Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Old Town Light

Winter sunlight in Key West has a quality that is decidedly different to summer light. It shouldn't be surprising because the sun clearly moves lower in the sky changing the angle, even though around here at 24 degrees North the change in the amount of sunlight is minimal. Compared to the top and bottom of the planet where sunlight actually comes and goes around here sunset varies by an hour or so. The shift to daylight saving time moves sunsets back by a lot in comparison and in summer it can still be light at 8:30 in the evening.

Last week we passed the shortest day while I was off the grid on vacation but I noticed the solstice and I was glad of it as I prefer longer evenings. I get off work at six and I don't arrive home on Cudjoe Key till half an hour later and this time of year it's already dusk as I leave the police station. One reason living and working in Key West is so pleasant is the absence of harsh weather in winter, no ice scrapers heavy jackets or tire chains needed so winter is just a milder form of summer. Short days are the strongest reminder of the season. That and not sweating all the time which gets to be pleasant as summer drags on.
I like the crisp winter light when I can get out in it on my days off or my lunch breaks and now I'm looking forward to longer days as the seasons change. One other thing about winter in Key West is things stay colorful and here is a painted car to prove the point:
When I go away from the Keys I am reminded how fortunate I am to live in a town with a large and vibrant Old Town, and it is a lived in space, not perfect and  yet not crumbling either. There are always things to see, be they as simple as a wooden fence in afternoon sunlight...
...or overhead foliage that I have, over the decades, learned to look up and notice as I walk.
I didn't see homes like this on every street corner on mainland Florida.
Or alleys like Curry Lane. We may be headed back to summer and hurricane season and all that, my last living and working in Key West but I plan to keep documenting the light as we go.