Tuesday notesOct 14, 2014 By Steven R. Peck
Our office has received some inquiries about the end of daylight saving time. For many years it ended officially in early October. Not anymore. These days it starts sooner and ends later than it ever used to. What once was a six-month period from late April to late October now is a seven-month exercise from early March to early November. This year the date to "fall back" is Nov. 2.
Some will remember even longer periods of daylight saving time. In the nettling time after the OPEC oil embargo in the 1970s, DST began in January in 1974 and in February in 1975. We've been on the current schedule since 2007.
Word from Cheyenne is that the meeting of the State Board of Land Commissioners in which a parcel of state land north of town was to be considered for sale never got far enough through the agenda to bring up the local issue.
Those attending the meeting say it was tabled until the next session, probably in a couple of months. We'll keep an eye on it.
Why the postal and bank holiday on Monday? In observance of Columbus Day -- which, actually, falls on Oct. 12. When that date falls on a weekend as it did this year, then the holiday is observed the following Monday.
Oct. 12, 1492, is the date the misinformed explorer reached the "New World," having set sail from Spain. It's believed the Columbus expedition probably landed first on an island in the Bahamas. As for "discovering America," Columbus never set foot on the mainland of the North American continent.
For several reasons, Columbus is a controversial figure. Perhaps that's why Columbus Day, while an official federal holiday, doesn't hold the same significance as other "long weekend" holidays such as Labor Day and Presidents Day.
Several high schools in Fremont County had fun with their annual Homecoming festivities last week, with a beautiful week of weather erasing any worries about being outdoors for the fun.
In Riverton, Friday's Riverton High School Homecoming parade was fantastic -- long, noisy, enthusiastic, clever and comprehensive. A huge audience watched the paraders from the sunny sidewalks on Main Street, including many school children, and the parade took a right turn on the hill so that kids at Jackson and Rendezvous schools could have a look.
It set the stage for Friday's 30-17 victory on the football field, with a big crowd there as well and the booming RHS marching band showing off its performance being sharpened up for this weekend's state marching festival.
Great job on Homecoming, RHS. (Incidentally, there is just one undefeated team left in all of Class 3-A football: The No. 1-ranked Riverton Wolverines.)
Pictures at Shootproof
Speaking of Homecoming, Ranger staff members shot hundreds of photographs of various Homecoming events, from coronation to parade, from the classroom to the football field. They all are being posted at our new photo website for review and possible purchase by readers. We used about a dozen in print, but there are 50 times that many that we didn't print. Look them over at theranger.shootproof.com.
Coming up in The Ranger is our salute to the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Fremont County. This week we are finishing up news and feature stories, pictures, material from the archives and dozens of supportive advertisements for a special edition that ought to be a keeper for all 4-H families -- and that's a big number in Fremont County.
Look for the 4-H Centennial Edition soon in The Ranger and our sister publication, the Lander Journal.
The week ahead could be said to be the peak of autumn beauty. We have had no hard freeze to ruin the color in the leaves. The angle of the sun -- a relief from summer's overhead glare and still removed from winter's low-level glance, is ideal, striking everything with pleasant light. The skies are their bluest, the clouds contrasting dramatically, almost as if shaded with an artist's sketch pencil.
The crossroad effect of fall is apparent in the trees. In mid-October some trees already have shed every leaf, standing as skeletons perfect for Halloween. Others are still green as July, still seemingly unaware that daylight now is exceeded by darkness and temperatures dip and nip to the freezing range.
And the rest are in their gorgeous transition stage from fall to winter, green blending to yellow and red, moving toward brown, ready to flutter and fall.
It is all there at once -- summer, fall and winter, just for a week or so, only in autumn. Soak it in before the snow flies.
Here's to a good week.