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

Sunrise 127: Alms Park (Macro Clover Ice Crystals/Cubes, Breaking Sky Sunrise)

A clover leaf covered in ice crystals in the early sunlight of Sunrise 127. The bald spot is where my large fumbling fingers accidentally knocked two crystals off of the leaf.

A high-resolution picture of Frozen Dew Crystals on the previously shown clover leaf! Note the even spacing of the small crystals. My friend lee suggested that the clover may release a waxy oil which would cause the water to bead up. I’m not exactly sure what is causing it, but it’s a very neat effect. For the rest of the macro crystal shots, be sure to read the full post (they’re at the bottom!).

The first shot featuring a small amount of pink highlighting in the atmospheric cloud layer.

This morning almost didn’t happen. I woke up at 7:00am and attempted to shrug off the biochemical cocktail that almost convinced me that the sky was overcast and it wasn’t worth riding up to the park in 25F (note to biochemical self: it always is!). I poked my head out the front of our apartment building and noticed a patch of blue skies through a tiled cloud layer. Ok! Game on! As it turned out my bet was well placed. For a 72% cloud cover, this morning’s atmosphere was certainly atypical!

This morning’s sunrise was not unlike Sunrise 9, although with a bit less drama. Sunrise 9, back in April, is a classic example of a dynamic sunrise with a low lying cloud bank and an overhead light layer of clouds that can provide lots of interesting color dynamics. Here’s the picture from Sunrise 9 that stands out as one of my favorites of the project and also was printed in the local paper at the start of this project (click for higher resolution):

(As it turns out, 92 people “recommended” that article on Facebook. I had no idea! Thanks whoever you are!)

This morning I headed up to Alms Park in search of a twilight sunrise. Now that I’m more aware of how much fun the twilight period can be of a sunrise, I’ve taken a liking to getting up about a half hour early to catch the show. This is an advantage of the “late” sunrises of the Fall and Winter that I had not considered until now! On mostly clear mornings I can catch the pre-game show which can start as early as an hour before sunrise on a dry clear sky morning. That puts me in the park at 6:45am at the earliest, quite a reasonable time. During the middle of June this would put me in the park at 5:00am!

The atmosphere was interesting for Sunrise 127. There was the remnants of a dark cloudy layer overhead that I was certain would mess up the sunrise. However once I started on my way to the park, it was obvious that the cloud bank was being pushed out of the eastern sky to reveal a dark navy clear atmosphere. There was a low lying bank of haze just above the horizon in the distance that kept the sunlight at bay, preventing penetration into the upper atmosphere. This made for a dynamic purple/orange sky but there were no real traces of the magenta highlights that I was hoping to catch after missing them several sunrises in a row.

There is a final reason that I have found to enjoy these ice cold sunrises. During the day when the temperature rises up to the 40s, 50s, and even the 60s, the air starts to saturate with the water from the Little Miami River and the great Ohio River. At night as the temperature drops into the 20s (welcome to Ohio!) the water is pushed out from the air and is subsequently frozen. The ice crystals from the foggy days are thick because of the high water concentration, but the crystals from this morning were smaller and cubed. In fact with this little point-and-shoot it’s possible to see the geometric nature of the crystals which was surprising to me when I zoomed in on the LCD screen.

I approached Alms Park and arrived roughly 25 minutes before sunrise. Yesterday the sky was much brighter at this time than today due to the upper cloud layer and the low lying haze bank that obscured part of the early light.

The twilight sky above Lunken Airport from Alms Park. There’s a standing pool of water, left over from the recent autumn rain storms.

The south/eastern sky, facing the Ohio River to the right side of the picture.

For the rest of the pictures, if you’re on the front page, click to continue. 18 total including more ice crystal macro shots.

Looking to the left, we look out across Reeve’s golf course. In the distance is the ridge line that we can see during a normal morning at Ault Park.

Zoom #1. Notice how on a morning like this, the sun’s position becomes overly dramatic compared to the humid sunrise of yesterday.

Sunrise w/ pond #2. About 10 minutes to go, notice the sunrise aura building up by the Mt. Washington Water Tower.

I took a step back to admire the sunrise from the top of the alms park overlook.

Zoom #2 of the sunrise. It isn’t actually up yet! That’s just the effect of the sun light illuminating (and then being scattered by) the low cloud bank before it reaches us directly. Unfortunately there wasn’t much of a pre-game highlight show this morning, likely due to that low-lying haze in front of the sun that would have blocked a lot of the early light. That light may have produced some beautiful pink rays through the upper atmosphere!

First Light! (Sunrise w/ pond #3)

Zoom #3 as the sun finally comes up at 7:49am.

Final shot (#4) of the sunrise over Lunken Airfield at Ault Park with the “Lunken Pond” in the foreground.

This picture captures the organic pattern under this clover leaf quite nicely as the early sunlight illuminates the underside.

Some of the clover leafs had started to curl up under the thermal pressures of the frozen ice. Perhaps it is intentional, a frost defense?

These cubed ice crystals remind me of a prickly pear. I love these kinds of macro pictures because they give us a glimpse of the world from a different viewpoint. I didn’t even realize the ice crystals weren’t touching until I zoomed in on the LCD display of my little camera.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Sunrise 157: Alms Park (Misty Hills, Tall Oaks, Spring Blooms) « Ault Park Sunrise

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