Sunrise 161: Ault Park (Spring Twilight Colors, Tree of Heaven’s Springtime Coat)
Sunrise 161, featuring the Tree of Heaven
Daybreak came late this morning.
Now that the sunrise time has crossed below the 7:00am threshold, it is easier for me to make a trip to the park without worrying as much about my morning schedule (I’ve been busy for the last few weeks!). The air was brisk this morning at 44F, a temperature that I only just now realized. I thought it was nippy but without a breeze it felt warmer than it really was! Armed with hot coffee and my bike, I found myself up at the park about a half hour before sunrise.
The colors this morning were beautiful. Mixing them with a dynamic true spring atmosphere (we had big storms yesterday) made for a swirling concoction of twilight cloud cover. There was a low lying cloud bank that blocked the sun for a few moments, but it eventually swept into the distance and allowed the sunlight to come through across the horizon.
Unlike the summer and autumn sunrises, where the sky is crystal clear and the atmosphere lights up an hour before sunrise, these spring sunrises are humid in a sky full of obstacles. This morning’s sunrise didn’t hit peak colors until just 10 minutes before day break, which helps explain why I was so caught off guard by finding out that the summer’s sunrise starts much more early than I was used to.
I visited my old friend, the Tree of Heaven down at the lower overlook. She is full of spring life and, to my surprise, made for another beautiful silhouette against the sunrise that has moved into the left most part of the horizon. I had thought that maybe I wouldn’t be using the young tree as a sunrise subject until next winter (when the sun has moved back across the sky to be directly behind her) but was wrong.
Arriving at the park, the crescent moon hangs low in the sky and the colors are just getting started.
Heekin Overlook is dark and chilly and we can see a light fog sitting down in the valley behind.
I was worried at first that the cloud bank may block all of the best colors, but that worry soon faded.
Heading down to the lower overlook to get a better vantage point, I see that there is more light over to the left. Has the sun really moved *that* far already?
The Tree of Heaven adorning her early spring coat. Can you see the little flower pods on the tops of the stalks? She’s almost ready to bloom! I am wondering if I could harvest some seeds and grow my own little tree of heaven. They’re considered pests in a lot of areas (probably including around here) but she holds a special place in my heart (you’ll see why in a minute)…
This left-most branch of the young Tree of Heaven was mostly ignored by myself during the series of silhouettes (see below). Now, with the sun having moved across the horizon, I find that it is making an excellent silhouette subject of its own.
Pictures from this past winter of this young Tree of Heaven (See Sunrise 135 through Sunrise 150), included for good measure:
(Wow! I forgot I had taken that many… I’m sure I’ve missed some, too.)
For the rest of the pictures, 14 total this morning, please click to continue if you’re on the front page.
Sunrise 152: Ault Park (Clear Daybreak; Pavilion Sunrise)
Late twilight above the Little Miami River Valley, a day before Day Light Savings ends.
I woke up to another crisp, cold, & clear winter sky for Sunrise 152. I was up a bit late last night and so I chose to perform a recent ritual that I learned about, one that apparently native americans used to practice. Namely, drinking a full pint (or more) of water just before going to bed. That may sound like a recipe for disaster but luckily I don’t have a history of bladder control issues ;). It worked – I was up this morning and out the door by 6:30am.
It was really cold this morning. Normally this would be expected due to the fact that it’s still winter, but our recent warm streak has made me spoiled. I wore an off kilter hybrid of spring and winter gear – running shorts and thick gloves, with no face mask. It wasn’t too bad during the 22F twilight ride, except for the dive down the Observatory Rd hill that felt like dipping my face in an ice bath. The cold certainly woke me up, however… I didn’t grab any coffee and practically sprinted back up that hill.
Unfortunately DST starts tomorrow which means we’re back to 8:00am sunrises. Darn!
This morning’s sunrise had a nice magenta display that I witnessed on the ride up to the park. By the time I arrived the pink had mostly faded, unfortunately, and was replaced with a soft orange palette. Still not much cloud action in the air, a trend I hope to see pick up as we move into the dynamic weather of spring.
Heading through East Hyde Park, the sun is rising almost perfectly aligned with this section of Erie Ave. Curiously enough, this section of the road seems to be parallel to the alignment of the Ault Park Pavilion. This doesn’t bode well for the “purpose” behind Ault Park’s design, suggesting perhaps it’s a simple “Due East” alignment…
After climbing one of the residential hills, I looked behind me and saw a beautiful magenta horizon. The colors were quickly beginning to fade.
As I approached the park I decided to get a picture from the same perspective as a picture I took during the most recent overcast Sunrise 151. Isn’t it interesting how much the picture changes when you add a backlight? The following picture was taken earlier in the morning but under an overcast sky.
The beautiful century tree next to the pavilion. I often wonder if this tree had a symmetrical brother on the left side of the pavilion. Given the symmetry of the park’s design my gut tells me yes. What a sad loss for the park it must have been when this hypothetical tree died.
Ten minutes before sunrise, we can already see the light aurora forming in the Eastern Sky.
I wanted a vertical shot but didn’t want just an empty sky… this was the compromise.
Back at the pavilion I check the sunrise alignment. Approaching the center of the pavilion, but we still have a week or so before true alignment. I hope I don’t miss it!
In the Western Sky the almost-full-moon reflects back the morning sunlight.
As first light approached, I noticed the residential towers on the far western ridge line. You can’t quite see it in this picture, but the top row of windows were reflecting the tip of the sun that was just beginning to peak across the horizon.
The roof of the pavilion was closed for maintenance so I had to make due at the base of the building. First Light @ Sunrise 152!
Sunrise 150: Ault Park (First Snow; Golden Twilight)
A fresh snow fall, the thickest of the entire year… and coincidentally the only day that I set my alarm incorrectly!
So this morning’s post is a bit of a hybrid between the actual Sunrise 150 and a couple of pictures that I took yesterday morning at Ault Park on my way to work. First of all – happy Sunrise 150! While the number is an accomplishment worth celebrating, I’m saving the confetti for the upcoming Sunrise 160 which represents the fourth set of sunrises stretching beyond my original goal of 40. In reality, yesterday *should* have been Sunrise 150.
Alright, alright. So this technically isn’t the first snow of the winter. It might be the second… but it’s the first snow that lasted more than a couple hours and certainly the first snow of substance that I’ve featured with this project… even if I’m a day late!
What a perfect opportunity, I thought to myself, to have the 150th Sunrise line up with one of the only fresh night snowfalls we’ve had this entire winter. But alas, I pulled a rookie mistake and set my alarm clock incorrectly and so I woke up much too late. I swung by the park on my way to work and snapped a couple of snowy park pictures. I just *had* to have at least one picture of Heekin Overlook adorned with a fresh snowfall. I’m still holding out for a winter snowstorm, but we’re quickly running out of days!
I’m rather excited to also announce one quick thing… there are buds on the trees around the overlook! That means that spring is just around the corner. I can’t wait, spring time in Ault Park is such a beautiful thing.
The overlook yesterday morning, after a fresh snowfall.
Down below, in the Little Miami River Valley, Armleder Park is flooded once again. It would be nice to get down there for a magenta sunrise if we could just get a little bit more cloud cover in the sky…
The early twilight sky, about 25 minutes before sunrise. Can you tell where the sun is going to come up? 🙂
The Tree of Heaven silhouette against a soft & open sky.
Looking east towards the awakening horizon at Heekin Overlook
Look at that! The tree branches have buds! The first signs of spring! I hope you’re as excited as me!
Upon leaving the overlook, I ventured over to the pavilion to check out the alignment of the sunrise. As you may know, I’m privy to finding out on which day the sun rises directly aligned with the pavilion. Judging by the location of this morning’s sunrise, we only have a few days (or maybe about a week) left. I’m not sure we’ll make it to the first day of Spring… which brings up the question: Is there another day in early march that has an astronomic event that is worth aligning the Ault Park Pavilion, and hence the entire park (through the symmetry about the pavilion) to?
