As some of you know, I make my living teaching math at Michigan Tech. Due to insufficient reluctance, I tend to be assigned to teach 8 am classes. That's the case this summer, when I've been getting up nice and unreasonably early to teach Differential Equations four days a week. I'm actually getting pretty good at getting up at those evil hours, and the advantage is that I have afternoons mostly free.
On another, seemingly unrelated topic: the golden hours. This is the name photographers use for the hour or so right around sunrise and sunset. The sun is low in the sky, the light is golden and soft, clouds are hilighted in brilliant colors, and basically everything takes on a beautiful glow. I've played around in the golden hours myself a bit, such as these up from Quincy. Which one was taken at sunset?
And finally: lenses. I just bought a new lens (the awesomely awesome Nikon 18-200mm VR general-purpose zoom of the gods). I really, really, REALLY want to get out to try it. But my only option is to go out in the harsh light of day, instead of the beautiful golden glow of evening of early morning, or even the weirdly colored night.
So the upshot of all this is: I feel like I'm really missing out on my favorite times and awesome opportunities for photos. That will get fixed eventually, of course. Perhaps things will improve once the semester is over in mid August! Until then, I'm hiking on the weekends in the bright, harsh sunlight.