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

Posts tagged “clear skies

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.


Sunrise 113: Ault Park (Misty & Clear Autumn Morning)

The sunlight turned bright quickly. Down in Armleder Park, there were pronounced rays of light piercing the light fog as they came through the trees.

Another beautiful clear autumn sky in Cincinnati on this early November morning. I was held up at home for a few extra minutes so I got to the park just as the sun was coming up over the horizon. I really liked yesterday’s vertical picture with the silhouette of the tree in the top left of the picture. Today’s sunrise was less humid than yesterday’s so the orange gradient fade from the sun into the atmosphere was quicker and with a heavier shade of navy blue. I would have loved to arrive just 10 minutes earlier because these low humidity clear sky sunrises are one of my favorites, but that’s just how it happens sometimes! The fog that made a dramatic appearance yesterday has receded back into the valley and is now more of a mist. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for clouds and rain, but the early morning looks like it may have about 40% cloud cover. If we get lucky the conditions could be right for a drop-dead beautiful dynamic sunrise. We’ll see what happens!

It was another cold one this morning. My thermometer puts it at around 35F for sunrise. As I mentioned yesterday, with gloves, my hoodie, and insulated pants it isn’t bad at all. The wind is really what I have to worry about and there wasn’t much to speak of today.

Sunrise 113 in a mostly clear, low humidity atmosphere.

Looking East over the Little Miami River Valley across misty farmland.

Heekin Overlook


Sunrise 106: Ault Park (Colorful Sunrise & Autumn Acorns)

An airplane approaches Lunken Airport at sunrise

I got another lucky break this morning for Sunrise 106. The forecast called for both rain and mostly cloudy conditions for this AM (although the forecast has since changed to accommodate a more sunny outlook for the week). The atmosphere ended up being clear with whisps of a low-lying cloud slurry, one of the best combinations for a pretty sunrise. The clouds help to reflect different colors and phases of the sunrise light as the sun comes up over the horizon.

So far the weather has really been great this Autumn. I’d much rather have a week of overcast and gloomy weather followed by a week full of bright clear skies and dynamic morning sunrises. These sunrises feel a lot like the spring sunrises, except that in the spring there seems to have been more of the puffy cumulus type clouds. The morning temperature started off chilly – around 40F – and it looks like today will be another warm one with the temperature rising into the mid 70s.

Over the weekend my wife and I visited family in Dayton . On the way back we swung through Waynesville, OH to explore some of the antique furniture malls. I found a couple of really neat “Cincinnati Park” themed postcards with postmarks dating back over 100 years. I’ll share them on here sometime this week. One of them features the Elsinore Arch and the other, I think, features the Twin Lakes. I’m going to go find the location that the pictures were taken and see what it looks like today. I’m really excited to own these two postcards because they’re in the same artistic style that I keep running across in my Internet Travels I embark on while doing research for this project. Cincinnati Views has a great archive of many of them, although I still have to search it to see if mine have already been documented. Stay tuned 🙂

Briefly, here’s a gallery I found while searching for postcard pictures. Lots of artistically rendered Cincinnati greeting cards.

Just before sunrise. After stopping at UDF to get my coffee on free-refill-Monday, I made it up to Heekin overlook just in time.

Looking out at the sunrise from the lower overlook.

Sunrise 106, 7:50am EST

A vertical picture showcasing the gradient into the dark blue of the upper atmosphere.

A close up of the sunrise. At this point the sun is being directly obfuscated by the cloud bank.

Acorns are all over the place under the oak trees surrounding Heekin Overlook

(A widescreen version). Browns are the color of choice here.


Sunrise 105: Ault Park (Suprise! Clear Skies)

Sunrise 105: Clear Skies

Honestly, I didn’t expect much out of this morning’s sunrise. It’s been stormy and overcast for the past few days and last night our softball games were cancelled due to rain. When I woke up and saw the familiar warm glow of the twilight sky through the trees in our backyard, I realized that sometime during the early morning the sky cleared up. Even the forecast last night called for rainy and cloudy skies today. Weather is weird like that sometimes.

The morning started out chilly and ended up ice cold! As the sun came up and began to stir up the atmosphere, the wind picked up and shook the trees. It ended up being what I’d consider to be a “classic” autumn morning – chilly, clear skies, and a bit of a breeze.

