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

Sunrise 125: Ault Park (Featuring Let It Happen; Deer Friends & Moody Skies)

The members of the band “Let It Happen“, whom I ran into at Ault Park this morning while they were filming for a music video @ Heekin Overlook.

Lots of activity in the sky. I am now remembering that the sunrises in April had a lot of things “to watch” due to the heavy cloud activity, something I haven’t experienced for a couple months.

Deer Stalking, one of my favorite things to do in the quite mornings in Mt. Lookout…

This morning was another “surprise” sunrise and I’m very glad that I made it happen! I didn’t set my alarm this morning but my body woke up at 7:15am when nature called me from my slumber. I was already awake and I saw mostly clear skies out the window, so I had no excuse to miss the sunrise at 7:40am! This is the second day in a row that I made it up to the sunrise without setting an alarm because yesterday my pal “Hudson the Dog” had my back and woke me up just in time. It was really warm out there, too. Surprisingly warm. It’s 52F at the time of this writing. Was it just a couple days ago that I bundled up for a 20F sunrise? Weather in the midwest can keep you on your toes 🙂

This morning was quite the experience. Aside from the normal moody sunrise that was of a “species” not seen for months, I also met the members of the band Let It Happen. That’s another first! I’ve found that while it is relatively rare to find other sunrise cowboys and cowgirls during the week, Saturday and Sunday mornings make for great opportunities to have a social sunrise. The guys were filming for their new music video. I met them and told them about Ault Park Sunrise (I’m trying to be better at self-promotion, hah). Let It Happen is currently on tour and you can check out their website, myspace, twitter, and facebook page. Whew, all social bases covered. Thanks again for humoring me, gentlemen, and good luck on your tour and all your other endeavors! Check out their EP which available on iTunes for $5. You can listen to it for free on their website as well.

It would have been interesting if stars had aligned just a bit differently because I came up with an idea a few weeks ago that I would have loved to have tried out this morning. The sunrise was certainly a great display, but after all of the clear sky sunrises that we’ve been having this fall it would have been neat to be able to get a silhouette type picture against the sunrise gradient sky. I think that’s something that I’d like to start doing more of – silhouettes of people against a clear sky similar to my favorite picture of the project that I took two weeks ago at Eden Park:

More on this “silhouette series” later!

The sunrise this morning was moody and constantly changing, a sign of new weather to come. This fall so far I have experienced a distinct pattern: overcast, clear skies, overcast, clear skies, fog fog, clear skies. Basically the sunrises have been mostly “all or nothing” without the changing dynamically shaded cumulus clouds that were present so much in the spring.. It makes sense to expect that in the winter on the symmetrical opposite end of the seasonal change from spring that we’d find more “dynamic” skies. The truly unfortunate part about the sunrise, however, was that I think I missed the best part! The videographer of the band confirmed my suspision. When I was climbing to the park I could see through the trees that there was a hell of a show going on in the eastern skies. From what I could tell, there was almost no light being cast into the upper atmosphere, but the lower horizon was bursting with bright pink, deep purple, and all kinds of hazy reds. The mid atmospheric clouds had those hot magenta highlights that fade to deep purple, all while the backdrop to this display was fading to a light blue from a deep twilight navy. I did not stop to take a picture because I had hoped that I’d arrive to the overlook in time, but alas, I missed the show. It’s amazing how that works with these sunrises – the pre-dawn display comes and goes so quickly and depending on the cloud formations, it can be a narrow windows of 30 seconds or a wider window of 5-7 minutes. It just depends on the weather!

As I entered the park, the purples had already started to fade. The upper atmosphere was providing a bright backdrop with lots of contrast against the clouds.

Let It Happen looks out over the Little Miami River Valley at twilight.

The clouds were moving quickly through the sky and the sun never did punch through the low lying cloud bank. As I previously mentioned, I think the best part of the show was about 15 minutes before sunrise.

For the rest of the pictures (15 total), please click to continue. That’s only if you’re on the front page…

The sun has moved to the right of the water tower and shows no signs of slowing!

It’s so hard to catch the evolving light dynamics that the sun projects across the textured clouds.

A final shot of Sunrise 125

A plane takes off from Lunken Airfield

Heekin Overlook @ Ault Park

On the way home I ran into a posse of young whitetail deer. As much as the local deer population can be annoying when they get into my tomato plants and eat my maple tree saplings, I do love running into them on my morning rides. They’re typically cautious and non-confrontational and in a group of 3 they had a slightly higher threshold for flight. I followed them through a couple lawns until the newspaper delivery car came through and finally scared them off. They were doing a great job of “managing” my presence, but I could tell that when they all started watching the newspaper car, they got startled when they suddenly remembered that a weird dude with an orange camera was still staring at them.

I put my camera down for just a second and they took off across the street. I can’t believe that I missed the window of opportunity to capture the three of them in the center of the street. It’s a bit of a stretch, but does this remind you of anything?

“Can he see us?”. I understand their cautious approach – hunting season is just around the corner! Some of the trails are even closed down for “permit-only” hunting to help keep the local population under control.

This was the leader of the pack. She led the other two around and typically made the first moves. She kept doing this stomping motion with her feet, which was either a signaling mechanism (to me or them), a lazy act of intimidation, or (more likely) some kind of a bio-mechanical tick.

I often wonder how the social dynamics of our local deer population work. The females and males stick together in packs. I seldomly see the bucks and does hanging out together, except when in the presence of a young fawn. I like to think that there is a highly structured system of markers and trail through the local forests that the deer use to stay out of each other’s way and have the deer mixer party.

One response

  1. Pingback: Sunrise 126: Ault Park (An Early Twilight Clear Sky Sunrise) « Ault Park Sunrise

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