Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ray of Sunshine

I have a confession to make. I love the new Tropicana commercial where they bring sunshine to Inuvik. It’s a great depiction of the North. It makes me all teary-eyed.

We’re lucky enough that we never had 24 hours without sun. We got down to about 4 hours of true daylight in December, and have been amazed since coming back from the wedding and honeymoon how much daylight we have now. (It’s 7pm and I still don’t have lights on….)

The commercial raised some deep and interesting questions for me though.

Where on earth is Inuvik that it has 24 hour darkness? Ok, well Inuvik is in the Northwest Territories. Technically, it’s in the northwest corner of the Northwest Territories. It is two degrees above the Arctic Circle.

I had to Google ‘Inuvik’ to find all that out, and probably wouldn’t have bothered at all, if it wasn’t for the presence of trees in the commercial. What I *really* wanted to know was: Where on earth is Inuvik that they have 24 hour darkness AND trees?!?!

On our way to Baker Lake we say goodbye to trees at Churchill. And we feel sorry for those trees, because they are lonely, stunted, sparse things. In Baker, we’re south of the Arctic Circle and we don’t have 24 hour darkness, so how come we don’t have trees?

(Please note: This is where the cynical thinking of my new husband must’ve rubbed off on me and I set out to prove that they doctored the commercial to make the town of Inuvik more picturesque to sell more OJ.)

So I Googled ‘arctic circle tree line’. Who knew that the tree line isn’t a straight line drawn at approximately 55 degrees? Not even close. The tree line is all topsy-turvy. Several areas in the NWT, Yukon, and Alaska enjoy the presence of trees, even though they are north of the Arctic Circle, probably due to some meteorological phenomenon that’d take a degree to understand.

So Inuvik is north of the Arctic Circle. They have trees. They also have 24 hour darkness. AND they have the kind people from Tropicana bringing them OJ, which, if you’ve lived in the north, is worth its weight in gold –en sunshine.

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