Apehelion

Today the Earth is furthest from the Sun, a point called apehelion. We will be about 152,096,000km (94,508,000miles) from the Sun. Compare this to the 147,099,000km (91,403,000miles) we were at perihelion on January 2rd, a difference of about 4,996,000km (3,104,000miles) occurring throughout one orbit.

It may seem odd that we are actually at the furthest for the middle of northern summer, you just have to remember that proximity to the Sun is not the cause of the seasons. The seasons are caused by the axial tilt of the Earth, creating short and long days throughout the year, with a resulting change in the angle and intensity of the sunlight.


2016 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 2 22:49UT Jan 2 12:49HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 04:30UT Mar 19 18:30HST
Summer Solstice Jun 20 22:34UT Jun 20 12:34HST
Apehelion Jul 4 16:24UT Jul 4 06:24HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 14:21UT Sep 22 04:21HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 10:44UT Dec 21 00:44HST
 
Source: USNO data Services

 

Changes in Tenakee

I realize things change, but sometimes the “improvements” seem to involve a loss. A loss of what was, a loss of a little piece of history.

Snyder Mercantile
The original early twentieth century interior of Snyder Mercantile, Tenakee
The Snyder Mercantile was a time capsule of another era. Built over a century ago the store was a glimpse into the past. The products on the shelves were fresh, mostly, but the store appeared much as it did decades ago. A single room with a little of everything from bread to fishing tackle and boat parts. They still used the century old cash register to ring up your sale. Never mind the trouble finding tape and ribbons, it still worked, emitting a classic bell ring as the total was calculated.

Snyder Mercantile
The rebuilt Snyder Mercantile, Tenakee
I was not pleasantly surprised when I made my way into the store. The old mercantile was gone, a modern interior greeted me. Some time since my last visit the past had been swept away. For a minute I could only stand there in the entrance, a feeling of loss overwhelming me. Some time in the last couple years the store has been rebuilt.

Much of the building has been replaced, from pilings to decking new lumber can be seen. The interior pays homage to the original, the walls made from the original tongue and groove woodwork stripped and stained. The stock is groceries, the hardware and tackle is mostly gone, only a few shelves remain. The old cash register is relegated to being a museum piece in the corner, a new computerized machine with a touch screen and laser scanner serves in its place. The satisfing crunch of gears and bell no longer signals each sale.

Snyder Mercantile
The rebuilt Snyder Mercantile in Tenakee
Having skipped Tenakee last season I had missed the changes. The renovations were completed last year. To be fair the renovations were probably necessary. The years of Alaskan winters had taken a toll on the structure. This climate is not kind to the works of man, particularly those built of wood. The location, built on pilings over a tidal flat makes this even worse.

Having first shopped in Snyder Mercantile back in 1994 I have been visiting this store for over two decades. Goods brought out from Juneau are not cheap, but we always have something that has run out after a week on the water. Tenakee means a few groceries and a soak in the hot springs. The changes are good, the store is better, but the rebulding of the century old store still seems a loss.

Quiet Blog

I admit Darker View has been a bit quiet for the last few weeks. A few reasons for this. Firstly I was in Alaska with family for most of the month of June, fishing and exploring out of Juneau as usual. Then I was quite busy at work, compounded by recovering from a bout of bronchitis.

To top it all off I spent my blogging energies working on the NordicQuest.com blog instead of Darker View… Sorry.

I will have to cross post a couple of the good postings that I put up over at NQ here. While the blog has been quiet, I have been having fun!

Breach!
A humpback whale breaches in Chatham Strait

Summer Solstice

Summer solstice occurs today at 12:34HST. Today the Sun will occupy the most northerly position in the sky of the year. The term solstice comes from the latin terms Sol (the Sun) and sistere (to stand still). On this day the Sun seems to stand still as it stops moving northwards each day and begins move to the south. This is the first day of summer as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere. Alternately this is the first day of winter for those living south of the equator.


2016 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 2 22:49UT Jan 2 12:49HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 04:30UT Mar 19 18:30HST
Summer Solstice Jun 20 22:34UT Jun 20 12:34HST
Apehelion Jul 4 16:24UT Jul 4 06:24HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 14:21UT Sep 22 04:21HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 10:44UT Dec 21 00:44HST
 
Source: USNO data Services