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

Sunrise 162: Ault Park (Warm Front Twilight)

First Light; Sunrise 162

Boy, it sure felt good to get back on the bike this morning. I’ve been so busy at work over the past two weeks that I haven’t been able to muster up the energy (or time) for some early morning sunrise rides. It’s an interesting thing because I recognize it as entirely my fault, but sometimes once you get into a habit it’s hard to break.

After a late night yesterday and a surprise calm in the series of thunderstorms that came through the region, I decided that I just had to get out this morning. After painstakingly crawling out of bed (OK it wasn’t that bad!) and seeing lightly scattered clouds in the early twilight sky, I set off towards the park through the misty streets.

The air was warm and wet this morning. We had a chilly streak late last week with temperatures dropping down into the 40s again. Last night we saw a monster of a thunder storm and I’m going to take a wild guess and say it was a warm front. The clouds were puffy and humid at twilight and there was mist hanging around by the edges of the forest. A low lying cloud bank over the horizon blocked most of the pink twilight colors but made for a powerful moment when the sun peaked over the cloud bank about 5 minutes beyond day break.

It’s always so surprising to me when I notice just how lush the forests around here are in the spring. On mornings like today, with the moisture on the pavement and the mist seeping out of the forest, the plants’ foliage seem like they are swollen with water. I almost feel claustrophobic at the overlook when I compare the view to the naked silhouettes of the winter sunrises. I’m sure our warm winter only helped to add a multiplier to the strength of the local foliage. I suspect we’ll have an intense kudzu season on our hands by the middle of summer.

Here we see the young Tree of Heaven down by the overlook. At twilight the sky was opening up with light but the lower atmosphere was still rather dark due to the cloud bank that was blocking the early rays of twilight.

In the far corner of the sky I could begin to make out the orange highlights that signified that the sun was beginning to rise behind the cloud bank far, far away.

Rays of light started to burst from behind the clouds across the misty valley. Here we can catch a glimpse of them.

A close up of the rays of light, jutting out from just beyond the lower cloud bank. This view usually only lasts for a minute or so and is a sure sign that the sun is just around the corner.

A vertical shot, showcasing the upper atmospheric shadows and open blue skies. What a beautiful morning it is, indeed.

The lower overlook certainly provides the best viewpoint as we move into the May sunrise season.

A final shot from Ault Park’s Heekin Overlook. We can see the lush leaves silhouetted against the humid Little Miami River Valley. A typical spring day in Cincinnati at a warm and wet 55F 🙂

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