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

Sunrise 123: Ault Park (A Murder of Crows & Krohn’s Holiday Tree Lighting)

The entrance to the Art Deco Krohn Conservatory at the end of the Holiday Tree Lighting party. Check out the parallel lines, a signature of the style. Also note the humidity dripping from the glass panels.

As I climbed up to the top of the pavilion, I realized that I could see the fog layer out across the western sky. This is a new look for the park – fog and ice!

A renewed scene at the overlook as the sun rose above the densely packed layer of fog @ Sunrise 123

The atmosphere this morning was foggy for the second day in a row. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re close to setting the record if such a thing ever existed. I could see the sunrise’s deep red glow from Mt. Lookout Square, where I stopped by UDF to get a coffee refill, but by the time I climbed up to the park the fog had blown in from from the valley. The fog started to get thick as soon as I entered the park.

The strange thing that really stuck out to me this morning was the bird activity in the park. It was almost as if today was the day that the swarms of birds chose to gather in Ault Park before heading south for the winter. I have no idea of sparrows or crows migrate, but both birds were present in outstanding numbers this morning, filling up the sky and making a whole ruckus of noise! I even have a video of the “Murder of Crows”. There were at least 100 (I took a video) crows high in the trees this morning and their silhouettes were easy to find against the bright white background and naked branches. I’ve seen a handful at a time of these giant birds at the forest’s edge looking out over the valley, but this morning the murder moved together in a loud, squaking, organized group. I could hear them even as they moved deep into the forest even though they were hidden by the fog.

Last night the wife and I visited Krohn Conservatory in Mt. Adam’s Eden Park for their annual tree lighting ceremony. It was a really great time and there was excellent food and drinks. If you’re local to Cincinnati I highly recommend joining the Cincinnati Parks volunteer program because you get to hang out with some neat people and get invited to events like this at the Krohn :). The Krohn has a neat holiday display this year. A group came in and created a miniature train display that highlights several local Cincinnati landmarks as well as a few international ones. The trains glide around the fantasy landscape that is filled with the temporary holiday flowers and plants as well as the permanent citrus trees. The Krohn Conservatory is such a great building and we’re lucky to have it!

I was happy to see the Mt. Adams Incline represented in the train display @ Krohn Conservatory!

The giant pine lit @ Krohn. If you love plants like I do, be sure to pay the Krohn as many visits as you can! Especially at NIGHT during the winter. When you walk into the dark humid tropic room as ice crystals form on the green house panels, you feel like you’ve entered another world.

The entrance to the Art Deco Krohn Conservatory. Check out the parallel lines, a signature of the style.

As I entered the park, it was obvious that the sunrise was going to be a foggy one.

If you’re on the front page, please click to continue. 17 pictures total for this morning, including the video of those crazy crows…

Foggy dawn in the park

I realized quickly that it was going to be a hopeless case to stay at the overlook. I decided to bike around to the pavilion and climb up on top to see if I could get *above* the fog?

The trees by the overlook that look out across the Little Miami River Valley

A bad picture of one of the small sets of crows. There had to be thousands of sparrows swarming and a couple hundred crows. Check out the video that I took – they’re so loud!

The fog was patchy and started to clear as the sun came up.

As I climbed up to the top of the pavilion, I realized that I could see the fog layer out across the western sky. This is a new look for the park – fog and ice!

The first light as the sun struggled to overcome the dense fog.

A sunrise zoom featuring a swarm of small birds.

Within minutes the sun had punched through the fog and the sky took on a beautiful sunrise gradient.

Trying to capture the swarming birds at sunrise. They were gathering all around me in the cherry trees at first. It was as if they were waiting for the sun to appear before they all took off together, swarming and swirling down the valley into the fog.

Back at the overlook, the sun was still quite muted against the fog. But not for long…

Just as I witnessed a few minutes prior, the sun quickly turned from hazy orange globe into a bright late morning sun.

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5 responses

  1. Hmm, I think I might be a bit overwhelmed now. So, the Museum Center has that historic panorama of down Cincinnati buildings, which I think is a permanent display. Last year the Netherland Plaza had a gingerbread display of local landmarks [maybe this is done every year?]. Duke Energy does that train display every December. And now there’s Krohn with the buildings and plants?!?

    I don’t know if all of those things are done every year but, man, imagine how cool and crazy and large-scale of a holiday spectacle there would be if all these displays were somehow combined into one monstrous panorama.

    December 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

    • you’re right, that’s a great point. I know the Krohn did something similar last year but it wasn’t the entire floral room, it was mostly (I think) a centerpiece in the room. It is indeed interesting that so many local places are doing the local landmark and/or train displays. I didn’t know about the Netherland Plaza display but the Carew Tower is one of my favorite buildings in the city so I’ll have to check it out this year to see if they’re doing it again.

      The gingerbread city looks really neat. I’ve never seen such a thing. Thanks for stopping by!

      Blaine

      December 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  2. Last year, it was up on the second floor right around this time. I hope it’s an annual thing! I love stuff like that.

    BTW, I’m planning to visit the NYC panorama soon. It’s a leftover from the 1964 World’s Fair and lives at the Queens Museum of Art, which I’ve never been to. How cool does it look?

    December 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    • Hi visualingual! The NYC panorama looks fantastic! I love all the things that are done with the old “Worlds Fair” grounds. I was talking with someone recently about another world’s fair that was recently turned into a nature preserve or something, I can’t quite remember. The Queens Museum of Art exhibit looks amazing. I can’t believe the level of detail. I’m pretty envious, hopefully you’ll take some pictures and post them up!

      Take care, Blaine

      December 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

  3. Pingback: Sunrise 139: Ault Park (Ice Storm, Deer Skull, Frozen Cherries) « Ault Park Sunrise

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