Here we begin to see some side effects of my camera’s tiny lens. Check the slight warping around the top of the pavilion, even though the bottom cement appears to be perfectly horizontal. I’m a fan of how the pavilion is separating the oranges and yellows from the blues in the sky. Maybe I’ll try to get this shot another time but with a better perspective.
Sunrise 149: Ault Park (Soft & Humid Early Twilight; More Tree Silhouettes)
Sunrise 149 rises in a humid sky above the Little Miami River Valley
Ault Park Tree Silhouettes @ Early Twilight
This morning was the first time in ages that I woke on the first alarm buzz. The “earlier” sunrise times have started to catch me off guard – already 7:10am! Where has the time gone? It feels like just last week that I was complaining about almost 8:10am…
I woke up an hour before sunrise and by the time I left for the park the stars were still visible in the dark sky. It was another humid sunrise this morning which kept the colors compact about the horizon and subdued.
On my ride up to the park there are many steep hills. After this particular climb, I stopped to take a breathe and check out the slowly brightening early twilight sky.
This weeping tree was featured recently and I decided to give it another visit. This time I found a better angle with less background trees (and also had to move from lying down in the road to get out of the way of the park crew coming to work!)
The Tree of Heaven looks out across a soft muted early morning atmosphere. I’ve got to take as many pictures of it as I can! The light is slowly moving beyond the left side of the frame…
A hazy “First Light” of Sunrise 149. The high humidity, as always, meant that the sun rose a deep orange/purple that didn’t become blinding until a few minutes later.
Sunrise 149 morning gradient (Zoom)
Sunrise 148: Ault Park & Cincinnati Observatory (Soft & Humid Winter Twilight)
The sun rose up, quietly, in a soft orange eastern sky.
Here’s a nice quick post for today. The sky cleared up nicely last night and I quickly realized that this morning’s sunrise would be against an open atmosphere. The sunrise was quite humid, keeping up with the recent trend of wet spring-like weather. The sun rose up as a dark purple globe against the ridge line. Once again, as most humid sunrises tend to do, it caught me off guard as I was considering where I should take up my position for the impending First Light.
I swung by the Cincinnati Observatory on the way out of the park. I realized that if I want to start investigation into Ault Park’s alignment with the sunrise, I should consider asking the astronomy guys who hang out at the Observatory. I imagine that the Observatory is aligned to some significant astronomic event, like winter solstice for example. The eastern facing wall appears to be almost perpendicular to the Eastern sky and I’d like to think there is a purposeful design in how the building is aligned. I’m still waiting to see on which day the sun rises up behind the Ault Park Pavilion in perfect alignment. I’m placing my bets on spring equinox (March 20 this year).
The best part about an early Sunday morning is the quiet calm that exists in the city streets. Here we are looking east down Eerie Ave towards the sunrise.
I arrive at the park a bit late and the soft twilight sky has started to fade from purple to orange. The humid atmosphere kept the colors packed closely to the horizon.
This old oak tree is still slowly returning to the forest.
Looking out from Heekin Overlook
Looking South/West across Lunken Airfield. There grass down in the valley is laced with frost but the air is quickly warming.
As I head over to the Cincinnati Observatory, the skies are turning into that rich shade of deep blue. The Observatory’s campus is one of my favorite quiet and open lawns around. There are several century old trees up on the top of this bald hill. It’s amazing to me that at one time this Observatory was moved from Mt. Adams to Mt. Lookout to get away from the city lights. Now-a-days development is all around as this building is no longer “in the country-side”.
Some ice crystals on a young plant shortly after sunrise. This plant is growing on a slab of asphalt in an otherwise over grown grass lot down in the valley.
Sunrise 146: Ault Park (Weeping Cherry & Humid Sunrise)
A humid Sunrise 146 over the Little Miami River Valley
I’m keeping my eye on the sun’s journey across the horizon to see when the day of alignment occurs. I’m hoping it is a significant date, but who knows what the park designer had in mind?
I was hoping that this morning’s sunrise would have been similar to last night’s sunset. The sunset was a rich pink with streaks of teal open sky. Sunrise 146, while being pleasant in its own right, rose up in a humid atmosphere clear of clouds. It was another sneaky sunrise, one where I thought I had about 10 minutes left to sip on my coffee when suddenly the tip of Sol appeared on the horizon.
It was a brisk 20F morning and few souls had ventured out into the park. Frost laced the grass around the lawn and the birds were cheerfully calling to one another as if it were a warm spring morning. I could also hear a woodpecker deep in the forest boring into the rotting bark of a dying tree.
There were hardly any pinks or purples this morning in the humid atmosphere. The sunrise was mostly made up of a muted red that faded into a rich orange muddled with gray. I will say I was a bit disappointed as I was hoping for some cloud slurry against a crisp and dry atmosphere, but with spring just around the corner and rain storms forecast for the next few days, the humidity is to be expected.
I’m getting used to the commute up to the park on my new route. It is making me become more mindful of my missing lower gear set. Well, missing isn’t quite the correct word since it implies that something was once here but is now gone. My bike turns 35 years old this year, and somewhere in the past two decades the “granny gears” became mainstream. My first gear is the equivalent of a friend’s gear 7 or 8 on a modern bike. I’ve played around with the idea of re-building the drive chain, after all I love the steel frame and classic look of my Fuji S-10S, but knowing how I operate the bike would be out of commission for a few months while I read online forums and scouted craigslist for parts. So in the meantime I’ll keep leg pressing up the hills and remembering that it is only making me a stronger cyclist 🙂
Heekin Overlook at early twilight. I arrived 20 minutes before sunrise after stopping at UDF for some coffee.
The colors were muted, but overall it was a pleasant and chilly morning in the park.
An early humid twilight gradient
The Tree of Heaven against the twilight. The smoke stacks are puffy this morning.
Peering down into Armleder Park with streaks of smoke drifting across the horizon
First Light… this sneaky sunrise caught me off guard.
Every so often, when the atmosphere is right, the smoke from the industrial site down in the valley drifts visibly into the sky.
Prior to heading home, I swung by the pavilion to see how close the sun is getting to the center of the columns as it swings back to the left. Hopefully I can catch it in the middle sometime in the next couple of months. I’m curious as to what day this will occur on and I’m hoping to gain some insight into the park designer’s vision. Is there an intentional alignment with the sunrise? Or is it purely coincidental that the entire park, relative to the symmetry of the pavilion, points directly towards the sunrise? I may be placing my bets on alignment with the first day of spring, but that might be wishful thinking.
A frosty Ault Park lawn under a fading pink atmosphere
I’m going to guess this is a weeping cherry, although I’m not certain. These are all over Cincinnati and explode into a beautiful bouquet of blooms at the arrival of spring.
Sunrise 145: Ault Park (Crescent Moon & Sneaky Humid Sunrise)
Early twilight colors fade into mist over the Little Miami River Valley
The Tree of Heaven silhouette against the misty twilight under a crescent moon. mark
Sunrise 145; a humid, misty, winter sunrise on this beautiful Friday morning in February.
After a bout of rainy mornings I made sure to wake up extra early for today’s clear sunrise so that I didn’t have to rush up the hill to the park. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my new route, while being about the same distance to the park, is substantially more challenging. Armed with this knowledge, I rode up to the park with determination and energy. Fortunately I have mostly shaken the side effects of my head cold so I also had an extra bout of morning energy. The climb to the park was not bad at all this morning which goes to show you how much of life is determined by your mental approach and, to be quite honest, the state your body is in.
This morning was forecast to be clear with high humidity. When I strolled out our front door, I found thick patches of mist hanging around the edge of the forests and between houses. The misty backdrop under a clear sky meant that the sunrise colors were subdued and compact, while still allowing for the upper atmosphere to gain a brightness from the approaching twilight. I stopped by UDF for my $1 28oz refill and began my uphill climb (followed by the downhill slalom, followed by uphill climb).
The sunrise this morning was of the subtle, sneaky, but uniquely satisfying type. Not wanting to be rushed by traffic and forces of my own control, I woke up 1 hour before sunrise and tried to get out on the road as soon as possible. This put me in the park about 40 minutes before sunrise, a time that would have provided a brilliant magenta display if the humidity was 9%, not 90%. The crescent moon was on display high in the atmosphere, pointing down towards the horizon at the location that the sun was expected to rise. By the way, if you ever see a crescent moon pointing away from the sunrise (or sunset), you’re either dreaming (grab your totem!) or on some bizarro planet. Or maybe woodstock. It’s a nice indicator for checking reality as we know it.
