I live near York which is about 53.5 degrees north in latitude. Where in North America would that be? Just a bit south of Prince Rupert, BC. Sadly, York lacks all the lovely ski resorts of British Columbia. On the longest day of the year we get about 17 hours of daylight. Let me rephrase that: the time between sunrise and sunset is 17 hours. Some days you don’t see the sun so we have to take sunrise and sunset times on faith. I used to wonder why England had so many famous astronomers and then I realised that when you can’t see the sky all the time you have to learn how to predict when celestial events were going to occur. Stonehenge is probably a 5000 year-old ‘observatory’. On December 21st, the shortest day of the year, we get about 7 hours of ‘daylight’. At that time of year it’s cold and wet and dark the whole time you’re NOT at work.
Rain, rain, rain
When I moved to the Pacific Northwest it took awhile to come to terms with the perpetual grey skies and rain. I was used to the weather in the mid-west: really cold winters with feet of snow and really hot summers with tornadoes. There were even laws about shovelling your walk within 24 hours of a new snow fall. And, generally, lots and lots of sunshine. People really did go ‘snow blind’ in the winter because of the bright sunshine reflecting off fresh, clean snow. Eventually I acclimated to living in the Puget Sound region but I did still miss being really hot at least a few days out of the year. But I didn’t miss the snow. Been there, shovelled that, glad to ditch the tire chains.