“An accidental sudden noise waked me about six in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with light. I imagined at first that a number of lamps had been brought into my room; but rubbing my eyes I perceived the light came in at the windows.”
~ A letter written to the “Journal of Paris” by Benjamin Franklin in 1784
The weather is beautiful this time of year. The heat of summer has passed, replaced with the freshness of autumn. How can I feel cheated and disappointed under these conditions?
Let me clarify.
Mother Nature is not the culprit, but instead a man made one is … the clock. Last weekend our various time pieces lost an hour as we assisted their fall from Daylight Savings Time back to Standard Time. The common reaction felt and often expressed is, “I hate it getting dark so early.” In the past, light provided protection and lent more time to hunt and gather food. Modern day man has electricity, therefore the extra hours of sunlight are mostly for enjoyment … especially summer evenings.
From the time of Ben Franklin until today, the concept of saving and capturing hours of daylight has been an obsession; perhaps for good reason. Mr. Franklin, while visiting Paris, commented, “Still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early… I looked into the almanac where I found it to be the hour given for the sun’s rising on that day.” His observation led to these conclusions:
• Six hours of sunlight were being wasted as he slept until noon.
• Economically speaking, candlelight is more expensive than sunlight.
• A city such as Paris could save by using sunshine instead of candles.
I can relate to being a “night owl” and doubt if Mr. Franklin ever changed his ways.
Research shows that changing clocks twice a year messes with our biological clocks. It may not be practical to set our sleep and awake time using the sun as “the clock.” A solution could be to make Daylight Savings Time the standard, year-around. Until then, get out your candles!
Rain or shine? Maybe both. A warm holiday weekend is predicted but Tuesday brings a questionable 20% chance of rain. As with most weather predictions, it is “wait and see.”
Enjoy as weather is one of life’s few surprises.
And to our veterans, thank you …
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service. Reach her at