Continuing in the vein of short updates (late sunrise times push my posts too far into the morning!), Sunrise 105 is another brief and sweet one. In a couple of weeks when day light saving ends and the sunrise comes up before 7:00am again, there will be a bit more time. I’m looking forward to it!

Dawn, entering the park.

There were some light clouds just above the horizon that were changing colors along with the atmosphere.

Heekin Overlook. Lots of leaves on the ground, but the valley forest is still mostly green.

The light was really strange this morning. Either the sky was completely bleached out, or the foreground was completely black.

It’s hard to capture all of the colors that a clear sky has to offer on my little camera. Under the canopy of the shedding oak trees, the view out across the valley is bright and orange.

Half-staffed flag and the moon.

20 minute later, after the wind picked up. The moon moves quickly. About this time I saw two young red tailed hawks floating around through the gardens. The larger one was probably the same one I saw earlier this spring @ Sunrise 10.

Looking down Observatory Ave with the sun coming up behind me. This was about the time it was getting icy cold.

This little “park” is always decorated for the holidays. I’m not sure if it’s maintained by the Cincinnati Parks or if it is a local resident.


Sunrise 103: Sawyer Point & Downtown Cincinnati (Sunrise Skyline, Riverboats, Kayaks)

As the atmosphere takes on a distinct shade of yellow, I arrive at the eastern edge of Sawyer Point coming into downtown Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Skyline at Sunrise

Rowers heading up the Licking River and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in the distance

A sailboat and the Reds Stadium. Featuring Carew Tower and the Great American building.

This morning’s update is a doozie! This is actually yesterday’s sunrise but I got carried away on such a pretty day and took way too many pictures. I didn’t have time to finish the processing yesterday, so it’s coming at you a day later. I retraced much of the route I took during Sunrise 9 in April. Has it really been 6 months?

I woke up Sunday morning with only 5 hours of sleep under my belt. We were out late for a friend’s birthday party the night before but I had already made up my mind that I was going to take advantage of this amazing October weather. I originally set my alarm for 6am, which was way too early considering sunrise was 7:41am, and accidentally slept for another hour. It worked out perfectly and I was thankful for the late sunrise time. I was out the door with my bike and coffee by 7:00am, armed with the goal of seeing the sunrise over the Ohio River in Downtown Cincinnati. I ended up being swept up in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer run/walk where over 12,000 people came out in the 15th annual event. The walk provided a rich texture to the acoustic backdrop to my four hour morning exploration of Sawyer Point and Newport, Kentucky because the speaker system could be heard anywhere along the banks of the Ohio River. I ended up hanging out in General James Taylor park in Newport, Kentucky, a park that until now I had no idea existed. With nothing but water and open air between myself and the headquarters of the walk about half a mile away or more, I listened as the walker told their survival stories, did the electric slide, and got themselves pumped up. The timing of my morning ride couldn’t have been more ideal because by the time I got to Sawyer Point, the first of the crowd was already starting to show up. I ended up getting stranded in Kentucky for about an hour as I waded, slowly and patiently, back to Ohio on the Purple People Eater Bridge through the torrent of thousands of pink-clad people. I actually found it kind of hilarious because I never considered how dependent I was on the only pedestrian bridge that links Newport and Sawyer Point!

While hanging out at General James Taylor Park in Newport, Kentucky on the banks of the Ohio River, I was greeted with the breathtaking view of the Cincinnati Skyline at sunrise. And a beautiful sunrise it was. I had known that I wouldn’t have an excellent view of the eastern sky so I had planned to wander around looking for a strategic spot to drink my coffee and enjoy the crisp and clear autumn sunrise. While chillin’ at the park, I saw a team of rowers practicing on the river, observed the local fishermen and watched a barge barrel down the river and do some impressive maneuvers as it banked into the Ohio River. The BB Riverboat also made an appearance and there was even a small sailboat that moved gracefully throughout my panoramic view of the skyline.

I’ve always loved the Cincinnati Skyline but Sunrise 103 really helped to solidify that feeling for me. I’ll go on record as saying that of the cities I’ve visited in my relatively inexperienced travel ventures, Cincinnati’s Downtown Skyline has to be one of the most beautiful skylines in the country, if not the world. Every city’s skyline is unique and beautiful in it’s own right, of course, but I feel like Cincinnati’s has the perfect combination of several properties.

For one, it’s relatively small. You can “see” the entire skyline without having to pan around. I can take it all in with a single view.

