This morning I started my commute before sunrise once again and was treated to a beautiful rising of the sun. The sky went from darkness to several shades of purple, orange, and red. Not to be outdone, the sun rose above the Maryland hills across from me on the Potomac and seemed to set the water aflame with its bright orange glow.
Although the sunrise keeps marching later in the morning until January, this will be one of the latest sunrises this year due to the falling back to standard time. This morning the sun rose at 7:32 AM, something it will not do again until next year after the "fall-back" in time this Sunday (Friday's sunrise is 7:34 AM -- Monday's is at 6:38 AM). The latest sunrise after the "fall back" will be 7:27 AM from December 31st to January 10 and after the "spring forward" there are 3 later sunrises from 7:31 AM-7:28 AM on March 8, 9, and 10.
The dark in the morning (at least temporarily) is exchanged for dark at night next week. Tonight the sun sets at 6:11 PM, but on Monday it drops below the horizon at 5:05 PM quickly reaching its earliest sunset time of 4:46 PM from December 1-12. Something many people don't realize is while the Winter solstice is the shortest day from sunrise to sunset the earliest sunset comes beforehand and the latest sunset comes afterward.
Thankfully, my generator hub powered headlight and taillight are in working order and are being supplemented with some additional lights front and rear. As the evenings plunge into darkness and the outside temperatures follow, the trails become less crowded and more peaceful. I will miss the sun, but I look forward to quiet commutes beside the Potomac shimmering beneath the moonlight.