Light

january sunrise at Ginty Creek
The sunrise point at the end of January.

February already.  Where does the time go to?

The days are for sure getting longer.  I don’t bother to look at a clock all that often but I am able to get much more done during the day.

The sunrise and sunset points are moving.  Around the shortest day, the sun poked over the east ridge behind the tree on the right.  For a couple of weeks either side of the shortest day the sunrise point is much the same.  By the equinox it is visibly different every day, galloping like a bolting horse toward the next solstice.  It is already gathering speed.

Because I use solar power, all my lights are 12-volt, running directly off the batteries.  To save power even more, the bulbs are leds.  they are ugly – giving a very narrow band of light that plunges the rest of the room into gloom, but they are efficient and much more environmentally friendly than propane lights or candles.

alternative light at Ginty Creek
dynamo lantern

I also use a hand-wound dynamo lantern that I was given for Christmas.  When we had a lot of dull weather around the new Year I had to use it all the time.  The manfacturers, Freeplay, boast you can get an hour from a minute’s winding: I found I got 45 minutes from 200 turns.  It would quit without warning and plunge me into dark.

One of its features is a plug-in to a computer.  It fits my camera down-load cable.  I thought it was a bit of an oxymoron at first but it charges while I work on the computer.  Now that the dark hours are less and the sun has been shining sporadically, I haven’t had to wind it up for a long time.

I still save power by using it for about an hour every morning.  It takes me that long to do my daily exercise routine and I do not need much light for that.

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