Sunrise 154: Clifton, Mt. Adams & Newport KY (Downtown/OTR Fog Bank, St. Patrick’s Day Bagpipes)
Over-The-Rhine & Downtown Cincinnati against a massive fog bank over the Ohio River. As seen on the morning of St. Patty’s day from Bellevue Hill Park in Clifton.
We stopped by Mt. Adams for a beer & a Rugby game (oh, and another free breakfast!) at Tap & Go. Here we look out over the Ohio River from Mt. Adams.
A view from Newport, KY as a barge rolls along up the Ohio River. (The white balance may have gotten away from me on this one; original photo is down below)
(Don’t forget to check out the sister post that will show up in a few minutes from this morning. Sunrise 155)
This year the wife and I decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s day by getting up super early and heading to Clifton for a free hot breakfast @ Murphy’s Pub. I realized right away that this would put me within walking distance of Bellevue Hill Park, one of my favorites in the city for its historic location, so I made sure to grab my camera and bring it along with me for the ride. We ended up spending the early morning in Clifton, the mid morning in Mt. Adams, and the late morning in Newport, Kentucky. As we traveled around the rim of the valley (and finally down by the river), I kept track of the thick fog that sat along the Ohio River. By the end of the morning the sky had cleared up and I found myself gazing at the Cincinnati Skyline under a summer-esque blue sky with rolling clouds.
We started off our morning at Murphy’s Pub in Clifton. Murphy’s Pub is a Clifton classic and they sure know how to host a party. Their breakfast (and green eggs) were superb and the crowd was a nice mix of students and locals. This bagpiper scared the pants off of us as he started his morning serenade at 6:30am.
When I first arrived in Clifton I made the immediate realization that I was only two blocks from Bellevue Hill Park, my favorite park in the Clifton area due to it’s history and breathtaking view of Downtown Cincinnati across Over-The-Rhine. I jokingly offered the other members of our party a chance to join me in a jog to the park, but none of them cared to take me up. I ran into a friend from school, Duffee (who is actually my “little brother” from our days in the fraternity), who is always up for an adventure. He joined me as we high tailed it up to the park at day break.
We arrived in the park to a handsome view of a tall & fluffy pile of fog hanging over the Ohio River. At first I was disappointed that we weren’t going to get a colorful sunrise sky, but that disappointment was replaced with joy when we saw the wall of fog that provided a beautiful backdrop to the Cincinnati Skyline.
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Sunrise 123: Ault Park (A Murder of Crows & Krohn’s Holiday Tree Lighting)
The entrance to the Art Deco Krohn Conservatory at the end of the Holiday Tree Lighting party. Check out the parallel lines, a signature of the style. Also note the humidity dripping from the glass panels.
As I climbed up to the top of the pavilion, I realized that I could see the fog layer out across the western sky. This is a new look for the park – fog and ice!
A renewed scene at the overlook as the sun rose above the densely packed layer of fog @ Sunrise 123
The atmosphere this morning was foggy for the second day in a row. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re close to setting the record if such a thing ever existed. I could see the sunrise’s deep red glow from Mt. Lookout Square, where I stopped by UDF to get a coffee refill, but by the time I climbed up to the park the fog had blown in from from the valley. The fog started to get thick as soon as I entered the park.
The strange thing that really stuck out to me this morning was the bird activity in the park. It was almost as if today was the day that the swarms of birds chose to gather in Ault Park before heading south for the winter. I have no idea of sparrows or crows migrate, but both birds were present in outstanding numbers this morning, filling up the sky and making a whole ruckus of noise! I even have a video of the “Murder of Crows”. There were at least 100 (I took a video) crows high in the trees this morning and their silhouettes were easy to find against the bright white background and naked branches. I’ve seen a handful at a time of these giant birds at the forest’s edge looking out over the valley, but this morning the murder moved together in a loud, squaking, organized group. I could hear them even as they moved deep into the forest even though they were hidden by the fog.
