This morning was interesting. After almost missing the sunrise yesterday, I made sure to be up at the overlook 10 minutes early. In contrast to the clear skies yesterday morning, however, the sky this morning was overcast and gray. Last night we must have had a light shower; the roads were wet and slick, the sky was dark and gray, and the ambient light seemed to be lagging behind by about 25 minutes. I honestly couldn’t tell when the sun came up. I took the opportunity to relax and drink my coffee, and think about the direction I want this project to go. Without the distraction of a beautiful sunrise, planning the day is much less stressful! Lunken airport had some light traffic, including a small commuter jet that took off in a hurry right after the supposed sunrise time.
One of the things I’m figuring out is coming up with a list of locations that I’d like to consistently take a picture from. The point of this will be to document the seasonal change of the park. I’ve decided that this spot fits nicely because it captures the Heekin Overlook and the valley below as well as several pieces of local fauna. The trees that don’t blossom and aren’t conifers haven’t started putting on their green show yet, so this spot should change over time. (Why do flowering trees blossom so early and always before full leafy non-flowering trees? Hmm.) I also have to remember that everything I see today I take for granted. During the summer you can’t see through the trees at all, and the overlook seems snug and crowded, in contrast to the panoramic view we get to experience today. More pictures after the jump.
Well, here we go! I’m going to try and hammer out the format of all of this as I go along. This is going to be a wordy post, but most of the later posts will be substantially smaller. Welcome to my project! The purpose of this blog, at least right now, is to document my ongoing attempt to wake up with the sun every day for the next few months (starting today), brew a thermos of coffee, grab my notebook (the analog kind), hop on my bike, and make the thigh-burning, wheeze-inducing, 12 minute trip up to the top of Ault Park (did I mention I’m miserably out of shape?). This will of course involve me getting up 2 minutes earlier every day until the middle week of June, at which point the sun rise time will hold steady for a few days (at 6:11am EST) before starting its retreat back to more sane times. One of the hardest things for me to do is get up early. I realized something recently, and that is that I never regret when I actually do get up and active before 8:00am. So thats what I’m going to try and do. Start off every day with an accomplishment of great magnitude. It is all down hill from there!
If you’re more curious about why on earth I’d do this (even I think it is crazy), I’ve got some ideas written out in the manifesto (which will probably be changing daily). I’ll also be exploring various other areas around eastern Cincinnati (at least as far as I can get on my bike), including Ault and Alms park, Armletter Park, the Cincinnati Observatory, Lunken Airfield, East End and down by the Ohio River, the marina / boat club, and who knows where else. I’ll probably take a break on the weekends, but I’ve also found that early Saturday mornings offer some of the best time to explore on a bike without having to worry about traffic. Along the way I hope to find myself becoming more proficient at writing, having more productive and inspired days, and discover more amazing things about the history of the area I live in. There are so many markers, plaques, cornerstones, and ruins hidden away in the local forest from the late 1800s and early 1900s that I’m sure I can only remember a small percentage of them off the top of my head. I also have a lot of pictures from the last two years of exploring the area (and finding those hidden ruins, markers, etc), so I’ll throw those up on here in time. I’m definitely going to be making a post for every sunrise I see (daily if I keep up the motivation), and hopefully I’ll find a few other pictures along the way that I’d like to share. This project doesn’t just represent a new way of looking at my life for the next two months, or as a way to savor every detail out of the early hours of the day, but it also serves as a way for me to create a historical log, with pictures, that I can look back on for the rest of my life and say “Hell yeah, I’m really glad I did that”.
So now it is official; I decided to make today the official start of the project! I got in late last night (I was at the reds game, we won!) and grudgingly decided to get my butt out of bed at 6:30am this morning. It was pleasantly warm out, probably a good 15 degrees (F) warmer than a few days ago when I did my second morning “test run” to Ault Park. The most surprising thing to me was clear the sky was, and how that affected the lighting around me. There were very few clouds in the sky which meant that I could see the sun crest over the ridge line. Earlier in the week it was cloudy after a storm, which meant that I had to wait about 10 minutes to really see the sunrise (and I couldn’t exactly tell where the sun was). I’m hoping to see another sunrise like that in the coming weeks, it was absolutely beautiful and didn’t really peak until the sun found a break in the clouds at about 15 minutes after sunrise.
Here is a picture of the Heekin Overlook, where I will be spending a majority of my mornings waiting on the sun. I don’t want to talk too much about it yet, I have to save some information for future posts! 🙂
More pictures after the jump.
This picture was taken after a huge snowstorm in February. Most of the local schools were closed, the kids were out sledding down the hill.
Here’s to a warm and beautiful 2011!