Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Reverse S.A.D. and polar bears

Hello, my name is Possumlady and I have reverse SAD. (All together now..."Hello Possumlady")
You all, I'm sure, have heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Come fall, there are always articles and tv stories on those affected by SAD. When fall comes, people affected by SAD feel bittersweet as fall is a beautiful season, is a respite from the dog days of summer. But fall also brings shorter days, colder weather and snow storms. People affected by SAD can get severely depressed because of the lack of sunlight.
I, on the other hand, feel very bittersweet in spring. As much as I love watching my garden coming up again, the birds singing, temps above 40 degrees, etc., I honestly start getting depressed thinking about the heat and humidity that is in store for the summer. I would MUCH rather be too cold than too hot. But I really think it is the humidity that does me in. In the Washington, DC area we can go for weeks with temps in the 90s and humidity in the 60s and 70s. Also, we don't even get relief at night. Sometimes the lows will be the high 70s, close to 80 degrees. I sadly watch the 11:00 news with reports that "it is still 87 degrees outside and unhealthy air quality tonight". It just makes me feel blah, blah, blah, with no energy to do anything. Even my cental air can't keep up sometimes. When all I'm doing is getting dressed to go to work and my upper lip gets sweaty, I know it's going to be a bad day. I mean, come on, you can always put more clothes on, but there is a limit to the clothes you can take off (in proper society at least). Oh, and don't get me started on the mosquitoes that have just started making their presence known over the last week. In another few weeks, I won't be able to go outside for any length of time without spraying myself from head to toe with DEET.
I mean, at least in the fall and winter, you're supposed to be inside, nice and cozy. I find it depressing to be inside in the summer, with the AC blasting, not being able to hear the birds or other sounds. I guess it also has to do with the fact that June and July are very busy and stressful times at work preparing for our governing board's summer retreat that takes place in mid-July. Maybe it also has to do with being a native Minnesotan, I just don't know.
So that's my dirty little secret. To take my mind off it all, I'm going to post a few photos from my trip in October 2005 to Churchill, Manitoba on the Hudson Bay. I went to watch the annual polar bear migration that passes pretty much through town as they make their way to the frozen Hudson Bay, where they spend the winter hunting seals. This was I trip I had wanted to take since I saw a National Geographic episode on the Bears of Churchill narrated by Jason Robards about 25 years ago. Needless to say, I want to go back.
Here is the Hudson Bay, talk about Global Warming, I was there in mid-October and virtually no snow!

Here is a cute little arctic hare all dressed in his winter clothes, just waiting for the snow.

Here is part of the tour group I went with, walking through town. The sun had just risen and it was around 9:00 am
Ah, this is what we came to see. I thought this was quite the clever shot.
Ta Da!! Ursis maritimus (water bear). This was a young mature male. He was sniffing us in our Tundra Buggy.
Ahhh, I feel better now.


Mary said...

Possumlady, I am with you girl! Being a native Marylander and living a few years in DE, I understand. I love summer months but the humidity up there wore me out. I looked liked a drenched long-haired cat for years. My hair style took a beating. I think it was worse in DE - being so close to water - it was actually like living in a bog. We rarely opened our windows after June 1 and yes, it's kind of depressing.

We have very hot sun in southern NC. Extremely warm, but with less humidity. But the AC is still cranked. I have learned to live with sweat but I do dread August!

Hang in there and keep looking at the ice in the middle of winter! Visit the snowball stand. Make some iced tea. Run through the sprinkler. :o)

Dorothy said...

Hi..I have a friend who lives in Saskatchewan, Canada who was just diagnosed with reverse SAD. I'd never heard of it before.

I can appreciate the way you feel...our A/C doesn't work very well upstairs in our home, and I have a lot of trouble sleeping during hot muggy weather.

Loved the pictures of your polar bear tour!

KGMom said...

I too am with you--I much prefer cold weather. And central PA is plenty hot enough for me.
I also love polar bears--what neat animals to look at. They are massive & powerful, but their actions are human-like.

possumlady said...

Mary: You are a hoot! I too look like a drenched cat with the humidity, with my straight, fine hair. That's interesting that it is less humid in southern NC. I just assumed the farther south you went on the East Coast the more humid it got!

Welcome Dorothy! Always great to see another blogger checking out my site. Wow, I didn't really know people could be diagnosed with reverse SAD? I was kind of writing it tongue-in-cheek, although it certainly makes sense. Yes, sleeping in muggy weather is REALLY the pits! Glad you liked the polar bear shots.

kgmom: Yes, this was a dream vacation for me. It took all my willpower to not jump off the tundra buggy and scratch the bears behind their little ears! But, I know if I did that, it would be good night Possumlady. They are so quiet, too. Stealth and patience...that's what makes them such great hunters. Anyone who has ever been attacked by one swears they never saw or heard it coming.

Mary said...

I have fine, straight hair, too. It never looks decent during summer months.

We are so far inland that the humidity is low. It's ungodly humid in Wilmington, NC - right on the beach. Being nearly 4 hours west from the ocean helps keep it dry. But the humidity will soar this week along with 98 degrees.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I, too, feel drained in the mugginess of summer. Another transplant to the south from a cooler life up north, I don't think I'll ever adjust and "love" summer.
I realize that no one ever is happy with their hair, but try having thick, curly hair in a humid environment--can you say Russian ushanka? Sometimes I could shave my head!