What’s awesome about arctic winter sunrises is the fact that they don’t demand the sacrifice of sleep. Obliging to the desires of one who wishes to have their sleep and the grandeur of a sunrise too, arctic winter sunrises wait until a less obtrusive time to grace arctic dwellers with their magnificence. But, unlike winter sunrises in the high arctic, which don’t occur until anywhere between 11:00 and noon, winter sunrises here don’t induce the same extreme northern winter fatigue.
Currently, the sun begins to rise shortly before 8:00. Closer to solstice, however, this is delayed until 8:30 or so. For the average working Tasiujamuit (I believe most people start work at 9:00 here), that affords ample time for one to do one’s various morning things before catching the sunrise at its crescendo en route to work.
With the school situated directly parallel to the bay, my 3 minute walk to work involves one of the more breathtaking panoramas in the village. In stunning contrast is a vibrant orange sky over the bay ice that’s a combination of crisp, untainted white and glacial blue. Between the two rises what’s either dusty arctic snow hovering in the wind just above the ice, or a fog that’s the beautiful consequence of tension between the sun’s warmth and the bay’s cold. Even at -50 degrees, I can stand for a moment and feel a hint of heat radiating from the sun where my face isn’t covered by coyote fur and scarf.
Regrettably, neither my words nor my camera adequately capture this arctic winter sunrise. But, in the hopes that a combination of the two will do it at least a little bit of justice, I will post 2 photos. I took these photos in late November from in front of the school. This was before the bay froze entirely, but when the sunrise was at it’s 8:30 AM peak.