If, to carry this a bit further, you look at dusk, you’d then have to distinquish between civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight (depending on the exact amount of light that was left to see, steer, or observe by).
All of that is good theoretically, but I’ve got another reality to contend with. Directly behind my house to the west a mountain peak rises steeply about a mile above me.
As the sun rotates on its axis during the year, sunset actually varies about about a half an hour. I lose thirty minutes of daylight as the sun position passes behind the tip of the mountain, only to regain it as the sunset reappears on the other side of the peak several weeks later.
Does that mean in my small corner of the world there are two equiluxes each autumn? I like to think so.
BUT, what I do know is that fall has arrived. I saw the first white crowned sparrow this morning, and the hummingbirds have dwindled in numbers from swarms to good sized buzzing clouds. They will continue to migrate south until I am left with just a few to winter over.
Their departure will signal the arrival of the dark-eyed junkos, those harbingers of things cold and snowy. The mornings have turned cooler, down in the 50s now and I saw the first ash tree turning from green to gold.
For some people fall brings a sadness, an ending of a cycle and a preparing for the fallow season of winter. Not for me. Perhaps because I’ve been a student all my life, fall is a time of new beginnings. Pencil boxes, and new crayons, and a special pair of shoes or two for school.
I feel a quickening of step and a briskness return to my nature.
Pumpkin time is coming, and then the dizzying rush of weeks until Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Life is good! Fall is here!