The high humidity meant that there was a low lying mist bank down in the valley below. This is always a great accent to a sunrise because it lights up the lower part of the view, throwing lowlights and shadows across the otherwise dark valley. I imagine snow would have the same impact, but unfortunately we just haven’t had more than a single day’s worth of the stuff. The air this morning felt much warmer than I expected, likely due to the high humidity. I also had a visitor in the park this morning, a fellow sunrise cowboy who chose to stay in his parked blue mini. I’ve seen in a couple of times over the last several weeks, so I’m thinking that he’s making a routine of it.
Heading out of the East Hyde Park UDF, the impending sunrise is already attempting to push some colors into the atmosphere but the effort is being hindered by the thick humidity in the air.
This is the “downhill” section of my new route. Uphill, then this exhilarating (and tear-inducing) downhill, followed by a fresh climb back up into the park.
If you’re on the front page, please click to continue. 18 pictures total in this morning’s humid & cold sunrise post. (more…)
Sunrise 144: Ault Park (Clear & Chilly Winter Skies)
Early winter dawn @ Heekin Overlook in Ault Park, Cincinnati Ohio
Good morning! I have been on a bit of a hiatus over the last week so it was great to get out on the bike this morning for the chilly but clear Sunrise 144. Over the past two weeks I’ve been a bit under the weather so I took advantage of the extra hour of sleep that comes with skipping the sunrise ride. We also moved into a new apartment (still near Ault Park of course!) so there has been all of the logistics that come along with that. My new location is closer to the other side of Ault Park and it will be interesting to see how this affects the scouting of new sunrise locations. My routine has been a bit messed up lately due to the move, so this morning was a great opportunity to explore my new potential routes to the park.
Over the past week the sunrise time has shed about 15 minutes. This morning First Light was around 7:31am, a time that shocked me last night when I found out! It’s funny how that happens – the daily routine comes and goes, time slips by, and the sunrise keeps on moving along. It’s finally getting into “early” territory which means that the sunrise will no longer feel like sleeping in and will start to require a bit more commitment to getting up extra early, a tenant that resonates with the original purpose of starting this project. Now that I know about the beauty of early twilight on a clear sunrise, I have a feeling that there will be some 5:30am wakeups in my not so distant future.
Unfortunately I missed the most vibrant phase of this morning’s sunrise. By the time I tracked down all my gear, something I have been nervous about doing since the move, and then grabbed some coffee at UDF, I only had about 15 minutes to spare by the time I got to the overlook. The new route is quite a challenge, too, because I’m approaching the park from the opposite direction. From Mt. Lookout Square, the ride is mostly a smooth uphill. From Observatory, however, it is a steep uphill, steep downhill, then steep uphill again. It really gets the blood pumping. It is a nice challenge though as we approach the one year anniversary of the project.
The sunrise this morning was set against a crystal clear atmosphere with a nice set of vapor trails and whispy low horizon cloud action. Last night I could see a whole set of stars up in the sky after sunrise, including a bright appearance of a planet (is it Saturn?). The stars were awfully bright last night, meaning that if the sky held this morning’s sunrise would have started the show up to an hour, or more, before sunrise time. This was indeed the case this morning and while the sky was continually changing from the time I was out of bed at 6:50am until I arrived at the park at 7:20am, most of the pink and magenta colors had mostly dissipated early in the twilight. The late twilight colors were a glowing set of orange with bright yellow streaks reflecting off of the ice crystals embedded in the vapor trails high in the atmosphere. There is still a bit of snow left in the park, although it’s more of a sprinkling rather than a coating.
That’s my one regret from this 10 day hiatus is that I missed our most recent snow storm that came through with a fury after the January warm streak. There’s no worry though, because while it was a pretty snow fall, the warm ground didn’t let more than a half inch accumulate. I’m still waiting for the freak midwest snow storm that we deserve! The weather man is calling for some snow tonight so we’ll see where that ends up. Now that the temperatures are finally cold enough for snow, getting as low as 9F this morning, I think it’s just a matter of time until we get a decent snow fall.
Heading into the park past the Cincinnati Observatory, I can tell that the vibrant magenta display is already fading out.
I arrive at Heekin Overlook on this chilly winter morning during the final phase of late twilight.
The edge of the hill where the overlook sits still has a good amount of snow. The cool winds coming up from the valley likely provide a little micro climate that protects these snow piles during the warmest part of the day.
Looking down at Armleder Park under a light pink twilight
The favorite subject of winter sunrise pictures, the adolescent Tree of Heaven. Sadly, the sun is moving briskly across the horizon to the left, and soon our Tree of Heaven will lose the colorful back-drop of the twilight sky
Sunrise 144 @ Ault Park. The ultra-clear atmosphere means that the intensity of the sunrise is extreme from the get go.
And finally, here’s a blurry picture of Mike the Turtle, our six year old native painted turtle. He’s enjoying his freshly cleaned aquatic home and his 5 new fish companions. I had to make sure to get extra-lively feeder fish this time because their predecessors didn’t make it very long. These new ones have no problem skirting Mike’s lazy attempts to catch them. He usually gets bored after the first day so it looks like they’ll do just fine.
Sunrise 141: Ault Park (January Crocus, Guest Sunrise #5)
Twilight Magenta of Sunrise 141
Some crocuses (or tulips?) coming up through the mulch out in front of our place. They’re a bit early (at least a month, maybe two); hopefully they don’t get killed by the next hard freeze!
After a week of rain and ice, this morning we finally had a beautiful clear sunrise. There was some intense wind activity yesterday afternoon that preceded a breaking of the overcast conditions in the tri-state area. The weather has held and it looks like we’ve got some great weather lined up for the next couple of days. It was a humid sunrise this morning and this was evident in the late-twilight orange/yellow/gray colors of the haze. The early twilight was another splendid magenta-filled canvas that slowly faded into a dull yellow/gray sunrise that was mostly blocked by a far-off cloud bank just above the horizon.
This morning we also have Guest Sunrise #5, with three repeat contributors. Tara shares one of her favorite sunrise pictures that was taken by her father in Exeter, Pennsylvania on November 13 1972. This is a special contribution and I am thankful that Tara chose to share it. The photo comes at us from just under four decades in the past. Thanks Tara!
Two of my old roommates have also shared some of their recent sunrise shots. Both Phil and Trent have been commuting by bike, although it’s a bit easier for Trent out in San Francisco to be consistent than it is for Phil and I here in the midwest winter :). Phil’s sunrise is from sometime last week when the weather was breaking and we had a nice magenta display. I’m going to guess it may have been Sunrise 138. Trent has shared two sunrises, both from different days. Trent recently purchased a commuter bike for his new job out in the beautiful city of San Francisco, California. He has kept me up to date (and envious!) of his new morning commute through the parks and bike trails of one of the most bike commuter friendly cities in the US. He mentions that as he leaves for work it is dark out, and by the time he arrives the sun is up. Recently it has worked out that the sun rises over the bay while he’s zipping through of the local parks. Thanks Phil & Trent for sharing!
PS: I added a new link up there on top titled “Random“. If you click it you’ll be directed to a random sunrise post. Enjoy!
Guest Sunrise #1: Exeter, Pennsylvania 1972
“My Papa took this picture on November 13, 1972 in Exeter, PA. The tree is a
big apple tree in our front yard. I checked with him and he said it was a
sunrise. I know he has more but I happen to have this one because I asked if
I could have it years ago. I also asked his permission to share this photo
with Ault Park Sunrise and of course he said yes.”
Guest Sunrise #2: Columbus, Ohio
Phil’s colorful sunrise in Columbus, Ohio
Guest Sunrise #3: San Francisco, California
In Trent’s own words “iPhone does not capture the majesty of these sunrises”. Thanks Trent!
Onward to today’s sunrise over the Little Miami River Valley.
The twilight sky was humid with lots of magenta this morning. The whispy nature of the clouds added a smooth texture to the sky.
The Little Miami River reflects some of the morning colors down in the old pre-glacial Ohio River Valley.
The Tree of Heaven silhouette against the late sunrise. Already the sun is beginning to slip back to the left, making me greatly appreciate that I have been able to get a hand full of pictures of this young tree over the past couple of weeks.
If you’re on the front page, please click to continue for the rest of this post. About 15 pictures total from Sunrise 141. (more…)
Sunrise 140: Ault Park (Humid, Clear, & Subtle Winter Sunrise)
Tree of Heaven silhouette, this time with a view of the little miami river in the valley below.
This morning’s sunrise fit my mood quite nicely. After the behemoth of a post that Sunrise 139 was, I was a bit drained this morning as I arrived to the overlook. It was also the first time in awhile I didn’t have any coffee, so I was happy about the subtle and calm yet still eventful sunrise. The temperature was pleasant this morning at a brisk 35F in the park. It appears we have a break today and then it’s back to the rain and freezing ice.
The sunrise this morning was high humidity, which was marked with a nice blue atmosphere that had a touch of gray into late twilight, and a purple sun that slowly rose out of the cloud bank without caring much about announcing its arrival. The birds were active this morning, and with the wet and damp air it felt a bit like spring even though its months away.
There was a friendly young man at the overlook this morning. We didn’t get to talk much, but his name was Derek. He makes an appearance in the final photo.
As I came up the hill to the park, I was happy to see that I hadn’t missed the magenta creep. Here we see the atmosphere about 20 minutes before sunrise over the little miami river valley.
A plane takes off at twilight against a muted blue and pink sunrise
In a heavy humidity atmosphere, the sunrise colors can fade quickly. Lots of vapor trails this morning.
Sunrise 138: Ault Park (Purple and Orange Winter Twilight, a Crescent Moon)
Early twilight before Sunrise 138. Check out the crescent moon in the corner!
Heekin Overlook, looking out over the Little Miami River Valley. How many humans have seen the sunrise from this spot over the past ten millennia???
If you were to look at the forecast right now, or even out the window, you would probably be surprised to find out that the sunrise this morning was another beautiful winter display. As I write this, the sky has filled with clouds and it looks like we’re hunkering down for some snow. But just two hours ago, the skies were clear and misty with humidity, and the sun rose amid a bright twilight display featuring some deep purples and bright oranges. Not bad for “71% cloud cover”, eh? Once again the changing weather has proven impossible to accurately predict.
I woke up a bit early this morning because my wife and I had the intention of trying out, for the first time, a 6am spinning class at the local gym. As 5:45am rolled around, it didn’t sound like the best plan. We continued to sleep, but fortunately I mustered up some mental energy and peered out the window to see if I could see any stars. What did I see through the silhouetted trees? Why, a misty halo surrounding a crescent moon! This was enough to get me up by 6:45am, catch up on some email, and then head down to Mt. Lookout for some coffee.
As it turned out, the atmosphere held off the clouds that vacated the sky last night just before sunset. There was a substantial amount of misty humidity in the air, causing quite a beautiful scatter of the early morning twilight colors. Purple was well represented this morning, probably due to the thicker haze that tends to keep the yellows and oranges subdued until just before sunrise. The fuchsia palette was present throughout the early twilight, but it wasn’t the dominant player. Just before sunrise, the sky exploded, for about 20 seconds, in this brilliant orange glow, similar to the shade I saw during Sunrise 137 that basked the overlook in its rich hue.
I imagine that the ice crystals up in the humid atmosphere have a lot to do with these extended winter twilight displays. I was worried about the winter, but as it turns out I love the winter sunrises just as much as the ones during the rest of the year.
Oh, before we continue, I’d like to share some exciting news. This week, the Eastern Hills Journal is featuring a follow up to the May 2011 article on Ault Park Sunrise. It’s a nice piece and Lisa Wakeland, as always, did a great job. The journal is available at local book stores and other venues around the city. I picked up a copy at Joseph-Beth bookstore in Norwood.
As I peddled up the hill to the park, the moon hanging over this beautiful silhouetted tree caught my eye. We can see the sky starting to light up at the base of the tree.
I’m starting to amass a nice, but small, collection of twilight pictures with this tree of heaven as the subject. I was looking for a large tree silhouette, but I’m quite content with this little guy for the time being.
My friend, the adolescent Tree of Heaven. A new project favorite and the subject of an unexpected series.
The early twilight colors of Sunrise 138 over the Little Miami River Valley. The thick haze that hung high over head once again broke just above the horizon, similar to Sunrise 137. This time, however, the haze was thin and the opening much larger. My camera had no problem with the lighting today.
A soft textured sky as the colors begin to shift up the energy spectrum from blue/purples to orange/yellows.
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Sunrise 136: Ault Park (Clear Twilight & Eastern Hills Journal Interview, Pt. 2)
This morning’s sunrise was a special one. The atmosphere was clear and the twilight provided beautiful colors, once again, so it turned out to be quite the pleasant, if a bit chilly, morning. Lisa Wakeland contacted me yesterday to ask if I’d be interested in doing a follow up for the Ault Park Sunrise article that originally ran last spring in the Eastern Hills Journal. Of course I said “heck yeah!” and so she agreed to met me to talk. She was a good sport and humored my request to meet at sunrise at the park for the interview. I figured it was worth a shot since these are some of the latest sunrises of the entire year! I’m looking forward to seeing what she ends up putting in the article and I’ll be sure to link to it here. Thanks again Lisa!!
I was able to get up to the overlook a bit early again to appreciate the half hour of twilight display before the sun crested over the ridge line. This may be one of the last colorful sunrises for while as it appears we have some winter weather heading our way. Looks like we’re in for some rain and snow during the rest of the week. Boo.
I arrived at the overlook just as the “Magenta Creep” was starting to slide across the sky from the horizon.
There were light pockets of clouds that were slowly moving across the sky, seeming to line nicely with the part of the sky where I was expecting the sun to come up. Twilight colors are a nice set of light pinks and purples.
A plane takes off from Lunken Airfield against the twilight sky.
Naked trees above the Murdock water fountain.
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Sunrise 135: Ault Park (Breathtaking Twilight, Tree Silhouettes, Victorian Gas Lights)
One of my favorite shots of the morning.
Early colors of twilight. I’m really starting to love winter…
Middle twilight color shifting into an orange dominated palette.
This Murdock fountain has become a favorite of mine as the sunrise drifts into this region of the horizon during the winter months.
Weepy Maples under a ripply cloudscape.
A nicely preserved Cincinnati Gas Light. Probably at least 110 years old.
Hello party people! I’m just going to start off and say that this post is a bit of a doozy! Hang in ’til the end, it’ll be worth it. This morning was one of those times when the stars aligned and everything came together in a great way. What’s the saying – luck favors those who are prepared? I was up early, had a fresh charge in the camera, was full of creative and explorative energy, and it just so happened that the sunrise was AMAZING. One of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. That’s saying a lot coming from me! The pictures, as beautiful as they are, do not do the true sight of the atmosphere justice. It was a true winter sunrise that was both illuminated by the clear skies, highlighted with a light cloud slurry, and from what I understand the ice crystals in the atmosphere can lead to all kinds of neat cloud formations that made an ever changing cloudscape.
As I mentioned previously, the wife has a bit of acute bronchitis. She started taking anti-bacterial medication for it and last night was the first time that the coughing had completely subsided. I fell asleep on top of the covers with my clothes on and promptly woke up in the exact same position at 6:15am, the first full night’s sleep without interruption I’ve had in weeks! As a result, when I got up to turn off the lights in our place, I felt fully rested and ready to go. I decided that rather than go back to sleep I’d go ahead and start the day. By 6:45am I was fully suited up and headed out to the park.
It was quite amazing to watch the transformation of the sky from a deep dark black into the colorful display of the twilight atmosphere. In fact, when I left the apartment it was so dark that not only could I see the stars, but I had no way of knowing that on the other side of the hill the twilight show had already started. I was planning on getting set up at the park by 7:00am (65 minutes before sunrise) and having nothing to do for about 45 minutes. I could not have arrived at the park at a better time. At 7:00am the low horizon had already taken on a deep red mohogany that was compact and restricted to the region of the sky just above the ridge line. The clouds were just beginning to take on a dark shadowy navy purple. It was still dark enough that the street lamps cast long shadows across the lawn while the sky began to change in the background. This was by far the earliest sunrise I’ve ever witnessed and really changed my perspective on “how soon” one should expect to show up for a clear sky sunrise if they wish to witness the entire ordeal.
The sunrise palette was the most rich I’ve ever seen, and again this was due to the fact that I happened to show up extra early during a morning where the sunlight just so happened to start penetrating the lower atmosphere during early twilight. The sky started off with deep purples that faded into red. The pinks, magentas, and finally fuchsias started slowly to brighten along the lower atmosphere and then moved upward across the sky as the thin layers of ice crystal clouds provided a canvas backdrop. After the fuchsias subdued, the dark oranges and finally bright yellows scattered throughout the atmosphere until the sun finally made an appearance at 8:05am.
I was as giddy as a school girl, running to and from taking pictures now to sort out at home later. In the process I explored some ideas for a project that I plan on pursuing throughout the winter. Namely, finding tree “candidates” for a Winter Tree Silhouette project. I’ve long been fascinated by the underlying fractal and organic form that the naked tree branches form against the winter sky. There are some beautiful old trees around the local forests, many of then “Century” trees. There are not, however, very many trees that are isolated enough to provide a decent silhouette and also on the top of a hill, positioned in such a way that they can be captured against the open sky. There’s one specific tree (Oak I think) in the yard of St. Ursula Villa that fits this perfectly. There’s also one down by Lunken Airfield although there is a chain linked fence and lamp pole in the view. Today I was able to try and find some new candidates around the Ault Park area as well. Some are good and one may make for a great choice, although none of them are completely isolated. I’m hoping to have some good luck down at Reeve’s golf course by Lunken Airfield where most of the century oaks have been well taken care of and sit by themselves along the fairways of the course.
To top it all off, at the end of my ride I discovered that one of the local roads in the neighborhood that Ault Park sits next to still has some authentic gas lanterns. I was unaware that there were any gas lanterns in this area as the only ones I’ve heard of are the iconic street lamps in old Clifton’s “Gas Light District” off of Ludlow Ave. I found ten of these lanterns along a side street that runs right by the Cincinnati Observatory. The homes that were built in the blocks surrounding the observatory have so many architectural features and it is excellent to see the gas lanterns still alive and kicking. They’re at the end of this post if you are particularly interested in them.
Without further ado, here’s the set from this morning. Some of them are a bit blurry from the low light and for that I apologize. There is one picture in particular that I really loved but for some reason it’s completely out of focus. Low lighting can be a pain!
On the way to the park, this home with its Christmas lights still out caught my eye because of the various accent lighting. Nothing too crazy here but I was hoping the picture turned out better. It’s difficult getting the settings on the camera right while wondering if anyone thinks I’m a weirdo for standing on the sidewalk taking pictures of the neighborhood.
Arriving in the park, I am surprised to find that the sky is not dark at all. Early twilight colors abound. On the left side of the frame we can see the light from a lit street lamp illuminating the lawn.
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Sunrise 134: Ault Park Pavilion (Clear Skies & a Silverton Commute)
Sunrise 134 atop the pavilion at Ault Park
After missing yesterday morning’s beautiful and rare atmospheric sunrise (complete with a light layering of cirrus clouds [That’s a link to “cirrus sunrise” image search] that no doubt would have cast pink highlights throughout the twilight sky), I felt it was necessary to make sure that this morning’s sunrise was not missed. This week has been a bit hectic, so my schedule did not align perfectly with the 8:05am sunrise. The wife caught a bout of acute bronchitis. It really is nothing serious, it’s just one of those things that doesn’t bother you until a half hour after you lay down to sleep, that’s when the coughing starts and the restlessness begins. As it goes the last week was spent with unwholesome sleep, making sleeping in until 8:00am or beyond during overcast mornings more frequent. Her car also is in the shop for a hopefully minor repair so she’s using mine for her commute. I’m lucky enough to live less than 4 miles from my work place so I decided to suck it up and commute to work this morning on my bike. Why not catch the sunrise on the way?
My commute to work really is one of the best I could ask for, as far as diversity goes. It certainly is not boring. I am able to wind through some of the old urban roads of Cincinnati, most of which are low traffic by design. The only thing about it is that if I were to give it a descriptor, it would be “classic Cincinnati topography”. From Ault Park to Silverton, Ohio where I work, the 3.8 mile bike ride is anything but easy. It’s fun, fast, slow, and testing. The first half of the commute is mostly downhill because I’m actually traveling from the top of one Cincinnati hill where Ault Park is located, down into the valley that runs through the Red Bank / Norwood area, and back up through a cut in the two hills where Drake Park sits on one side, and Madeira on the other. The last half (in both directions!) is up hill and painful, so I really try to enjoy the first half. This creates an interesting affect because I always start out the commute thinking about how wonderful biking is, and end the commute wishing I was in better shape! This winter I haven’t been going on as many longer treks so this morning’s ride was pretty rough. I made it, though, and by the time I made it to work it was almost 50F – way warmer than I had expected. A perfect day for biking around town.
Approaching Ault Park about 15 minutes before sunrise, the fuchsia display has subsided and given way to the late twilight oranges.
The sky is clear with vapor trails from the upper atmospheric air travelers. The forecast of course put the cloud cover at roughly 50%, reinforcing the idea that it must be pretty difficult to accurately predict the weather even 6 hours in advance during the season change.
I rode away from the overlook and swung by the pavilion. I realized that the sun is still on the right side of the horizon, and should be moving back towards the left any day now. I’m going to keep my eye on the columns of the pavilion and try to nail down a sunrise where the sun rises up directly in the middle of the columns. Hopefully the trees are still bare and it’ll make for a nice picture.
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Sunrise 133: Ault Park (Clear and Cold Winter Sunrise)
Sunrise 133: Cold and Clear for 2012
First and foremost: Happy 2012! Another year under the bridge as we move ever onward. 2011 was a great year and I should probably think about doing a “best of 2011” (which would end up being best of Ault Park Sunrise) post. I had planned on updating the “best of” page anyway, so this would be a great time to do it. It’s already a bit late so what’s a few more weeks?
This morning’s sunrise took place in an atmosphere that was, once again, completely unforecastable. This weather has really been strange recently, it reminds me a lot of the unpredictable weather changing that occurs during spring. I checked the weather report last night and it said “93% cloud cover”. As it turned out, the skies were almost crystal clear with a couple of aircraft vapor trails and a light low lying cloud bank. The current outlook for the rest of the week is mostly clear as well, even though it currently reads both “Clear” and “89% Cloud Cover”… I’m not sure what that’s about! One is probably the reality while the other is still based on forecast, perhaps? After what seems like a month of overcast mornings, it was a pleasant surprise to see the clouds gone this morning on this cool record-braking-low-temperature winter morning.
As I write this post, the temperature is hanging out at 19F. I think that breaks the record for the coldest temperature for an Ault Park Sunrise ride. And cold it was. I got some new gear from my parents for Christmas, so this was my first chance to try them out. My new reflective winter riding jacket (with light-up LED strip on the back, hah!) did a great job with my hooded sweatshirt on under it. I tried out a winter face-mask which did the trick nicely. Just as I headed home, however, the heat in my fingers finally gave out and I had a bone-chilling ride down the windy hill into Mt. Lookout. From now on I think I’ll trade my running gloves for the bulky but well insulated wool gloves. Warmth +10, Agility -5.
Yesterday morning through the afternoon we received our first minor snowfall. We received about a half an inch or so of a light dusting and some of it stuck around through this morning. I was hoping for a bit more snow on the ground, but there was enough to create some subtle highlights around the park. I’m still looking forward to my first true fresh snowfall sunrise, something that I expect to see as our humid tropical-climate gives into the cold fronts that creep down from the North. There was no ice on the road today so I didn’t have to worry too much about safety, and overall the sunrise was a welcomed break to the gloomy mornings that we’ve been used to.
The sunrise this morning was a humid one, with lots of deep orange and reds that filled the atmosphere just after first light. I actually arrived a bit early, unintentionally, so I was able to watch the sky slowly evolve from the twilight deep blues into the post-sunrise oranges before heading back to our warm apartment.
Twilight, looking over the Little Miami River Valley. I was a bit early, this is roughly a half hour before sunrise.
Twilight is always a surprise because unless you have a clear view of the horizon, it isn’t obvious that there is so much color in the lower atmosphere.
Heekin Overlook, with bits of snow along the ground.
After roughly 15 minutes, the sky is starting to lighten up. It’s quite humid, however, so there isn’t a bright aura forming above the horizon. Instead, the light is being scattered by the moisture in the atmosphere and spread out throughout the sky.
Apparently I spilled some coffee when I poured my second cup. It froze immediately when it came in contact with the steel foundation that supports the columns!
Due to the high humidity, I was only given about 20 seconds notice as to where the sun would pop up over the horizon. The clouds were starting to move from their deep purple into a highlighted pink shadowy palette. Bright pink/orange highlights started showing up across the low lying cloud bank, and even though you can’t see it from the picture, there was a glowing misty patch just above where the sun would soon show up. You can see it, kind of, in this picture above as the small circular orange spot in the center of the picture.
It was at this point I started to realize that the defenses of the gloves I was wearing were starting to give. I wasn’t planning on waiting around to see how bad it could get in under 19F (-7C) weather. Take care!
Sunrise 132: Lunken Airfield Bike Trail (Christmas Eve Clear Skies, Unknown Lock Structures)
A tall tree of unknown species rises into the dawn sky @ Lunken Airfield
Hanging out in the morning shade @ the Lunken Airfield Bike Trail
Last night the wife and I were up late watching Christmas movies (OK we actually watched Machete after realizing there nothing good on TV) so this morning would have been a highly appropriate time to sleep in before embarking on our holiday travel to see our families up north. I woke up at 7:15, however, and peeped outside through the blinds. I saw a sight that I haven’t seen in a couple weeks: a dark but promising turquoise sky! I realized that it was the first clear sky morning after a long streak full of overcast skies and wet air. Given that it was a Saturday morning, especially, I hopped on the bike and headed down to UDF for a $1 refill and was on my way.
Given that I had a bit more time this morning I decided to head on down into the valley to check out Lunken Airfield’s bike trail. It’s a spot that I do love visiting, but it’s about a 20 minute bike ride to my favorite bench that looks out over the airfield under the open sky, so with these late 8:00am sunrises it’s a bit difficult for me to make it down there during the week and still have a reasonable expectation of getting to work on time. There was no traffic on the roads this morning, which I found both surprising because I’d expect to see holiday traffic, but also appropriate since most people are on holiday today.
It was quite chilly this morning, with very high humidity and around 27F. The dew point was estimated to be roughly the same as the ambient temperature so I was actually very surprised that there was no fog. By the time I arrived at Lunken Airfield, however, I realized that the sun has drifted rather far to the right. The sun ended up being hidden behind the Little Miami River Levee for the first fifteen minutes after sunrise. I ended up getting in a nice little workout by biking around the five mile loop that surrounds the airfield. It’s a rare treat that I get to shift up higher than second gear in my bike since I tend to ride mostly along the hill sides in Eastern Cincinnati, so the quicker pace was a welcomed change to the morning routine. Although I still had to climb back up the hill to get back to Mt. Lookout!
I arrived at Lunken Airfield about 15 minutes before sunrise. The bright aura of the impending sunrise had already faded, and the sky had lost most of its turquoise shade. This giant tree sits right next to the air strips and is about the same height as all the other trees located on the Eastern side of the airport throughout Reeve’s golf course. I made the realization that this winter I should try to make it to the golf course at least a handful of times because where else are there such magnificent trees that stand by themselves, making the perfect silhouette candidates, than in an old golf course?
The airfield is calm today with only a single plane taking off. Honestly, I would have expected more air traffic on this Christmas Eve morning.
The sun is already up but we can’t see it! The highlights of the vapor trails were becoming incredibly bright as the sun popped up over the horizon behind heavily forested the Little Miami River levee.
As I started along the bike trail, I noticed this secret entrance. I imagine the workers of the yard in the background use this to access the trail to get a job in after work. That’s one great thing about winter – the forest reveals many secrets that are hidden during the summer. Soon… very soon I hope to hunt down the ruins of the Mt. Adams Incline (and perhaps the Bellevue Hill Incline as well) that will no doubt be a bit easier to find with the leaves off of the trees.
Looking out across the airfield.
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Sunrise 128: Ault Park (Guest Sunrise #3, Mt. Lookout Luminaries)
Trent, looking out at Sunrise 128
A final shot of some of the neighborhood Luminaries in Mt. Lookout. Last night these would have been lit up by the candles that sit inside them.
This week started off with a great sunrise. Some friends of ours stopped by last night before heading back home to San Francisco. Trent decided to come along with me this morning on the ride up to the park. It was a cold ride, but there was a decent amount of light cloud action in the lower atmosphere to provide some nice dynamics. We also happened to catch the tail end of the Mt. Lookout Luminary, an annual community event that raises money for the local council. Technically the luminary was last night so the candles were all used up by the time we found them this morning.
I also have the first European guest sunrise from Laura in Estonia. Thanks Laura!
A cell phone shot of Sunrise 128 from Trent.
Laura in Estonia sent in this sunrise picture. Thanks again Laura!
We swung by UDF to grab some coffee and found some of the luminaries on the newly finished marble table in Mt. Lookout Square.
The late twilight sky was crisp and colorful. Interestingly, it looks like Armleder Park has suffered a bout of flooding after the recent rain.
A plane takes off from Lunken Airport over Armleder Park.
A close up of the misty farmlands in the Little Miami River Basin
The sunrise is just around the corner!
A hazy First Light of Sunrise 128
Looking out over the Little Miami River Valley
A cool and crisp Heekin Overlook. Thanks again for coming out Trent!
Sunrise 126: Ault Park (An Early Twilight Clear Sky Sunrise)
Ice wrinkles at Heekin Overlook against the autumn twilight sky. It was a cool 32F with 76% humidity and 8% cloud cover this morning (although I see no clouds, do you?)
Just as I’m packing it up to head home, a puffy robin perches on a branch, giving me a quick moment to snap his picture before he flies off to join his friends.
There is something that I’ve learned about the sunrise through the course of pursuing this project. It stems from the differences that I’ve found in analyzing the various “species” of sunrise. What I have found, specifically, is how different a clear sky sunrise is from a sunrise whose sky is filled with clouds. If it is particularly humid it is even more drastic because humidity tends to draw out the sunrise color evolution so a cloudy humid sunrise has most of its color display after “first light”. The clear sky sunrises, however, have a tendency to get too bright too quickly so most of the subtle color changes occur before “first light”. This is especially true on a non-humid day, where the first blast of sun light can be almost blinding! This morning’s sunrise was one of the “humid clear sky” type, so the color display was present but the sun did not immediately take on a yellow hue and instead stayed a deep shade of red as it rose up over the horizon.
The main difference about these clear sky sunrises, which dominated most of the summer mornings when we weren’t having thunderstorms, and most of the autumn mornings when we weren’t getting invasions of winter rain fronts, is that often times the best colors occur 15, 20, or even 30 minutes before the expected sunrise time. If there is even a hint of cloud activity in the sky, you can see deep purple and magenta highlights across the clouds in the upper atmosphere as early as 40 minutes before sunrise as the curvature of the earth provides a glimpse of the upcoming sunrise. The colors can start off high in the atmosphere and swing down to the horizon quickly, and they can be gone in a matter of minutes as I found out the hard way a few days ago.
So this morning I decided to get up earlier than usual since the forecast had me getting excited over the possibility of clear skies. I arrived at the overlook by 7:20am, a full 28 minutes before sunrise. I was surprised to find that the ambient light was already bright enough where I had no trouble seeing with the naked eye. In fact, I could have arrived 20 minutes earlier and still had plenty of atmospheric color shifting to watch. As I look at the sunrise calendar, I see that “Civil Twilight” started at 7:14am. I am coming to realize that this is probably a good indicator of when one should attempt to “show up” to observe the full evolution of a clear sky sunrise. Today’s sunrise was actually quite humid, evident by the “red globe” effect that the sun appeared with, rather than the “bright blinding yellow light” effect that a dry sunrise with clear skies would produce. I would even venture to say that the Nautical Twilight time of 6:41am would have been an appropriate time to show up this morning. Heck, on a completely dry day where the first light would penetrate deep into the atmosphere, the Astronomical Twilight time of 6:08am would not be a bad idea, although that would take some serious commitment.
7:23am; 25 minutes before sunrise and 10 minutes after the start of “Civil Twilight“. No, that link does not take you to a page about vampires, I promise!
Heekin Overlook, 20 minutes before sunrise
Twilight over the Little Miami River Valley. Check out the standing water down in the fertile corn fields. I’m surprised that there was no fog this morning considering that there has been 3 days of raining followed by a clear morning. But the fog must have been just around the corner given the high humidity in the atmosphere.
Twilight and the Water Tower over standing water in the valley.
First Light: Sunrise 126. These high humid sunrises are kind of funny because it isn’t like the drama-queen low-humidity sunrises that alert you of their impending arrival by presenting their region of the sky with a bright orange and yellow aura 5 or 6 minutes before they actually waltz in the door. Nope, these deep blood red humid sunrises sneak up on you. I’ll look away for a quick minute, or fill up my coffee cup, and I look up and am lightly shocked to see the tip of the sun peeking out from behind the far ridge line, without an entourage or dramatic display of color.
A close-up of the sun rising over the Little Miami River Valley. Note the deeper reds and purples still in the sky just above the horizon, as if the sunlight can’t penetrate very far into the atmosphere. Compare this to a similar picture of a less humid sunrise.
Please stay tuned for tomorrow’s sunrise. It’s currently forecasted at 68% cloud cover, which means I could get lucky and get a dramatic sunrise for the first time in months!
Sunrise 124: Ault Park (Waves of Fog Under a Clear Sunrise)
Best seat in the house (Thanks Mac!)
My Carew Tower waterbottle sitting atop a Murdock Fountain (see all of them in the series). Sometimes I get lucky – I love this picture.
The sunrise this morning was beautiful! I was up late and didn’t expect to make it up, but we had some friends stay the night and their dog woke me up just in time for sunrise! It couldn’t have worked out better. I hopped on the bike, headed to UDF for a coffee refill (only $1 for my 26oz thermos, what a great deal), and climbed up the hill to the park. I arrived just after first light but I took a longer route than usual. I really should have taken the shorter route because as I was coming up the hill I could see the sunrise through the forest and the sun had crested over the horizon with a shade of deep rich red. By the time I was able to take a picture at the overlook, it had taken on a more late-morning yellow shade with only a hint of the dark red.
The dark red of first light is interesting because so far most of the clear morning sunrises have been very yellow light meaning that the sky has relatively low humidity. This morning’s red sunrise color is a sign that the air is full of humidity. It was a really beautiful sunrise with the fog down in the valley and the clear skies above. The higher humidity sunrises are also nice because you can stare at the sun for a few minutes as it comes up without it blinding you.
This was the first saturday that I was able to get out on the bike since my adventure to Eden Park. It was a cool 30F in the park this morning but with the sun, clear skies, and lots of people out and about I didn’t even notice the cold. I met some people at the overlook which is always fun even though I tend to ramble on and on about Cincinnati, parks, and everything in between. I met Mac, a young guy who incidentally biked up to Ault Park for the sunrise as well. That was a great surprise! He also made for a great picture against the sunrise, which you can check out below. It was the first time that I’ve met someone else at the overlook for sunrise who also biked there! Hopefully we’ll meet again sometime in the future. Mac coined the term “waves of fog” which was very appropriate to describe the movement of the fog in the valley below, especially with the ways the shadows played through the mist as the sun came up. I also met two lovely ladies who didn’t mind me filling them in on the vineyard history of the park. Thanks for listening ladies 🙂
Sunrise 124 @ Ault Park. A perfect combination of clear skies, humid atmosphere, and fog down below. One of my favorite kinds of sunrises.
Heekin Overlook. Note the second bike on the right!
Mac made for a great silhouette picture.
Sunrise 120(!!): Ault Park (Clear & Frosty Cold Morning)
Sunrise 120! That’s a new milestone – 3x the original goal of 40 sunrises! For a recap, here’s Sunrise 40 and Sunrise 80.
After yesterday’s sunrise fakeout, I was excited to head up to the park this morning for the first clear sunrise of the week. The forecast was pretty much dead on – low 20s (-5C) with clear skies. I climbed up to the park about 20 minutes early and poked around by the edge of the forest to try and find candidates for some silhouette pictures against the dawn sky. I found a couple, including the lone tree by the pavilion. There was actually a couple joggers in the park this morning putting up with the cold. I bundled myself up with the usual gear: thick gloves, hooded sweatshirt, insulated wind breaker pants, and a knitted UC hat. I did, however, have one piece of extra armor (pun unintentional, but it certainly works!) this morning that made a huge difference. I borrowed the wife unit’s winter under armor shirt after her suggestion, and it really did make a huge difference. I was skeptical at first because of how thin it is (and that I can’t wear an undershirt with it!) but it really does a good job at trapping body heat and presumably releasing moisture. I felt cozy at the overlook this morning rather than miserable. I may have to get some winter gear for myself!
Coming into the park, now that the leaves have fallen from the trees, presents a very nice view of the sunrise coming over the valley.
This single tree by the pavilion caught my eye because the backdrop was much different from the first silhouette picture – more blue and white, rather than orange and purple.
The early dawn sky at Heekin Overlook over the Little Miami River Valley. This is the phrase of the sunrise that is difficult to capture accurately because the light oranges wash out to white.
Lots of upper atmospheric plane activity today. When the weather is cloudy you don’t think about how many planes are scooting along up there, but on a clear morning with the dawn light reflecting from the vapor trails it becomes apparent just how busy the sky is. I counted at least 5 in the sky this morning at sunrise, silently gliding across the atmosphere.
I was able to capture the “dawn halo” quite nicely this morning.
Interestingly enough, we can see that the sun has moved to the right of the water tower. I didn’t know if it would make it this far to the right on the horizon but it shows no signs of slowing down. Sometime in the past week the sun would have risen up exactly behind the water tower, too bad the overcast mornings hid it from view!
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Sunrise 118 (2/2) Special Edition: Snowman Political Rally
The Snowman’s Political Rally @ Sunrise 118
I, for one, welcome our new snowmen overlords.
As promised yesterday, this is the second part of Sunrise 118’s post.
Yesterday morning, after checking out the sunrise, I ventured into the park to see what was new. As I approached the lawn I noticed something across the way, about 80 yards on the other side of the park. Someone had gathered up a bunch of political signs and planted them together in a group. After all the local TV ads stop and the results are tallied, what ends up happening to all the political signs? Well, some of them ended up in Ault Park!
Upon closer inspection, however, it became apparent that these signs were not randomly placed about the lawn. Rather, they were all neatly organized in parallel rows, facing forward towards the set of benches. On top of one of the benches, low and behold, was a plastic Christmas snowman. As it turned out, I was the first to come across a renegade piece of art placed in the lawn of the park by some artist or group of artists. Here’s the scenario as I saw it:
- The political signs were all organized in a tight group and each was facing the snowman.
- Each of the political signs, without exception, were marked with a
capital “V”in black shoe polish. Some of the signs were “double long” and were marked with a double V. Upon further inspection, it appears that each of the “V”s are almost identical, implying they are drawn with a stencil. Maybe spray paint, then, not shoe polish. UPDATE it was pointed out by Togie and RossTheColonol that these are not, in fact, the letter V. They’re actually stencils of a SHEEP. The sheep is looking directly at you. It’s kind of hard to tell at first, but it becomes obvious. That makes it even more powerful!
- The snowman sat atop a bench. Care was taken so that the gravel that filled the snowman did not spill out onto the bench (a political sign kept the gravel from falling out of the bottom). There were no other signs of vandalism or damage. A respectful installation!
- Across the side of the snowman, in big bold letters, was written “THE MAN”. The phrase was also written along the back of the snowman.
- The snowman’s face was modified. His eyes were colored white and then small beady pupils were drawn in the center. His mouth had teeth drawn with white-out and cheek-bone lines drawn with marker. There were also wrinkles drawn around his eyes.
- The snowman had a nice little tie around his neck that I almost didn’t catch at first.
- I love that each of the political signs come from all areas of the political spectrum. The way they are clustered together into an “audience” to the snowman’s political rally is interesting because even though each sign represents a different “choice”, each sign is equal in the audience to the Snowman.
- Now that I know that the stencils are “sheep”, not a “V” like an artist signature, the meaning is much more straight forward.
- I like that the snowman is a fantasy character. It adds a bit of surrealism to the entire operation. It also makes the idea of “The Man”, an otherwise intangible and scary character, into a tangible albeit fictional figure.
- The details on the snowman really seal the deal. His face looks seedy with a plastic smile (hah!), beady eyes, and the teeth. The tie is also a nice touch. That’s the one detail that makes me think this had some real planning behind it.
- I like that the political signs are real. They’re taken from the urban landscape and reused to make a statement.
- The obvious message that I take away from this is that choice is an illusion and the Snowman (“The Man”), lying behind the scenes, is benevolent in his power! 🙂 As Zach de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine said, “There is no other pill to take so swallow the one that makes you ill!”.
A full moon rises over Snowman’s political rally.
The eager audience, each “marked” with
a V or double V in black shoe polish stencils of a sheep.
If you’re on the front page: for the rest of the pictures (about 19 total), please click to continue. (more…)
Sunrise 118 (1/2): Ault Park (Guest Sunrises #2 from Dayton, OH and Australia!)
First Light for Sunrise 118 @ Ault Park in Cincinnati, Ohio
The full moon was out in the western sky! I know the physics make it impossible (or, rather, they show why it is impossible) but it’d be neat to see the full moon rise next to the sun. Until I can see a sunrise in a solar system with two luminous bodies, I’ll have to be content with seeing a full moon opposite the sun in the sky 🙂
Check back later – I’m running out of time for the night – for the second half of this post. UPDATE Here’s the link to the second half. I came across an unexpected, and very interesting, piece of renegade art in the park this morning. Don’t miss it! There is a sneak peak down below somewhere. It deserves a post of its own so that our guest sunrises get their fully deserved attention 🙂 )
This morning I am happy to include the second set of the “guest sunrise” posts, featuring two sunrises from Dayton, OH and a set from a fellow blogger Eremophila in Australia. We’ve gone international! (Also a quick note: all original pictures’ copyright are maintained by their respective owners. The ault park sunrise notice on each picture is just the result of my renaming / resizing script that I run all pictures through prior to uploading them to the web!)
The sunrise this morning was surprisingly warm, and the skies were crystal clear as I’ve come to expect during the Autumn leg of this project. As far as clear sky sunrises go, this one was particularly “normal” with the early dawn light starting at least 20 minutes before sunrise and the “first light” being full of bright yellow light. It seems that the foggy days are gone for now, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of them.
Guest Sunrise #1: James in Dayton, OH
James sent in a sunrise from his morning commute Thursday. I got it a bit later in the day so it wasn’t included in part I.
Driving North on I-75 in Dayton, Ohio. Thanks James!
Guest Sunrise #2: Eremophila in Mid North and South Eastern Australia
Eremophila was kind enough to send two sets of sunrise pictures from her adventures in Australia. The first picture is from the Mid North of Australia and the second two are from her recent move to Australia’s South East. She comments that the Mid North is quite a bit different from where she now lives in the South East.
Australia Sunrise (Mid North), thanks Eremophila!
South Eastern Australia Sunrise. I love the fog and the blue skies, what a beautiful picture.
South Eastern Australia Sunrise #2. More fog and vegetation!
Guest Sunrise #3: Mike from Enon, Ohio
Mike sent in two pictures of his early morning sunrise across his backyard along the farmlands of Enon, Ohio. Thanks Mike!
This looks to be just before First Light, capturing the brightest of the dawn light. Thanks again Mike!
There are 17 pictures in this post, so if you’re on the front page be sure to click here to continue!
Sunrise 117: Ault Park (Featuring “guest” sunrises #1 from Cincinnati & South Carolina)
This morning I have a special edition post along with the normal Sunrise 117 pictures. Late yesterday afternoon I asked if anyone else wanted to take up the challenge to get a picture of the sunrise in their local region, wherever it may be. I received three sets of pictures from this morning’s sunrise with the promise of a couple more for tomorrow’s sunrise. Two of the sets are from the Cincinnati region and the other set comes all the way from Scott in Isle of Palm, South Carolina! Thanks Tara, Scott, & Amanda for contributing to today’s post 🙂
(update: I forgot to directly mention it but tomorrow morning I’m doing the same thing. If you’ve got the will to do so, take a picture of the sunrise and send it to me! I’ll post it here along with my normal update. firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to facebook, include any caption, location, or website you’d like me to include along with your picture/s. As long as I don’t get overwhelmed, which I don’t see happening, consider this a standing offer!)
The wife unit joined me this morning and took a couple pictures on her phone. The atmosphere was one of the clear sky variety, albeit with a bit of a twist. There was a low lying cloud bank that muted the colors slightly but did provide an excellent pre-sunrise show. Unfortunately we missed the pink and orange flares by about 3 minutes (and we were ten minutes early). It was probably the most social sunrise I’ve had so far, with two fellow sunrise observers and my wife along for the ride on her trusty 1983 Peugeot P18 Mixte. We were on a bit of a time schedule but if we would have stayed for another, say, 20 minutes I imagine that the sun would have poked out from behind the low lying cloud bank and lit up the sky in a bright yellow/orange palette.
Roughly 10 minutes before sunrise
Rays of light shine through, muted, behind the cloud bank
These vertical shots are actually getting harder because the sun has moved so far to the right. This time I had to zoom in to not include a branch of the oak trees that stand next to the overlook.
Guest Sunrise 1: Tara @ Voice of America MetroPark in Butler County
Tara sent these pictures in from Voice of America MetroPark, perhaps the highest point in Butler County and 25 miles north of Ault Park.
(This is actually a picture from yesterday! We didn’t get a sunrise in the cloudy overcast skies above Mt. Lookout, but Tara got lucky with a colorful display!)
“I really enjoyed watching the sun rise but peace was my ultimate reward this morning….
… To stop and look at the world and reflect on what’s important.”
Guest Sunrise 2: Scott @ Isle of Palm, South Carolina
Scott sent in some pictures from the clear sky sunrise above the sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Sunrise over there was around 6:44am, a full half hour earlier than us in Ohio!
Scott said this was his “bike” that he took to get to the beach! haha
Dawn on the beach in South Carolina
Looking North along the coast line
What’s a beach without freshly churned-up sea shells?
Just before sunrise @ Isle Of Palm, South Carolina
We can see the orange aura forming; it’ll be any second now.
Looks like Scott got a nice low-humidity sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean (high humidity would make the sun purple and dim for the first few minutes of light). Thanks Scott!
Guest Sunrise 3: Amanda @ Ault Park, Cincinnati OH
Amanda joined me this morning on bike as we climbed up to the sunrise @ Heekin Overlook. Thanks!
Looks like I am caught red-handed in the act. Gloves, Hat, Sweatshirt, and Sweat Pants. Sneaky girl!
The sunrise behind the low-lying cloud bank over the Little Miami River Valley.
Amanda’s trusty steed. She is a 1983 Peugeot P18 Mixte. This shade of red was only made for one year. I’m always surprised at how well it shifts. Thanks Amanda!
Stay tune for, hopefully, a new set of sunrise pictures tomorrow morning. Apparently Friday is a good day for people to check out the Sunrise (although it probably has more to do with the fact that some people take Friday off)
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.