Sun up

Because of a recent change in cameras, to a DSLR, I have something of a backlog of images taken with the Point & Shoot. The one shown below was taken with the much-utilized panoramic feature of the Sony HX9V. I realize that this image isn’t the best (some panoramic formats don’t make the transition to a computer monitor well) but I couldn’t let it go because it captures a moment that we have come to know well, anticipate, and very much enjoy. It is a view we get only rarely as the sunlight first reaches the western hillsides which border our upper pastures. Although the sun does indeed rise each and every day, you might be interested to know that it took us nearly two years to capture this image under a very particular set of co-occuring conditions. On clear days, without the softening influence of broken clouds, the light is harsh the colors become muted and the details in the trees are lost. On cloudy days the sun may never show fully. If it should, by degrees, its penetrating rays are not of sufficient intensity to fully illuminate the hillside. Given just the right condition however the hills glow brightly as if the light source was coming from deep within the ground. This curtain of illumination travels quite quickly as the sun continues to rise. As it ascends even higher its illuminating rays cut through less of the atmosphere and the light becomes increasingly harsh. Within a few minutes this Magic Moment, as it is called, is over. None other than Darwin himself is known to have famously observed that There is grandeur in this view of life. You know, sometimes there certainly is.

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