Tea Party Winners: Debra E. Marvin's winner is: Kathleen, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's winner of her MacGregor Legacy series is Chris Granville and second winner is Britney Adams for the plaque and For Love or Country novel:, Angela K. Couch's winner is: , Carrie Fancett Pagels's winner per random.org is Beverly Duell-Moore for a copy of BCB and second winner for colonial goodies is: Carrie Moore Gould, Denise Weimer's winner: Janet Marie Dowell, Shannon McNear's winner is: Adriann Harris, Pegg Thomas's winner is: Susan C

Friday, March 28, 2014

More Sunshine, Please!

During the recent vernal equinox, I happened to be working on a project at work where I had to track daylight hours for a agricultural research project. Daylight hours are pretty important for ripening. and affect insect activity just a bit less than it affects us! FYI Bees really are less active on cloudy days!

Like it or not, we tend to let the weather affect our mood, and with real spring-like weather long overdue in this part of the Northern Hemisphere, it got me thinking about the changes for our Colonial forefathers who came to the U.S. from across the North Atlantic.

Given that the U.K's weather tends to be milder than say, New York State, we might need a reminder that Scotland, for example, is significantly farther north. We all understand that Alaska is the Land of the Midnight Sun, but have you considered how much daylight Inverness gets around the Winter Solstice? Verra little!

So did all those Highlanders that ended up in North Carolina enjoy those four extra hours of day light on a cold December day? Have you considered that in summer, the LONGEST day of the year is hardly any longer?
The fact is, sunrise to sunset is only part of the picture when you are far up north. Dawn and Dusk last quite a long time!

So, consider this: Summer's longest day is in Boston, not Jamaica?  Jamaica has very little change in day length throughout the year. Inverness, on the other hand, has five hours and fifteen minutes from sunrise to sunset for their 'shortest day of the year'! 

As a writer, I think I'm not alone when I look up weather data and daylength for my fictional world. But in the 'real world', daylength has a big impact on health and growing seasons. I imagine many of the colonists enjoyed the longer days in the new world. Different crops, longer hours to work outside, fewer hours cooped up inside depending on candles and firelight!

Weather can be a subject for another post!  Now, go enjoy some sunshine!


  1. Having grown up in Michigan's upper peninsula, I know how lack of daylight can affect you! Never really thought about how it affected my characters in their story world. And it would have affected those new colonists as they adjusted. Thanks, Deb!

  2. I really had to face this when my characters were on a long walk at night in Scotland in late June. At the time, I could verify astronomical twilight as well, and found that dawn began around 3 am. A very short night!

    It's also a component in our lives as those of us who are northerners tend to have much less Vit D in our diets. It's not a coincidence there is a higher percentage of osteoporosis in some ethnic groups.

    enjoy some sunshine this weekend, everyone! I'm at work and so I'll check in this afternoon. Thanks Carrie!

  3. I meant VIt D in our DIETS as in 'how much we take in from sunshine'... not much!

  4. What an interesting post! Something more to think about when writing. Weather does affect people. Having dealt with seasonal affective disorder for many years before it was diagnosed, I can attest personally that seasons and daylight do affect how people think, feel and behave. But I hadn't given it a thought when creating my characters. Thank you, Debra.


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