Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunshine Returns (SWF)

Blue Jay Barrens has just come through four cool, cloudy, gray, drizzly days. I was really hoping to get some rain during the period, but the precipitation was never more than a heavy mist and our total accumulation over four days was just at 0.2 inches. On the evening of the fourth day open sky could be seen to the west between the horizon and the clouds. I headed up the hill to enjoy the few minutes of sunshine.

To the east, the setting sun showed that we were getting some color in the tree canopy. Of course, part of that color is the reflection from the clouds. Even the green leaves showed a touch of orange. The rapidly advancing shadows restricted the length of this show to about one minute.

The top of The Hill affords the best sky views and I often enjoy the show from up here. I enjoyed the view in the absence of any distractions. The wind stilled and for five minutes there was silence from all directions.

The large, double-trunked Tuliptree is like a kid begging to have the camera turned in his direction. The tree has already lost half of its leaves. This bareness makes the upper branches merge with the electric pink sky.

The clouds take on a menacing visage as the setting sun casts fire across the sky. These clouds represent the outer most band swirling around a low pressure system somewhere along the east coast. It’s unusual to have clouds moving out of the north and makes the whole scene even stranger.

As the light fades, I take one last shot and then head back down the hill. As I turn, I hear a Henslow’s Sparrow calling from the field. I’ve been futilely looking for Henslow’s all summer. Why do I finally hear one in October?
Check out Skywatch Friday for some magnificent sky images.


  1. Wow, what spectacular shots. Just gorgeous.

  2. What a beautiful series of photos.

  3. Beautiful clouds!!! I have gone through the sequence a couple of times, and cannot choose a favourite!

  4. Hi Steve..."WoW" absolutely gorgeous, spectacular, what more can I say!!
    I"m speechless for a change. ; }

  5. Stunning!
    I'm glad you had the sense to raise your camera and click. I'm afraid I would have been dumbfounded.

  6. What a breathtaking array of skies you captured for today.

  7. Thanks, Lois. Occasionally I manage to be at just the right place.

    Thanks, Cathy.

    Thanks, Judy. The sun and clouds just seem to cooperate perfectly.

    Sorry, grammie g. I’ll be more careful in the future. I’d hate to be responsible for you losing your voice.

    Thanks, Jain. It was a temptation to just stand there enjoying the panorama. It’s so hard to squeeze the whole sky into one camera frame.

    Thanks, J Bar. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

    Thank you, LV. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a sky like this.

  8. Wonderful captures, those low clouds look like a blanket across the fields.
    The setting sun lighting them from below is beautiful!

  9. Sunshine returns and how..each picture speaks a thousand words..I love the second shot

  10. What spectacular shots - and those colours. Amazing!

  11. I love the pink through that fabulous tree! They are all gorgeous but I am drawn to the pink sky! Wow!

  12. oh my, absolutely stunning photos! the pink and purple sky is my favorite. can't get enough of these shots.

  13. That was lots of patience of trying to wait for the sky to change beautiful hues...but I am sure the wait was worth it... :-)

    You have captured somewhat an eerie sky, as if there is an impending doom...and that sound of a sparrow? *chill*....

    To sum it up, you are so adept with your love for photography! :-)

  14. Spectacular shots........

    And yes, it was your tuliptree photo in the link that caught my eye.... it does beg taking photos, I agree!

  15. Beautiful shots Steve! My girlfriend and I had to stop the car on the way home from Bur Oak the other night because of this sunset. The bright pink/orange color was so strong that it was reflecting off of the pavement. Great blog!

  16. Thanks, Uberrhund. Nature’s choreographer was working overtime on this one.

    Lakshmi, the trees in that second shot were looking pretty brown due to our ongoing drought. The sunset changed the brown to gold and really lit up the tree line.

    Thanks, Ladyfi. The intensity of those colors was really something to witness.

    Carolyn, I was also amazed by that pink. It only lasted for about half a minute and I can’t remember ever seeing a sky quite like it before.

    Thank you, Luna Miranda. That pink really was something special.

    I agree, Amity, that the sky seemed to be foretelling imminent disaster. It was interesting to be seeing clouds like waves of fire crossing the sky, but at the same time feeling the chill of falling evening temperatures.

    Thank you, Brenda. I hoped that photo would catch someone’s eye.

    Thanks, Michael. Hopefully a lot of people in Southern Ohio were able to get out and see this spectacle.

  17. Fabulous sky views Steve. As the leaves fall I enjoy looking at the skelatal shape of the trees against an open sky. FAB.

  18. Thanks, Frank. I too enjoy the sight of bare trees against the sky. I'm also really happy when the leaves return.