I took Nanuq out for his daily walk last night while Michael put Jade to bed for the last time for at least two weeks (he left for the NWT this morning). I set out around 7:30 and it was very light outside. Not as light as it would be in the middle of the summer, but I had no trouble seeing the trails and could see Nanuq the whole time, too. It was amazing the difference between last night and my walk with him on Wednesday night. Wednesday night was clear and cold and the stars sparkled in the sky; but I couldn’t see much down on the ground. In fact, I actually took the wrong trail at one point and ended up going a different route than I had intended. And Nanuq and the neighbour’s dog, Kodiak, kept getting lost in the shadows.
So what was the difference last night? Last night, the sky was overcast.
It’s a strange truth that in the middle of winter in Whitehorse, it’s brighter out at night if it’s cloudy than if it’s clear. The light from the city reflects of the low clouds and off the snow, too, so that the outdoors is lit up to twilight brightness. I suppose I ought to lament the effects of light pollution, and I admit that a starry sky is much more romantic, but it made my walk last night much easier than Wednesday’s. I was so giddy from being out with Nanuq in the orange light that I decided to roll down one of the tobogganing hills. Given my propensity for running into trees, that’s one bit of childishness I definitely wouldn’t have attempted in the inky darkness of perfectly starry night.
If you have any unusual observations or random thoughts about weather, Rebecca is collecting posts about that topic this month. Surf on over to check out weather in other parts of blogland, and if you want to play along, just send her the link.