Sunday, March 2, 2008


It's March now, and things down here have begun to change. The temperature has been dropping for a week or so, people have started to settle in on station, and the sun is getting dangerously low in the sky.

It's now cold enough outside to hear your own breath. Not your breathing, your breath. The moisture freezes out and it contracts with sufficient force now that it makes sound. Exhaling without a balaclava or other covering sounds a bit like a fire extinguisher, only deeper and sharper. It kind of looks like one, too.

You may have noticed from some of the pictures lately that shadows are starting to get very long on the ground. Every little ripple in the snow now casts one, and the landscape has changed from brilliant white into a mottled grey.

The sun is down to about 6 degrees above the horizon, but it's getting hard to imagine life here without it. Since I got here almost 2 months ago, I've had sun 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I've completely internalized it. In my mind now, the sun is supposed to be up all the time. That adaptation, along with the fact that after two months I've never seen any of my surroundings in the dark, is making contemplation of a dark life here difficult. I guess I'll see for myself soon enough.

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