Last night the wife and I visited Krohn Conservatory in Mt. Adam’s Eden Park for their annual tree lighting ceremony. It was a really great time and there was excellent food and drinks. If you’re local to Cincinnati I highly recommend joining the Cincinnati Parks volunteer program because you get to hang out with some neat people and get invited to events like this at the Krohn :). The Krohn has a neat holiday display this year. A group came in and created a miniature train display that highlights several local Cincinnati landmarks as well as a few international ones. The trains glide around the fantasy landscape that is filled with the temporary holiday flowers and plants as well as the permanent citrus trees. The Krohn Conservatory is such a great building and we’re lucky to have it!
I was happy to see the Mt. Adams Incline represented in the train display @ Krohn Conservatory!
The giant pine lit @ Krohn. If you love plants like I do, be sure to pay the Krohn as many visits as you can! Especially at NIGHT during the winter. When you walk into the dark humid tropic room as ice crystals form on the green house panels, you feel like you’ve entered another world.
The entrance to the Art Deco Krohn Conservatory. Check out the parallel lines, a signature of the style.
As I entered the park, it was obvious that the sunrise was going to be a foggy one.
If you’re on the front page, please click to continue. 17 pictures total for this morning, including the video of those crazy crows… (more…)
Sunrise 122: Columbia Tusculum (Exploring in the Urban Fog, Macro Frost Crystals)
My morning coffee spot @ the “auxiliary” area in Alms Park. I didn’t make it all the way up to the top of the hill. It is so quiet here. The perfect spot to study or swing while listening to the planes come in.
Frost crystals on a picnic bench @ Alms Park
A strange break in the clouds and fog made for a surreal sunrise at Lunken Airport
This morning was one of those rare days when both the weather and my mood for exploration aligned perfectly. I was anticipating getting up early today all week after watching the forecast closely to see when the weather was expected to break. We’ve had two solid weeks of rainy overcast mornings with only one exception, which was last friday (after Thanksgiving). I was travling to visit family so I wasn’t able to see it! I was so excited for this morning that I woke up a half hour early and started off on the bike while it was still dark and foggy. I’m hoping tomorrow’s sunrise has some surprises for me because the sunset today was truly fantastic – deep blue and teal with purple clouds and orange highlights. We’ll see! I’m also looking forward to doing “find the Christmas Lights” in the fog, but this morning was too early in the month and only a handful of homes had their lights on at 7:15am.
The weather helped support my naive theory that states “overcast and rain followed by clear sky sunrise = fog in mt. lookout”. This morning was no exception! Although I can say that I was a bit disappointed that there was no clear sunrise, I can’t pass up an opportunity to explore in the fog. This morning’s fog was thick, too, one of the thickest so far. I’m getting spoiled with these foggy days! I only had a couple in the spring, almost none in the summer, and now this is like the fifth or sixth one this fall! (you can usually check out the “fog” tag or “foggy” for more foggy posts).
So far I’ve spent foggy sunrises at Alms Park (one of my favorite posts this fall), Lunken Airfield, and Ault Park. This morning when I set out for my twilight ride, I decided that I wanted to go back to my roots and explore some residential pockets that I haven’t visited for awhile. You see, last autumn before Ault Park Sunrise was even an idea, I started my exploration of my local neighborhoods, hills, and parks on my bike. At the time of course I didn’t know I was actually training for Ault Park Sunrise. My first fog explorations was when the neighborhoods were new and unexplored and so I would creep along the No Outlets and see the beautiful homes and landscapes that Cincinnati’s old residential neighborhoods are known (because the homes and plots of land fit snugly into the hillsides so there are lots of creative designs). This morning I wanted to revisit some of these No Outlets in the fog and see what else I could come up with.
As it turns out, the weather this morning was one-of-a-kind. Normally when the fog comes through, it is in both Mt. Lookout AND down in the river basin. OR it is in the river basin alone and not in Mt. Lookout. This morning, however, there was no fog down in the basin so Mt. Lookout was covered in a low-laying cloud layer. I ended up dropping down into the basin to visit Lunken Airfield after realizing that I could get a much needed workout in. The clouds and fog had just broke and the sun was blazing through across the horizon underneath the cloud banks. It was really pretty and surreal because I could look behind me and see the hillside of Mt. Tusculum rising up from the clear streets of Columbia Tusculum and East End to disappear into the thick fog.
