My attempt to document 40 sunrises in Eastern Cincinnati. Spring 2011.

Sunrise 12: Ault Park (Armleder Lake)

It was difficult getting up this morning. For the past two nights we’ve had some serious thunder storm action. The front that rolled through last night was predicted to be substantial. While it certainly was intense, I feel that at least in our area it wasn’t as strong as the lightning storm that came through tuesday morning.  The city of Cincinnati can be a bit trigger happy on the storm siren. Their policy is to blast it under “Thunderstorm Warning”. I’m sure they blast it under a “Tornado Watch” as well, but we haven’t had one yet this spring. As if the thunder storm wouldn’t wake us up, they made sure that we were awake by turning on the storm sirens twice, once around 12:30am and once around 1:00am.  That made for a rough wake up.

Last night I tried something different that ended up working out perfectly. My thermos, as you may know, is an excellent insulator. I decided to make my coffee last night and fill up the thermos. This eliminated the largest time sink of my morning (about 8 minutes of the 15 it takes to get ready). It also allowed me to roll up to the park and pour a cup of coffee that was only 20-30 seconds away from being at a drinkable temperature. If I make coffee in the same morning I drink it, I can wait up to 4 minutes before I can touch it.  The coffee was delicious, as expected, and I think I’ll be making nightly coffee from now on.


This morning the park was quiet, peaceful, and wet. The storm broke for me just like yesterday morning. There was no rain, but it was dark. The overlook provided a nice view of the storm clouds rolling through. It was a bit tough getting good pictures without them ending up blurry.

Armleder Park is now officially Armleder Lake (with the associated Armleder Dog Park Bay). It looks like the Little Miami and the surrounding fields / praries have become one. Could it get any worse? I’m not sure.

I sat back and enjoyed my 8 hour old delicious coffee. The rain must have just recently subsided because the birds were slowly building up their song. I heard a mourning dove for the first time along with the usuals.

I noticed, along the stone ledge, a large ant that was struggling to get around on the wet surface. Poor guy probably lost all of his colony’s pheromone trails in the rain. He is probably doomed to live out the rest of his days in an eternal wander. But it did get me excited – late spring and summer means more insects! It is kind of strange listening to the forest and not hearing crickets and cicadas.

Ten minutes after “sunrise” I was feeling a bit “antsy” (haha). I rode over to the arboretum and sat down at one of the benches under a magnolia tree.  There were several downed branches from the recent storm. The ambient light was starting to creep up to more reasonable levels, and the green foilage was taking on that eerie glow that only comes around during a dark cloudy sky.

I took advantage of the bench location to capture the lawn’s symmetry. This picture is taken on the west side of the lawn.

I hopped on my bike and headed home after the quick trip to the park. I was home by 7:40am, a half hour before I would have considered getting out of bed two weeks ago. On the way home I came across a cleanup crew taking care of a downed power line. Whenever I see civic services, like road crews repairing pot holes and bridges or firemen removing branches from downed power lines, I can’t help but think about a city as an organic living being. If you were to observe a city from a bird’s (or alien’s) eye view, and speed up the time interval so that a day was, say, a minute, what would you see? I imagine it would look a lot like an ant colony that regulates its defenses, attacks intruders, and cleans up damaged wings. Watch how quickly the city repairs the power line when a tree hits it! Did you see it tear down the bridge and re-route the traffic to the new bypass? Watch how it clears its traffic arteries of all the snow! Sometimes the city can die when the life force (people) move away from it due to ecological pressures outside of its control (job market, natural disasters). Cities that adapt policies to be friendly to certain job markets often are rewarded with a cultural and financial boost. Some cities are sick with financial or political problems that prevent certain sub-systems from functioning (police or waste service strike, budget crises).  I could probably go on about this all day, and I apologize if this seems a bit disconnected. This is the first time I’ve put these thoughts down in writing, and they could use a re-working for clarity. Oh well, I’ll save that for another day. Here’s an interesting article I just found by Googling “City as Organism”

Stats from this morning (curiously, it looks like Lunken had a power outage, the data is incomplete).
Sunrise: 6:54am EST
Visibility: 6mi
Temperature: 70F / 21C, not much wind at all
Sky: Gray and Dark! Stormy, but I didn’t get rained on.
Sunrise: Non-existant
Bird Chatter: Quiet at first, but they came around.
People: No one except for a few joggers by the time I left.

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2 responses

  1. krs

    really good looking cloud decks on the first few pictures.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

    • Hi krs. Yeah, the storm has been rolling right along today. Thanks for stopping by!

      April 20, 2011 at 10:45 am

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