The vernal equinox marks the first day of spring. The summer solstice marks the first day of summer. That is what I would tell Ailish, but she never really believed me.

Spring was when there was no more snow on the ground. When you could sit outside on a Sunday morning and read the paper. Perhaps you wouldn’t be warm, but you wouldn’t have to dig a path through the snow to do so. Summer was when you could sit out on the patio at your local pub.

Ailish thought it was stupid to define the seasons by dubious astronomical events, particularly when there was quite obviously still snow on the ground. No amount of convincing would make her change her mind. She also thought I was a bit crazy for caring about the specific number of hours of daylight, and found it hard to feign interest when I would (continually) point it out to her. Ailish understood that meteorologists defined the seasons this way, she just did not believe their opinion really counted.

It’s rained for 32 of the past 42 days here in Edmonton. Google says it’s going to rain for the next five. Ailish, I don’t know what happened to summer.

July 31st, 2011 11:10 AM

After living in Fort McMurray, counting the precious minutes of daylight seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do!

I remember in the winter, when I’d fly up and back every week, there was a half hour difference in daylight between Fort Mac and Edmonton. You’d leave Edmonton with the cabin lights on, but on the return flight leaving Fort Mac, same departure time a few days later, you’d have to dim the lights ’cause it was already pitch black outside.

I’m really hoping summer shows up … or else hay’s going to be mighty expensive this winter! The stuff is growing like mad, but without consecutive dry days, it’s impossible to get the stuff baled!

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