September 19, 2010

I Hear You Equinoxing, But You Can’t Come In

Good morning and greetings, solstice fans. For change of seasons lovers, there are only three times during the year that the hours of daylight and of darkness are equal – at the spring and fall equinoxes and during halftime of Super Bowl Sunday. During the fall equinox, which arrives this Wednesday, the sun crosses the equator, passes Go and collects $200. This provides the earth with 12 hours of sunlight, a get out of jail free card and a hotel on Park Place.

Thus begins the change that results in winter for the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern. When asked about this flip flopping of seasons, the Beach Boys commented, “the southern hemisphere girls with they walk they talk, they knock me out when I’m down there. The midwest farmer’s daughter’s really make you feel alright, and the northern hemisphere girls with the way they kiss the keep their boyfriends warm at night.”

After the fall equinox and the new TV shows hit the networks, the northern hemisphere of the earth begins to tilt ever so slightly away from the sun, which drives my daughter crazy, thus slowly decreasing the amount of sunshine received until winter solstice, after which the days begin to lengthen again. Or in the words of the group America, “Ventura Highway in the sunshine, where the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine.” Yes, music is my mistress.

So when the fall equinox enters our lives on Wednesday, the northern hemisphere moves away from Donna summer, which we had for about an hour here in Santa Cruz, and results in the beginning of autumn. And if you know Donna, you know, “she works hard for her money, so hard for it honey, she works hard for the money so you better treat her right.” The hits just keep coming.

In New Orleans they celebrate Drew Brees and Fat Tuesday, which is also known as Mardi Gras. As we approach Chubby Wednesday on the seasonal calendar, inquiring minds might wonder, are there any other names for the Fall Equinox? Well, how’s about Autumn Equinox, Cornucopia, Corn on the Cob, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Woodstock II, Harvest Tide, Night of the Hunter, Day of the Jackal, Wine Harvest, Witch’s Thanksgiving, Witchy Woman and my personal favorite, Hotel California.

Now if you’re spiritual-minded like me, and live to meditate and breathe chocolate air, here’s an interesting perspective on the day from Tammy Burnsed of Associated Content from Yahoo Press. By the time of the fall equinox, most of the autumn vegetables, fruits, grains and medicinal herbs have been collected. Mother Earth, when not being pestered by Father Time, has once again provided an abundance of food for her children. The busy time of tending fields, harvesting and living without NBA basketball is almost done and though the work of storing and preserving foods and collecting nuts with the squirrels for the winter still lies ahead, it is time to take a moment of rest and give thanks for all that has been received.

As Diane Stein writes in Casting the Circle, “…with the death of the plants is the birth and the mystery of the seeds. All growth is held in suspension and silence within.” And as we know, coming into the new NBA season, the Miami Heat will be the top seed in the east, with the reigning champions LA Lakers the top seed in the west.

So with autumn slowly working its way into our starting lineup, for today’s photo fondue, we are going back to our beginning, or as Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina say, “maybe I’ll walk on back to Georgia, back this morning, back where I come from.” That would be to the wonderful world of sunrises, where I have found a niche and am very comfortable in this arena, although not as relaxed as I was at the Fabulous Forum during the Magic Johnson “Showtime” years.

The first four images are from one of only two sunrises I’ve shot during my digital days in the month of September. The first three were taken at Steamer Lane and as you can see, the sun reflecting off the water was an attraction I could live with. As the sun climbed upward, clouds continued to gather in the sky and I later returned to the cliff to shoot the rays filtering down onto Monterey Bay (photo #4.) Turns out the clouds were having a convention and I was one of the guest speakers.

The last two images are from a fabulous sunrise from late September of 2007. The final shot was taken in front of my favorite cypress tree along West Cliff Drive. I’m extremely fond of the silhouette action that this sapling brings to the digital table, as I am of the parmesan cheese and panko breaded chicken breast topped with a wine, garlic and butter sauce with sun dried tomatoes over mashed potatoes at Gilbert’s (no relation) Firefish Grill on the Santa Cruz Wharf. It’s the new Locals Only special and it is scrumptiously delicious.

On to the late night. “According to government auditors, the stimulus money is being held up because there aren’t enough government workers to oversee the spending. So follow me, in other words, government workers who aren’t there are needed to spend money we don’t have to create jobs that don’t exist. The Atlantic had a big article on the inevitability of Israel going to war with Iran over building nuclear weapons. But the White House thinks that strong economic sanctions will bring them to their knees, raise unemployment, and cause their factories to close – the same way those economic sanctions worked right here. This whole thing with Iran, it’s amazing how different our cultures are. In Iran a woman can get stoned for committing adultery. See, here in America, women commit adultery while getting stoned.” –Jay Leno

“Here’s a weather update from Florida. This week’s Koran smoke advisory has been lifted. That crazy pastor, remember he was going to burn the Koran, he’s now suspended it. … He said he’s now looking for directions from God on where to go. You know, I can’t speak for God, but I think if he grabs a shovel and starts digging, he’s heading in the right direction. “In the Delaware Republican U.S. Senate primary, Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell won a huge upset. Interesting woman, very conservative. She has come out against masturbation. So not only is she against politicians putting their hands in our pockets, she’s against you putting your hands in your own pockets as well.” –Jay Leno “New FBI statistics say that crime in the United States fell 5 percent from last year. Experts say the decrease in crime could be due to the aging of the population, increased incarceration, and many criminals finding jobs in the banking industry and on Wall Street.” –Jimmy Kimmel

So that’s it for our final post for the summer of 2010. I don’t know about you, but after this summer that would have left Mark Twain shivering, I’m going to get myself a warmer bathing suit. And if you have a spare moment, be extremely grateful for your good health. Unlike Jason’s free throw shooting at crunch time, it’s not automatic. We’ll catch you in the double coverage. Aloha, mahalo and later, Red Zone Channel fans.


  1. Enjoyed this week’s sunrise topics and out the door to enjoy the last 12 hours of sun.

    Comment by Babs — September 20, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  2. Missed you at The wine show in Capitola. Everyone there was asking about the sunset guy and I straightened them out

    Comment by boots — September 22, 2010 @ 6:52 am

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