We’ve been living in a world of sunlight for 4 months. The last sunset that we saw was in McMurdo, when the sun would swoop just below the mountains for about an hour a day, back in October. My shadow has been getting longer and longer during my daily walk out to the ARO building. I’ve been taking my time on the walk as the colors of sunset have begun to show on the horizon, and the landscape has transformed in to a myriad of light and shadow. The sun sets only once a year here at the South Pole, and I want to take the time to enjoy it. It’s so weird to see the sun setting. For more, higher-res pictures, see the gallery: South Pole Sunset.
But more than that, it’s weird that it’s so weird. When’s the last time that you said, “Hmmm, the sun is setting… that’s so weird.” It’s just one of the many things that make this place so unique. It’s actually hard to imaging going back to “The Real World” and having both day and night every 24 hours.The feelings that I get when I’m outside are intense. It’s mostly a magical feeling, given by a place where the sun circles around the horizon, transforming the look of the landscape and buildings on its trek. But it’s also a feeling of peacefulness that comes with watching a sunset mixed with an uncomfortable feeling caused by the long winter night that is looming on the opposite horizon.
During my daily walks, I’ll find myself just standing there, looking in all directions. Towards the sun, where the oranges are starting to appear, and away from the sun, where dusk is beginning to show itself.
The sastrugi (snow formations caused by the wind), which are really the only thing that could be considered geological features here, have always been interesting to look at. But now, with the shadows getting longer and more distinct, they’ve become much more striking. I carry our nice camera with me every day because it always seems like there’s something new to take a picture of. It’s truly beautiful.