Thursday, April 20, 2023

Autumnal realities

It’s autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, and the weather in Hamilton is clearly begining to shift toward late autumn. Currently, there’s still nearly 11 hours of daylight, however, due to the move bach to NZ Standard Time earlier this month, sunset is now around 5:45pm, and the light starts dimming before that. Since the sun is also getting lower in the sky, afternoon sun streaming in the windows on the Western side of my house begins to end a few hours before that. All of that is normal, obviously, and I notice the shortening days around this time every year. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The photo above is a tree on my street, and it’ll soon have no leaves. The photo below is of some leaves on my lawn—fortunately that’s about as bad as it gets, really, probably because there just aren’t than many trees in this neighbourhood. I was actually kind of surprised that the trees didn’t start turning colour earlier, but I’ve noticed that once it starts, it doesn’t take long for this tree, at least, to lose all its leaves (I don't watch all the trees in the area…).

The last two months of summer were WET, and the cleanup from the January and February storms still isn’t finished. However, in March, this area had less rainfall that usual—a chance to dry out? Well, yeah, but over the past couple months we’ve had some rainy periods and times with very heavy rain—just not as much as at the end of summer. April has seemed quite rainy (or, at least, cloudy and gloomy) a lot of the time, but in another ten days we’ll find out how rainy April really was: NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) releases monthly climate summaries online.

Rainy weather, or even cloudy days that seem to threaten to become rainy, are really only a potential problem for me because they can delay my lawn mowing. On the other hand, the gradually lowering daytime temperatures and reducing daylight hours mean the lawns don’t grow as quickly, so cloudy and/or rainy days aren’t all that bad (aside from being inherently depressing when they go on any on…). Soon I’ll be mowing every two or three weeks instead of weekly. This is a good thing.

Not a good thing is the fact that we’re now only about two months away from the shortest day of the year—definitely not a good thing. It’ll soon get dark early and cold at night, and I’m not a fan of either—maybe I should live close to the Equator?

I know plenty of people who seem to love autumn, but I’ve never been one of them. Summer’s my favourite season, though I don’t mind early Autumn or late Spring because both can be at least somewhat summery. Right now, we’re still in mid-ish Autumn, and the weather is still kind of summery-ish. That’ll be gone by this time next month as we slide toward Winter. The trees will be bare and the days shorter still.

Yes, all of these Autumnal changes are normal, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Clearly, I don’t.

No comments: