday, November 3, 2012


My dad's clocks are not even right twice a day. That ends tomorrow.

When everyone falls back and Daylight Savings Time ends, my dad's clocks will once again be right with the rest of us.

Almost as adamant and off-kilter as the far-right "birthers", my father refuses to "jump ahead" in the spring. He does not change his clocks.

Visiting my parents is like slipping into a strange time warp.

As a farmer, what time it is means little to what work gets done. It is all a matter of light. Even, when he bought his first tractor with headlights, field work still was predominantly done in the daylight hours. Here at our latitude the high summer sun provides at minimum the twilight until almost 10 P.M.

I didn't realize this gift of twilight reminiscent of the Artic Circle's midnight sun until living in the greater Chicago area (42° 2′ 22″ N),I visited my in-laws in even more northerly located Bloomer, WI (latitude 45° 6′ 8″ N,) at high summer. Three degrees in latitude is equal to 24 more minutes of sunlight at high summer. And it is a noticeable difference. Elgin's astronomical twilight ends at 9:46 P.M.; Bloomer's at 10:31. On December 1, I will realize the very shortness of the days with sunset at 4:19.

So, this morning I captured the quality of my natural light on the last day of Daylight Savings Time at 7:00 A.M. when I walked Faithful Companion.

Tomorrow, when I and the rest of my time zone turn our clocks back and roll over for another hour of sleep, my dad will again be right with the world, with no change in his daily routine.

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