Sep. 29th, 2010

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It's autumn here. We've already had the first couple of days when I've really regretted not wearing a thicker jacket, or where I've been indoors for a good while before my fingers stopped tingling. But by contrast today was mild, and I cycled home tonight in a delicious, invigorating light spray of rain through air that was almost summer-warm.

The odd thing, though, about nights like this is that it's partly the low cloud cover that keeps it warm - but it reflects the sodium street-lights as well as the heat and they give it a colour-cast that's an utterly indescribable mixture of purple and orange. It's much, much lighter and more luminescent than the landscape in a way that you naturally associate with dawn or dusk, or with the midnight sun (we're pretty nearly that far north). I find that this causes a subtle dislocation, a contradiction between what the light is telling you about the time of day and year, and what your brain is telling you.

Now, on the one hand, I really hate that colour and that sky. It's all that's worst about city-living and light-pollution; you never see more than the brightest few stars here and even that only on the coldest and clearest of nights, the ones that should be absolutely breathtaking. Yet on the other hand, these mild, mellow, wet nights are one of my favourite kinds of weather and the result is some very mixed associations. I kind of love the way the city looks all wet and shining, and that sky is very much a part of the place at these lovely times.

I wonder what it would look like, though, if the problem of light-pollution was dealt with? If the sky wasn't lighter than the land under it, and if one had enough light to get about safely and enough was good enough? I can hardly imagine this lovely place under a natural sky, and with the world around me night-coloured instead if orange. I'd like to see it, though.


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Missing Opossum

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