by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Decreasing Sunlight One facet of the changing that I have really noticed lately is the decrease in the hours of daylight. This did not seem to bother me much back in Maryland, though getting up and commuting to D.C. every day in the dark and coming home in the dark was kind of a bummer. Guess it is an aging thing. The reduction in daylight hours is another signal that nature is slowly moving into a “sleep” mode for the next few months. I like lots of daylight, and I kind of feel like I am also going into a “sleep mode” during this time. Living here now in Holly Springs, northern Georgia, I find it interesting that there is about half an hour’s difference between the sunrise and sunset in Holly Springs versus Easton. The sunrise and sunset are 30 minutes later here in Georgia than on the Eastern Shore. This is one of the reasons that I look forward to Linda’s and my trip to Florida during the winter for a week. The more south-
ern latitude and the brighter sun exposure seem to recharge my batteries. Besides the drop in the daily temperature, the shortening of the daylight hours also signals deciduous plants to prepare for winter and facilitates the hardening off process. The shorter daylight hours and the lower path of the sun in the sky are the reasons ~ besides temperature ~ that fall-planted cool season crops take longer to mature. Inside the house, this means that the growth of your houseplants slows down or stops. If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to bring the houseplants 83