Here we go! Be sure to check out the fog crystal macro shots, they’re my favorite 🙂
My first “No Outlet” of the morning. A bit blurry because of the low light. I love this house and the way the gates open into the cul-de-sac.
On the way to Alms Park, I swing down Kroger Ave to check out Kroger Valley. The white fence and street disappear off into the fog. There is a home at the end of this “No Outlet” as well, but we can hardly see it in the fog.
This magnificent Oak first caught my eye in the last Alms Park fog run. That’s the neat thing about fog, it causes different patterns to emerge and make themselves present if you’re paying attention. This oak sits in the lawn of St. Ursula’s Villa.
A bit closer up. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but there is a light aura in the fog just above the horizon where the sunrise is getting ready to make an appearance. This made a perfect backlight for this oak tree’s silhouette.
Same picture as before, but with focus on the ice crystals. A chilly 22F degrees with 96% humidity!! I’ve found that biking in this weather requires a bit of preparation, but a long sleeve shirt and hoodie with insulated running pants does just fine at keeping me warm. (Plus gloves and hat of course!)
If you’re on the front page, click to continue! You’re halfway to the end of this article, about 23 pictures total 🙂 (more…)
Sunrise 110: Lunken Airfield (Ohio River Fog, Ides of March?)
This morning was another foggy sunrise in Cincinnati. I had to make a choice when I got up this morning. I could tell that there were clear skies above me but around the edges of the neighborhood there were patches of fog. I could chance seeing a clear open sky sunrise at Ault Park, or drop down into the Ohio River Valley and visit Lunken Airport in the fog. I haven’t been down to Lunken in a couple weeks so I decided to check it out. As I rode down the 400ft descent past Alms Park, the air slowly became thick with humidity until I reached the basin. When I popped out onto Eastern Ave and pedaled past the late 1800s river town business buildings, schools, and churches, I was soon engulfed in a thick, freezing cold, but quiet fog coming off of the Ohio River. The temperature was about 38F or so and I forgot to put on gloves. My bike had water condensation from the air, and it made my hot coffee that much more enjoyable.
There was no chance at seeing the sunrise this morning, so I enjoyed the fog and the peace and calming that it brings. It’s funny how fog tends to amplify some sounds and muffle others. I could barely hear the traffic or the hum of the commuter planes waiting for the fog to clear up, but I felt like I could hear the gossip of every Canadian Goose from miles around.
The only reason I bring up the “Ides of March?” in the title of this post is because I recently saw the movie Ides of March featuring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. I’m not much of a political drama kind of guy, but I sure did enjoy recognizing all of the neighborhoods and cubbies that were showcased in the background of the movie that is set in Cincinnati. There is one specific scene where one of the actors (I can’t remember who) is getting on a plane at Lunken Airfield. That scene kept flashing through my head as I stared at the terminal building in all of its art deco glory. I couldn’t find an actual clip from the movie, but if you check out the very brief flash at 47s of the official trailer, you can see Ryan Gosling walking through a gate onto an airplane. For all I know, it’s one of the airplanes I see coming in most mornings from Ault Park. In that scene, the terminal is behind us (and was just shown but the trailer doesn’t have that part) and the Little Miami River and levee is in the background. Just a bit of fun trivia.
Approaching Lunken Airfield is the old railroad that runs through East End. One day this may be a bike trail that connects downtown to Mariemont and beyond.
The parking lot outside Lunken Airfield, servicing the trail head for cyclists, roller bladers, and joggers
Welcome to Cincinnati! This scene is featured in the Ides of March.
Remember earlier when I linked to the video of Ryan Gosling hopping on a plane in Ides of March? This is the gate that he is walking through.
The “yard” of Lunken Airfield.
This is the small access road that runs along the airfield, disappearing into the fog.
A lone walker, stern in his dedication to his pedestrian ways, walks into the fog.
Sometimes the fog creeps me out. If I were some kind of large creature of the night, I would definitely feel a bit more comfortable creepin’ around in the dense fog.
On the way back home I pass by St. Stephen’s Church. I’ve tried on several occasions to take a decent picture of the steeple but the sky is always bleached out. The fog provides a nice soft backdrop. It’s a classic italianette style, something that you can see all over this area in the architecture of the buildings that were constructed during the late 1800s.
