The seasons come and go and then come back again…What?

Map of the equator illustrating our odd seasonal changes over the past almost eight months.

Something funny dawned on us yesterday when Tom was proofreading our post. (Yes, I know. We do miss some errors. It just goes with the territory of writing every day).

Anyway, back to the dawning. This revelation was odd to us. 

When we left Italy in the Summer on September 1, 2013, we flew to Kenya, where it was almost Spring. Three months later on December 1, 2013, when we left Kenya, we arrived in South Africa, where it was still Spring.  By the time we left South Africa, it was during their Summer. On March 1, 2014, we arrived in Morocco when it was almost Spring again, which will last the entire 75 days we’re here.

In a span of 7.5 months, we’ll have experienced the following:
Italy:  Summer (except for the first 5 days)
Kenya:  Spring (except, for the first 20 days)
South Africa: Summer(except for the first 20 days)
Morocco: Spring (except for the first 20 days)

Our bodies don’t only adapt to the varying climates in seasons in many parts of the world, but, also in areas where the seasonal changes are less evident such as in tropical climates.

We’ve certainly avoided winter (cold weather) as much as possible, which was our original intent. Although during this recent period, there’s been a variance of 62 degrees. Talk about our biological clocks being set and reset for the seasons! 

The human body easily adapts to seasonal changes although some have difficulty adjusting developing such conditions as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as described in this link from the Mayo Clinic.

Fortunately, for us, we’ve had no difficulty adapting to these changes other than time changes we’ve encountered as we’ve moved from location to location. When we arrived in Morocco, the two-hour time difference from South Africa was more noticeable than the longer changes where, after a few nights sleeps our biological clocks adapted. 

The one or two-hour changes, resulted in awakening too early in the morning, no matter how late we stayed up at night. On some of our past cruises, we experienced one hour time changes night after night, resulting in the necessity of adapting day after day. I won’t say it was difficult to adapt although we did struggle with getting enough sleep over the time period.

The equator, coupled with the course of our travels has resulted in the vast seasonal variances. Less of this would have occurred had we stayed either above or below the equator for the entire period. 

Living in Morocco we’re in the throes of a cool, wet spring season. Who knew that Morocco, a vision of hot arid deserts, would require us to use a heater when indoors while wearing two shirts with our legs covered with fuzzy afghans? At night, we’re covered with a fluffy down comforter topped with two additional blankets. I wish I’d have kept a few of those hoodies and sweaters that we gave away.

And now, as the weather warms here, we look forward to our remaining time in Morocco being warmer. In Madeira, half of our time will be in Spring and the other half will be in Summer. From there and for some time to come, we’ll be north of the equator and in mostly warm climates.

Here is the information we found online from this website regarding seasonal changes.

“March Equinox

The March equinox occurs when the sun crosses the true celestial equator – or the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north on a day between March 20 and 23. In other words, the sun moves north of the equator during the March equinox.

During the March equinox, the length of the day is about 12 hours and eight to nine minutes in areas that are about 30 degrees north or south of the equator, while areas that are 60 degrees north or south of the equator receive daylight for about 12 hours and 16 minutes. Regions around the equator have a daylight period of about 12 hours and six-and-a-half minutes during the March equinox.

The March equinox is an important event in many calendars, as it coincides with a variety of cultural events, religious observances, or customs.

June Solstice

The June solstice is also referred to as the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. This is the time when the sun is at its furthest point from the equator – it reaches its northernmost point on a day between June 20 and 22, and the Earth’s north pole tilts towards the sun.
The June solstice is also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere. This is the longest day for those living north of this latitude. North of the Arctic Circle the “midnight sun” can be observed, while locations south of the Antarctic Circle do not receive any direct sunlight.

September Equinox

The September equinox is also referred to as the autumnal, autumn, or fall equinox in the northern hemisphere. It is known as the spring or vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere as countries including South Africa and Australia enter the spring season. It occurs on a day between September 21 and 24 when the Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the imaginary line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun.
During the September equinox, the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward. At this point in time, regions around the equator have a daylight length of about 12 hours and six-and-a-half minutes. Read more about the September equinox and customs and holidays associated with this event.

December Solstice

The December solstice is also called the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere. It occurs on a day between December 20 and 23. At this point, the sun appears directly above the Tropic of Capricorn, and the days are shortest at locations north of the Tropic of Cancer. South of the Antarctic Circle, the sun is now visible 24 hours per day.

For us, the weather is significant with one of the main reasons for leaving Minnesota was the bitter Winter, short Spring, and Summer, and precarious fall season when it often snowed. Shoveling snow and snow blowing in one’s old age wasn’t appealing to Tom nor was walking and driving on icy roads appealing to either of us. Many seniors break a hip falling on the ice in Minnesota winters. It was a life we chose to leave behind.

For now, we’re planning our trip to the Atlas Mountains for a few days. We’re hoping to leave within the next few weeks, breaking up our time in Morocco as we’ve done with short trips in Kenya and South Africa. At this point, we leave Morocco in six weeks. 

Today, we’re heading out for the afternoon for a late lunch, a walk through new areas of the souk, and the Big Square, hoping to soak up a little warmth of the sun along the way. After all, Spring is in the air. Again.

Photo from one year ago today, April 3, 2013:

This photo of me was taken as we winded down our time in Belize. I worked out at the health club at the resort next door to our home by paying a small monthly fee. There have been no nearby health clubs in the past four countries and I’ve learned to exercise at home. I prefer the health club or workout room atmosphere and hope to find one in our next country. For the link to the post from one year ago, please click here