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

Sunrise 116: Ault Park (Warm & Clear Autumn Sunrise)

Sunrise 116 @ Ault Park’s Heekin Overlook

This morning’s sunrise was the first official sunrise post-DST. After the vibrant late sunrise from Saturday, I was excited to get to the park one hour earlier than usual. It was a bit strange, actually, setting my alarm for 6:30am when I’m used to setting it for 7:30am. When day light savings changes, most things in our lives are not affected. We still go to work at the same time, watch our TV shows at the same time, eat dinner at the same time, play softball at the same time, etc. The only thing that changes is how much ambient light in the atmosphere there is while we do our time-based routines. One could even argue that this is one of the central constructs of modern society, right? A routine based on metrics consistent with the controllable constructs of the society (time and time-based events) rather than based on the uncontrollable rise and fall of the sun.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the inconvenience of suddenly setting my alarm an hour earlier when the rest of my life really has not been affected by the hourly gain of Daylight Savings Time. The traffic was more moderate, although it was still very present, when I left for the park at 6:50am. The park itself was very quiet and peaceful, even the park crew were no where to be found this morning. The joggers started trickling in by the time I left the park around 7:30am, no doubt a result of their running schedule being synced to the time-based routine rather than a sun-based routine :). I couldn’t believe how warm it felt this morning! The temperature was, apparently, in the low 40s but it felt much warmer than that. This autumn has been very kind to us here in Cincinnati. We’ve had so many days of clear skies to enjoy the outdoors, with a handful of rainy overcast days thrown in to pump up some fog and remind us not to take these final days for granted before the Midwest Winter comes knocking on the door! My wife mentioned that last year she felt like we didn’t even have a fall because winter seemed to show up so quickly. Certainly not the case this year.

The valley was full of fog when I arrive this morning at Heekin Overlook. The fog, however, settled down in the basin of the valley and made no attempt to invade the hills.

This morning’s atmosphere was a typical autumn clear sky with hints of light cloud activity, likely left over from yesterday’s overcast morning. Could it be a sign of another overcast morning tomorrow? Typically a completely clear sky signals at least a mostly clear sunrise on the following day but a mostly clear sky with light cloud cover is not quite so telling.

Just before sunrise over the Little Miami River Valley

First Light! I’m loving these vertical sunrise shots.

An attempt at an open sky, although it looks like that tree branch in the upper right was feeling a bit more photogenic than usual.

Looking back over the months, I find it interesting to see the seasonal evolution of this tree. I never made a specific point to capture it’s leaf development, but it does make several appearances. Here it is in April with leaves just beginning to bud, and here it is in may full of green foilage.

The last few leaves hang on as Autumn marches on in Ault Park.

7 responses

  1. eremophila

    I think you’re finding the ‘sense of place’ that comes from closely observing the same area time and time again, watching the changes through the seasons and gaining a fuller sense of the richness of life. This wasn’t your intention when you began, perhaps, but it’s been interesting to watch it evolve 🙂

    November 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    • Thanks Eremophila! You’ve put it into words nicely, a “sense of place”. I like that phrase and it’s been rolling around in my head since I originally read your comment. Thank you for the kind words! Blaine

      November 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

  2. Blaine,
    There are so many aspects of this project that I love. Most of all you’ve gone way beyond the 40 sunrises that you set out to capture. I also like that you have stayed with the same area and closely observed the changing of the seasons. As the comment above states – you are really observing – fully and completely.
    Another thing I have noticed is that you have done this project with some pretty basic tools… I believe a bike from 1977? Am I correct? And a camera that is not the best, most expensive thing out there? Please correct me if I’m wrong. But what you have captured and achieved with these basic tools is great.
    Just know that you continue to inspire people. It has been a fun blog to follow! Keep at it! – Polly

    November 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    • Hi Polly! Thanks for the comment, it means a lot. As I approach 120 sunrises I don’t really see a point in stopping. I’ve found that I can use the sunrise as an excuse for lots of things – creativity, being outdoors, conversation, historical and urban exploration… these are things I would have done otherwise but being able to do it under the guise of a project gives it a more directed purpose!

      As for my tools, you are correct. My trusty bike is a 1977 Fuji S-10S and I’ve really worn her out. Since April, I’ve put on a new crank, two new tires and two tubes, new brakes, the handlebar wrapping needs replaced, and just today I noticed that one of the brake mounts is loose. Winter will be a great time to fix her up! The camera is a little canon point-and-shoot. It takes great pictures under certain conditions, not great pictures under others. The key is figuring out when it excels and exploiting that! The purpose of the pictures is often for documentation, anyway, so I don’t have to get too worked up if they don’t turn out perfectly. I tend to be a person who delves into things deeply and can get overwhelmed quickly if I can’t wrap my head around the constraints of the topic. With simple tools and a simple goal, it’s easy to expand into the space and figure out where the shortcomings and advantages are. I’ve come to realize this is an important thing for me – starting simply and not getting carried away without realizing the advantages of being simple. This is especially true in our modern daily life filled with infinite depth of information, knowledge, and distractions. I’ve found myself placing artificial boundaries in my life and I’m more sane because of it. This project is no exception! 🙂

      Take care, Blaine

      November 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      • Blaine,
        Could you send me an email? I have an idea for you.
        On another subject… the postcards from the Hotel Alms. Wow.
        On the camera/bike… I hope my kids can learn from what you so eloquently put into words.
        (My ancient Bianchi has served me well for many years.)

        November 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      • Polly, Email Sent!

        Speaking of postcards, you’ll have to be sure to check out the postcards that I post sometime in the next week (hopefully) that I bought for $3 in a Waynesville Antique Mall dating to the early 1900s. The conversation isn’t terribly interesting, but it is fascinating to know that they were written pre-prohibition, during Over The Rhine’s “hey day” and even before Carew Tower was erected as a pinnacle to the Queen City’s metropolitan culture. In fact, now that I think about it, the post cards are from Eden Park between prior to 1910, meaning Ault and Alms Park would not exist for another few years. Interesting.

        November 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

  3. Pingback: Sunrise 130: Ault Park (Blast of Fuchsia Sunrise, Eden Park Hot Air Balluminaria) « Ault Park Sunrise

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