By the time I got back to Mt. Lookout Square, the fog had actually crept in from the valley and it was denser than when I left a half hour earlier. It isn’t often that the fog makes it this far inland.
This is the steeple of Our Lord Christ the King Catholic Perish & School on Linwood Ave. It’s positioned well so you can see it anywhere on Linwood Ave or in Mt. Lookout Square. Here we see it catching the first rays of sunlight that are penetrating the fog.
Tall & Skinny Jesus says “Peace, dude”. The 15 cars that were waiting at the traffic light ten feet away were probably wondering what I was up to. Or they didn’t notice at all.
Continuing up Linwood toward Ault & Alms Park, I couldn’t help but taking this final picture. I was hoping that tree to the left showed brighter. It is just blazing in red color. I need to find out what kind of tree it is.
Sunrise 101: Ault Park (Autumn Fog #2)
Another strange foggy sunrise picture
Ault Park’s Centeral Lawn & Garden
A quick post for this morning. I was surprised to find another foggy sunrise in the park. My alarm actually crashed during the night so I woke up right at sunrise. Luckily the fog had my back and hid the sun from view for about half an hour. The fog was misty down in Mt. Lookout, but just beyond the entrance to the park the fog was pretty thick.
A hazy orange sunrise at the entrance to Ault Park
Looking back into the park from Heekin Overlook
It’s strange, seeing the foggy sunrise with blue skies high above
This is the view out towards Lunken Airfield.
The trusty ‘ol steed at Heekin Overlook
The rest of the park was slowly coming out of the fog. There was quite a bit of activity, we had several joggers and pedestrians enjoying the chilly morning.
No idea, but I felt compelled to capture it. Thanks Portia.
Heading out of the park, we can see the sun is finally burning away the fog. There are several trees that are starting, just barely, to change colors for the fall.
In several pockets of the neighborhood there are these century-old magnificent oak trees. Like this one.
And this one! I have a feeling these suckers *love* these autumn fogs.
Sunrise 98: Ault Park (Foggy Park, Foggy Forest, and Observatory Fog)
The trusty old ’77 fuji hangin’ out in the fog.
One of my favorite places to take the Fuji’s portrait.
Arachnophobes should stay away from bushes in the fog.
The Cincinnati Observatory against a psuedo-sunrise.
Last night before calling it a night, I took a peek from our patio into the night sky. I realized that the atmosphere had cleared up and I could see the stars. I’ll admit it, I was excited to wake up early to a cool, crisp, fall sunrise in a clear and open sky.
However, when I woke up this morning I was treated to an even bigger surprise! This morning was one of the rare mornings that happen once every few months (and hopefully more often this fall with all this rain!) where the thick fog from the valley overflows and spills into the hills of Mt. Lookout. The fog was lightly patched around the square in Mt. Lookout, and even sparse on my ride through the neighborhood to Ault Park, but once I hit the park boundaries it was like riding into a hazy wonderland. I didn’t get the clear morning sunrise that I had expected, but the quiet and muffled morning in the fog was worth the exchange!
I was literally like a kid in a candy shop. I wanted to see Alms Park, Lunken, Armleder Park, and all the residential no outlets that I’ve come to appreciate. But alas, time enough there was not.
The descriptions, unfortunately will be brief this morning. I’m on my way out the door to check out my first Little Brown Jug horse race up in Delaware, Ohio.
Coming out of a thick patch on the way to the park. Up ahead it is foggy. At the top of this hill is Ault Park.
As I enter the park, I can “hear” the fog around me as all ambient sounds beyond 50 feet away become muffled.
It’s even thicker up near the pavilion where the fog is still literally pouring in from the valley just 200 yards away.
Knowing that there will be no sunrise, I take a stroll through the quiet garden.
For the rest of the pictures, about 35 more, click to continue! (more…)
Sunrise 68: Ault Park (Fog, Bellevue Hill Park, and Cincinnati Inclined Rail Stations)
Looking out towards Lunken Airfield to the west. The forest is dark and misty.
