Monthly Archives: October 2010

Pink Moon & the rare Arctic Pink Geese!

Yesterday afternoon, the moon was in the north-eastern sky, with the sun below the horizon to the south-west. The moon had taken on quite a pink glow. But by the time I was able to stand still, and get a semi-half-decent shot, the moon was changing colours again.  It now looks a bit orangier in this photo.

I failed to bring up my tripod or monopod. As you can see from the following photo, I have a difficult time standing still. The runway lights look more like geese flapping across the threshold! Well, maybe in my case they aren’t so rare!

Hockey Night in Alert

Some of the guys have been hard at work making a hockey rink outside. It isn’t regulation size, but it will last until at least July next year! All they need now are to have their skates shipped up.

It is perfect for broomball too! Where’s my shoes? Drats – down south and I head back in just over a month. I think it would be great getting Lance from CFTO up here making the rink sides (we do need those!) and some NHL’ers or Old Timers. That would be a hoot. But I’ll be long gone by the time anything like that happens.

It’s fun anyway – even with the windchill out there now.

Noon-day light

I headed out to take a few photo’s just after noon today. Here is a view of the sunlight streaming up & well over me. It is an extended dawn-dusk period now, with pinkish hues throughout the ever shrinking daytime.

The temperature was -14, with a 25 km/h wind. So there was drifting snow and a windchill of -24. Not too bad for Alert!

Final Sunrise/set today

The final sunrise/set of the year occurred in Alert today. A gaggle of people headed off to Crystal Mountain this morning to view the last glimpse of the sun. Some took off on snowmobiles leftover from a spring exercise, and even more piled into BV’s. I stayed in to work, as I didn’t think much would be seen. The snowmobilers arrived first, and viewed what looked like sunlight behind some clouds. Then the rest arrived in BV’s, just as it fogged in – they saw nothing. I saw pretty much what they saw, without going anywhere. I like my photo of the sunlight actually hitting the ground from the other day.

Dinner was served at 1700 hrs (5pm) , and then a bunch headed out for a bonfire. I was in & out all day today, so I stayed inside where it is a bit warmer. It was around -20C out there today. I’ll stay put where it is 40 degrees warmer, thank you very muchly!

I was going to take a photo at 1220 EDT, the official setting of the sun, but it was all white. Just look at a free patch of this web page, and that is pretty much what I saw outside for most of the day!


The last of the sunlight

Out and about today, I was watching the sun as it skirted along the horizon. Not that I saw it at all, as it rose behind Crystal Mountain, and set behind Mount Hilgard &/or the US Range. Sunrise blends in to sunset,  and the colours are amazing. Whereas down south (in south-eastern Ontario, and most places south of here) sunrise and sets take place in a matter of minutes, here they last for hours on end. The leaves are changing colour down south, but the sky is constantly changing colour up here.

Looking out to the northwest toward Feilden Peninsula, I saw the sun glowing brightly on parts of it. It didn’t reach the ice today though. With it slowly sinking, and the island topography, we’ll be lucky to see it again prior to its last official setting on Thursday at 1220 EDT. That will be the last of it until February 27, 2011!

We’ll still have great colours for a couple more weeks, before its light sinks completely out of sight. By the end of October, it will be quite dark.

The Wolf Pack came a-calling again…

These crazy guys & gals came back to the Met Shack for another visit. I’m glad I keep my camera with me most of the time. These three are great shots if you ask me…

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!”

“Hey, I’m ready too, aren’t I?”
(I love this shot! What a look on his/her face!)

“But what about me?”

After they had finished posing for the camera, it was play time. The kids started horsing around in the parking lot, then one caught sight of a chew-toy, and of course, the others came along to chew too. Too bad it was the block heater wire for my truck!

Here he is, eying the plug-in chew-toy…

… then look out, everyone wants in on it!

I had to laugh this morning.  I let loose a ceiling balloon just before 8am to see how high the ceiling was. Just as I let it go, I noticed a wolf down by the radar road. He was looking up at the balloon, then me, and back to the balloon. He must have thought it was a tasty treat blowing away in the wind!

A Visit to the GAW Lab

In all the years I have been coming up to Alert, I have never been to the GAW Lab – until today.

Walking to the GAW Lab at 3pm. (The sun has almost disappeared!)

EC Josh & Tonya took a few of the station personnel (4) up to the lab to show us what they do. Inside, there is a wide variety of equipment testing the air that we breathe. The metal multi-tier tower on the right of the building was just erected this past summer. Next year, new sensors of various types will be installed on it.

Some of the equipment inside the lab

They measure mercury and a variety of gases in the atmosphere. Air is also bottled for shipment to the USA and Heidelberg University for further study. There are a series of GAW Labs around the world. Some graphs showed a marked difference in everything between the northern and southern hemispheres.

They should have a handout to explain all they do – it’s quite interesting, and unfortunately for me – easily forgotten!

They even have a Nipher Snow Gauge! I don’t even have one up here at my office.

They have a much nicer view too!

On returning to the trucks, the fog was rolling back in to the low lying areas, as you can see from this photo…

Snow, fog, sunlit mountains and sky. There is an illusion showing here also. There is an inversion near the top of the mountains, which is giving them a flattened appearance. Not too pronounced here, but at other times, it has been very noticeable.

Thanks Josh & Tonya for a tour of your lab!