Sunrise 18: Ault Park (Blazing Hills and Fibonacci Spirals)
I’m beginning to think that I actually like a week of thunder storms. Today’s forecast shows “chance of thunderstorms” in the morning, and “chance of rainstorms” all day. After the storms that whipped through yesterday and last night, the sky was left mostly clear in the upper atmosphere with low lying cloud banks to the east. So far the most unique sun rises have been on these days when a storm is expected to show up but doesn’t end up getting here until late morning or beyond. It makes me wonder if spring isn’t the best season for the sun rise? A summer full of clear warm days won’t make for a dynamic atmosphere. On the other hand, the lighting conditions that come with a clear sun rise provide great opportunities to take pictures of the plants and trees. Click “Continue Reading” to see more pictures if you’re on the front page.
I think this morning’s sun rise was probably in the top 5. The pictures certainly are beautiful, but in person it was a sight to see. For a few seconds the dark orange horizon felt like it was exploding through in a blaze of fire. The sun woke up in a generally powerful mood, blasting out the orange and red over the horizon. It was blocked, however, by a big storm cloud just above the tree line. There were orange flares shooting all around the periphery, and the high-atmosphere clouds took on that deep rich purple before giving way to a light fluffy pink perimeter. This was one of those mornings where I couldn’t just sit and enjoy it – I kept thinking to myself “man, I have to get another picture of this”.
There was a lot going on just above the horizon. You can see the different orange bursts coming down out of the clouds, similar to yesterday’s sun rise.
I hopped down to the lower overlook. This overlook is much older than Heekin overlook and it consists only of a cement landing and stone wall. I realized to my amazement that it actually provided a much more clear view of the eastern valley without the obstruction of the trees in the park. As I turned around to go back up to Heekin an opening in the clouds slid across the sun, providing a welcome burst of light. The sky had begun to turn blue, signaling the final act for the morning sunrise.The sun is continuing to slide north (left) along the valley, making it slightly more difficult each day to get a clean picture without any trees. I’ve been coming down to the lower overlook (it is only like 20 feet down the hill from Heekin overlook) to take clear pictures of Lunken Airfield not having realized that it makes such a good vantage point for the sun rise. Lunken Airfield is looking to be under a bit more water than before the storm that arrived yesterday morning. Only one plane took off this morning – Thursdays aren’t as busy as Mondays. Although part of it may have to do with the jet runway being closed down due to the flooding.
Bike and Coffee; Steel and Steel. I took the “timelapse” picture of the overlook and pedaled up the sidewalk back to the main road. I took a lap around the park to check out the local activity on this fine spring morning. Handfuls of joggers were taking advantage of the dry morning, and there were a couple of landscape guys hanging out by the pavilion trying to figure out where to set up a large tent. Looks like there will be an event at the park this weekend! The sun slipped back behind the storm clouds, casting the lawn in a dark shadow. I stopped quickly to examine the new buds on the juniper bushes leading up to the pavilion. Should I be surprised that the leafy juniper growth pattern resembles a blossoming flower? That is the thing about spring plant growth that I realized as I started growing tomatoes two years ago. There are incredibly subtle details surrounding the new growth, like leaves and flower bunches, of a plant. Somewhere deep down inside that growing end-point of the branch is a single “nexus” of dividing plant cells following a strict set of behavioral rules that come from their DNA. The local behaviors (microscopic level) that result from those biochemical and cellular interactions provide the large-scale effects that we witness as leaf structure, flower blossoms, spiral patterns, and plant behavior. Of course you can model these spiral growth patterns with the Fibonacci sequence. If you’re into that kind of thing, here’s a great resource on the topic. Later this spring when there are larger flowers blooming maybe I’ll do a special section on the Fibonacci spirals in Ault Park.