Looking at Downtown from Bellevue Hill Park in Clifton
This morning’s update is a bit of a strange one. My week has been in limbo because my car is in the shop getting checked out. The nice side effect of this transportation issue is that I’ve been forced to rely on my bike a lot more than I normally am used to. I’ve commuted to work twice (never done that before) and realized that the 6.5mi commute is seriously not bad. I can do it in 25 minutes which is comparable to the 15 minutes it takes by car. The route is mostly residential and feels safe. I also commuted to the University of Cincinnati campus yesterday, a bit longer of a stretch. The heat was intense (around 90F) and I think my body wanted the extra sleep this morning to make up for the extra physical activity. Long story short, yesterday I wasn’t able to get near my laptop (I keep it at work) so sunrise 68 is coming at you a day late. That’s OK though because I was able to scope out Bellevue Park, one of my favorites in Clifton that I don’t get to visit nearly enough, and realized some historically significant facts about it. Notch one more up for my respect to the Cincinnati Parks program.
If you’re on the front page you might as well click on now, there are some great pictures (and old high-def historical prints compliments of shorpy.com) (more…)
Sunrise 60: Ault Park (Dying Oak, Annual Cicada Macro, Dense Summer Fog)
After about an hour beyond sunrise, the fog has receded but is still visible a few hundred yards away.
Final shot of the cicada from the side. I tried to capture the dark rich green color of the body.
Green -> brown -> black. Another beautiful organic gradient in the wing pattern.
This morning made me have the realization that I need to start thinking of Cincinnati as a city with lots of fog. We are well into the summer month now and the morning sunrise fog shows no intentions of going away. Cincinnati does, after all, sit between the seven “hills” if you want to call them that. The fog this morning started off light but actually got more dense as the sun heated up the valley air. There were sheets of the fog blowing into the park from the Little Miami River Valley. For more pictures of the cicada, check out the bottom of this post. The lighting was perfect.
The dawn sky. Light pink with a bit of haze.
Looking out from Heekin Overlook. Nothing down there but fog. It’s about to get thicker.
As I’m sitting in the overlook I notice the black spots on the nearby oak tree. I noticed them for the first time on Tuesday and hoped it wasn’t the result of fireworks damage. Today was the first time I looked up and realized that the old Oak was dying. The spots are where the bark has peeled away and revealed the black wood underneath. The squirrels were clamoring around and couldn’t help knocking off huge pieces of bark from the top of the tree. Makes me sad to see such a great tree die. I wonder how long until they chop it up?
If you’re on the front page, please click to continue. More oak pictures, sunrise shots, and cicada macros coming up —> (more…)
Sunrise 29: Ault & Armleder Park (Fog in the Prairie, Linwood Public School, Our Lady of Loretta, Murdock Fountains)
This weather is just too beautiful. I keep having these visions of getting up for the sunrise, taking some pictures and getting them online in a half hour, and then starting off work at around 7:30am so that I can be done early and enjoy the evening. But once again, I found myself in a unique spring morning filled with densely packed fog sitting down in the Little Miami river valley.
A note on productivity before I continue. I waited to post this until lunch time because this morning I had a realization that would boost my “wordpress productivity” by 3-fold. I already have a python script I wrote to process the images, resize them, put “(c) ault park sunrise” on the bottom, re-orient if necessary, and ask me what the file should be named. That helps a ton and has been great so far. The main problem with taking too many pictures is that wordpress, as great as it is, is kind of clunky when it comes to adding pictures to a post. You have to do like 4 clicks, each taking a few seconds to load, for every single picture. It can be monotonous and frustrating if I’m running late. In a flash of ingenuity I realized this morning that I can add raw html to the wordpress post (I never really use that feature), so what I did was throw in a simple command at the end of the script that dumps out html that I can copy and paste (since the script already knows the image filenames) directly into the posting to insert all the pictures at once. I wrapped that feature up at lunch time and I’m happy to say it seems to work. I’ll publish it soon if anyone else is interested in using it, it really takes the technical annoyances out of this project so I can focus on other, more important things, like biking, history, and pictures 🙂
Notice the ridges you can barely see in the background.
