Tuesday, September 23, 2008

EMPS: Is It Autumn Yet?

Carly's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot this week is a tricky one for me:

EMPS #4: Welcome To Autumn!

She wants to know what the beginning of Autumn looks like where we are. Umm, well....

Perhaps an hour before sunset.

Distinguishing autumn from summer in Tucson is a tricky proposition. We pretty much haven't got an autumn. Very few trees change color at all, and I don't think any of them lose their leaves. As for cooler weather:

Cayenne is not concerned about the temperature.

The temperature at about 4:30 PM Monday, according to my car, was 95 degrees.

No better at 5:45 PM

The temperature in my car as sunset approached was still 95 degrees.

Mind you, 95 degrees actually does constitute cooling off. In summer it's usually more like 105 degrees. Another change: the monsoon is over. There were clouds in the sky - there were clouds all weekend too - but unless we catch the edge of a hurricane, it probably won't rain again until January.

So if it's not cool, and the leaves don't change, and the sky is the same as it's been for weeks, how can I tell it's autumn? Well, even here, the days are getting shorter. I can try to time the sunset at the equinox. First, let's look up some relevant details on the NWS Tucson site:

Local news and information
Fall began today (September 22nd) at 8:44 am

Okay, so the day should be about 12 hours long, right? And the sun should set around 6 PM, give or take wiggle room for latitude and longitude.

Here goes:

No, not yet.

Sunset did not arrive while we were at the dog park. So I dropped off the dogs and headed over to Safeway:

Close enough.

The naked eye gave the impression that the sunset was at 6:17. Or maybe 6:18. I've had to fudge this photo a bit; my camera could not get the sky and the phone in focus in the same shot.

A couple of minutes later. Score!

Turns out I was only a couple of minutes off. From another site:

Rising and setting times for the Sun

Length of day
DateSunriseSunsetThis dayDifference

Sep 22, 20086:12 AM6:20 PM12h 07m 23s− 1m 57s

Be sure to stop by Ellipsis and play along, especially if, unlike me, you actually have a seasonal change to photograph! Carly will post the results next Sunday night/Monday morning.



Laura said...

Hi, Karen,
Yes, the tow truck driver knew I was there. I don't think he was happy about it, but there was nowhere nearby for me to wait inside and once I was in there, he might as well keep going...

Carly said...

Hi Karen

Actually, this is what I had in mind for the challenge. I simply wanted to see what the very first moments of autumn looked like in different parts of the county. Color wasn't the point, it was more about showing each other the differences in where we live, and all of these are perfect examples.


Jama said...

We only have one season and that's hot hot sunny day with occasional rainy days. So I'm sitting this one out. :( but it's interesting to see the different seasons the others are experiencing.

MyMaracas said...

Cool photos, and it is fun to see what the season brings to other parts of the country.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Well It looked summery to me, but look on the bright side..no leaves to rake!

Kiva said...

It must be autumn in Tucson, it's below 100! Gorgeous sunset.

Wammy said...

The sunset is breathtaking! Looks like a sunset at the beach. Lovely.