Friday, July 1, 2011

Daily Oak - June report

Number of days missed: 6
Number of days with more than one visit: 11
Number of visits with more than the two standard perspectives taken: 12
Guest trees: 3
Total number of pictures taken: 115

I have postponed the entry about Daily Oak’s age until next month’s report. This month offered another special aspect for the year’s daily art project – solstice.
Some time during May I realized that the days would not be getting longer for much longer, and felt that required some special attention in connection with Daily Oak. This is what I came up with: on solstice day I would visit Daily Oak every two hours. I thought that way I would be able to document the movement of the tree’s shadow throughout the entire day, from sunrise to sunset. This included finding out the  exact moments of sunrise (5:06 a.m.) and sunset (9:16 p.m.) at that specific location – and the exact moment of turnaround. Internet-research told me the the most northern position of the sun this year would occur at 7:16 p.m. on June 21, which I also wanted to document.
Then family matters interfered. We are having a four-week visitor stay with us who planned to arrive exactly on June 21 in the afternoon – a two-hour-interval would thus definitely not be possible, even though we live relatively close to the airport. So I checked the respective moments of sunrise and sundown for the day before – which, as could be expected, did not seriously differ from those on the exact 21st. In fact both, sunrise and sunset were given as occurring at exactly the same time. I decided to do the two-hour-interval-documentation on the 20th, and to try and catch the turnaround as closely as possible.
On the 20th, I set my alarm for 4:50 a.m., but was woken by my son, who had had a bad dream half an hour earlier. He cuddled up in my bed and kept talking and talking – and went back to sleep when I got up… Unfortunately, the sky was clouded up, and the backside-picture of the month, which was pointing in the direction of sunrise was not at all interesting.

Backside view, June 20, 5:06 a.m., sunrise
Four minutes before my second trip was due I decided to alter the rules and go every three hours, which I then maintained throughout the day, buying a new computer inbetween, and other little house-hold items like that. However, the weather did not improve, a movement of the shadow could not be documented simply because there was not shadow to speak of. Frustration!
In the evening, when the weather report called for a slight improvement for the next day, I decided to try and get in as many trips to the tree the next day as possible, knowing that it would not be possible to do an exact two-hour-interval. Another early wake-up, a look out the window – still cloudy, forget it. By seven, however, things had improved slightly and I took my first trip for the day:

Perspective b, June 21, 6:53 a.m.

Three more followed.

Perspective a, June 21, 10:02 a.m.

Perspective b, June 21, 12:02 p.m.
Perspective a, June 21, 1:46 p.m.

The afternoon trip to the airport interrupted the series, but on our return we managed to pass by the tree 8 minutes before the magic moment of turnaround, and by now the weather had definitely improved.

Perspective a, June 21, 7:08 p.m.,
almost turnaround time

Perspective b, June 21, 7:08 p.m.,
almost turnaround time

(At that point my husband, as understanding as he usually is with regard to my art projects, was getting slightly edgy about my repeated photo-taking and I did not dare suggest we wait out those eight minutes to actually catch the moment – which I definitely would have done had I been on my own.)
One more and final trip at sunset followed that day:

Perspective b, June 21, 9:08 p.m., sunset

Next day, the weather was even better, and I could fill a few gaps – the sunrise, for example.

Perspective a, June 22, 5:06 a.m., sunrise

A little extra on the side – after I had been at the tree at sunrise I took a little swing across central square, which is right on a bridge across the river – and saw a beaver heading upstream.

Beaver in the river Vils

At the end of those three tree days I was quite happy to return to the usual routine of once a day, you bet! Winter solstice is going to be easier – only half as many daylight hours to cover then!

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