As I left my apartment I noticed that there was a slight haze to the air, a bit more than usual, but nothing close to what I would call fog. As I approached the overlook, however, I realized that the entire river valley was completely submerged in a thick blanket of fog, no doubt caused by the proximity to the swollen little miami river. I imagine that the Ohio River is just as foggy and the view from Alms Park would have been incredible. Seeing as how I didn’t have much to look at up at the overlook, and that even the fog was hard to capture correctly without the picture turning out drab and dreary, I decided that it would be a fun exercise to see if I could “catch the fog”, so to speak, by climbing down the mountain (280ft decent over about .8 miles) and attempting to, for the first time, figure out a way to get to Armleder Park on my bike. As it turns out I got sucked back up into some more history, after the historical vineyard ride from Sunday; a trend likely to continue. If you’re on the front page, please click to continue. If nothing else check out the pictures after the fog broke a bit – towards the bottom. (more…)
Sunrise 28: Ault Park (Mushrooms, Aphid Farming Ants, and Lady Bugs)
When I left our apartment this morning, the first thing that hit me was how the “thunderstorm” that was expected last night at 2am never showed up. The air was still thick and wet, something I hoped would go away as the expected front cleaned out the humidity this morning. There was a bit of a haze, but the atmosphere was clear of clouds for the most part giving the air a vibrant feel to it. I wouldn’t call it a fog because you couldn’t see any clouds manifest themselves from the overlook, but the entire valley (and the sun) had a visibility that seemed to stop abruptly about 4 miles away.
The air this morning was warm and sweet, not to mention wet. It reminded me in general of how it feels on a warm sticky summer morning, but it wasn’t quite hot enough to be a nuisance. It was, honestly, just about perfect. My morning routine was finally complete, because I finally was able to make coffee after stopping at Trader Joe’s on the way home from work last night, so I enjoyed my first couple of cups as I waited for the orange accent to become a delayed hazy sunrise.
In the meantime I meandered over to the underside of the overlook and I found some fresh mushrooms that have recently come to life. They had that perfectly soft white foamy appearance to them so of course I had to take a picture to document them. In fact, the mushrooms I took pictures of Sunday night up in Alms Park are already starting to shrivel and age just two days later. If you’re on the front page, please click to continue, there are like 40 pictures in this post! –> (more…)
Sunrise 11: Ault Park (Misty Mountain Hop)
Early this morning an intense thunderstorm rolled through the area. It woke Amanda and I up several times, although I have no idea when. My phone actually
died rebooted in the middle of the night at some point. This is the first time I woke up on my own before sunrise without an alarm, but expecting the alarm to be functional. To me, that means that project sunrise is working. It is changing me, for the good. In the back of my mind I can jump out of sleep when the birds start chirping. Who needs an alarm clock anyway? 🙂
Now that I think about it, however, I’m not even sure it was my phone’s fault. Ive been known to do strange sleep walking activities. I never know or remember unless there is some evidence left over the next morning. Waking up in a different bed than I went to sleep in, for example. Last week I sent a “sleep text message” to my twitter account that I still haven’t exactly been able to account for. Earlier in the previous day I signed up for a twitter account. In the process you can add your cell phone number so that you can post to your account by a text message sent from your phone. They give you a randomly generated word (my word was “GO”) that you have to send from your handset to prove that you have access to it. I took care of that and moved on with my day. Sometime early the next morning, my brain floating atop a river of melatonin, I must have had a dream in which “confirming” my twitter account was high on my priority list. Your guess here is as good as mine… Apparently around 3:20am that morning (a full three hours before I actually got up, and a full three hours after I went to bed), I went into my phone, found the automated message from the twitter-bot (which meant I had to scroll down through several other messages in my inbox), and replied “go well” to it. I didn’t find this out until later that day when I noticed there was a rogue twitter post on my profile. Why did I add the “well” to the message? I imagine it made perfect sense at the time.
Anyways, this morning was gloomy and wet, but pleasantly warm. I biked up to the overlook and was met with patches of misty fog.
The atmosphere was a dark gray on the misty mountain top, and I was alone in the park. Even the park crew didn’t show up until later. Fortunately for me, it didn’t rain much more than a drizzle, and the haze made the lights of the incoming planes stand out nicely.
I’m not sure if the street lights are on a timer or if they use an ambient light sensor. I would think they were on a timer like the rest of the city lights, but they were on all morning (at least until 7:40am, 40 minutes after sunrise). (More after the jump) (more…)