Second, What’s a skyline without a proper view? The view from the Kentucky side banks of the Ohio River is seriously amazing. The river and air is open and the banks in Kentucky are not overdeveloped by any stretch, providing easy access for anyone wanting to take it in.

Third, the architecture really tells a story, although I imagine this is common with many cities. You’ve got several remnants from “Old Cincinnati”, the late 1800s boomtown that was rivaling Manhatten with it’s urban density. The PNC building and Carew Tower (which was used as a model for the Empire State Building) rise to the western edge of the skyline. As I gaze at the buildings, I can imagine what a magnificent sight this must have been in the early 1900s. It isn’t too hard to ignore the Great American Insurance building (for now). The ending animation (35seconds forward) of the evolution of the New York Skyline in the movie Gangs of New York really made me aware of how the skyline of a city can tell historic story. I also like that we can see both the Bengal’s and Red’s stadiums as well as the US Bank Arena. There is the new Great American Insurance building, a shining example of modern architecture. A quick side note on the GAI building though. I like to think of the GAI as a young punk business executive. On one hand, it stole the “tallest building” title from Carew Tower, which held it for over 70 years. That’s OK though, progress marches on. It’s a beautiful building! It just makes me a bit nostalgic because I have a special place in my heart for Carew Tower and it’s legacy. They did pay respect, however, in the form of keeping Carew Tower at a higher elevation as to not upset the balance of the skyline. Yesterday morning, however, I realized something else! Something that I probably wouldn’t have thought about except through the contextual lens of this project. The Great American Insurance Building is aligned perfectly in such a way as to entirely block out Carew Tower from getting a view of the sunrise! I watched in a partial trance as the shadow of the GAI’s tiara moved from the top of Carew Tower down to the bottom. I’m being a bit dramatic, of course, but that doesn’t stop me from envisioning a quirky anthromorpized prime time sitcom featuring all of the buildings in Cincinnati’s Skyline living together in a small London flat and the tension between Carew and Great American being thick enough to cut with a knife. Now that I think about it, maybe I spent a bit too much time staring at the skyline… 🙂

As it turns out, the James Taylor park in Newport Kentucky is a memorial to a defensive battery that protected Cincinnati from the “Indian Wars” in the early 1800s, and later provided the final defense against an approaching Confederate Army during the Civil War. Whenever I find out about pieces of trivia such a this, I always think about the classic well-deserved nickname for Cincinnati: “The Gateway to the South”.

Some of these pictures are a bit redundant. The lighting was so accommodating and there was a lot going on. I am just throwing them all up on here, as usual, and letting the reader figure out which pictures they like the most (if any!).

When I left, the sky was dark but showing a hint of light. Looking East down Columbia Parkway in East End.

A blurry view down the Ohio River of the Cincinnati Skyline. I’m always so impressed with how much distance I can cover so easily on my bike.

The unfolding of a sunrise in a clear sunrise takes about 40 minutes. This morning was no different! The 25 minute ride to downtown was far from dull! I felt like I was racing the sun to Sawyer Point.

Another blurry view across the bend in the river.

I always get a full look at this building. Cincinnati Water Works, constructed in 1907. I finally ran into someone whose father works for the city. It turns out that the building is very much used today, but the stone wall that runs around the perimeter was built for “homeland security reasons”. Damn it. It’s so ugly.

Behind me, the atmosphere has started to show some signs of red. Better hurry along now!

St. Rose Church on Eastern Ave. If that clock is right, I’ve got 15 minutes to spare.

If you’re on the front page, click to see the rest of this post. About 73 pictures total! (more…)


Sunrise 13: Ault Park (the sun is back!)

This morning was absolutely beautiful. It was everything I could have hoped for after these last two days of thunder storms, and more :). The atmosphere was crisp and clear, with a hazy cloud formation just above the horizon. The clouds provided a beautiful reflective orange pattern and there was a “slicing” effect caused by one of the lower cloud banks (I need more words for clouds…). I guess you could say today was a “mustache kinda morning” (thanks Mike!). Always remember – shaving your beard in preparation for summer is always an opportunity to wear a mustache (even if only for a single day)! Earlier this week I had a “mustache monday”; fortunately I only ran into a handful of people. Moving on…

This is my theme song for the day. Don’t judge!

The pre-dawn atmosphere was a pinkish color, no doubt influenced by the low cloud cover. When the sun actually came up, you could just barely see it through the clouds. It was so subtle and majestic. More pictures after the jump (more…)