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A different view of sunset

I’m still getting used to this whole time change thing, and it keeps coming as a surprise to me when I see the sun heading for the horizon at 4:30 or so.  Today was no exception.  

Since I was off, I had all the blinds pulled up to let in however much light we get anymore.  It was nice, because throughout the day, the sky was a pretty interesting mix of dove grey cloud and blue atmosphere, with the sun peeking out every now and then.

Late this afternoon, Louis and I were sitting in the living room.  I was working on some blog maintenance, and he was on the couch watching a movie.  Really, he was sleeping, but when you look at him, he always pretends that we was just resting his eyes for a moment.  All of a sudden, the room was lit with a bold splash of golden afternoon light.  It was bright enough and sudden enough to surprise us both, and we literally jerked our heads up and looked at one another in surprise.  Which was kind of a weird experience, seeing as he’s a dog an all.

I had to get up and take a look out the window.  The clouds looked like this, only 10 times more brilliant and they were golden, golden, golden:

If you follow my photo blog, then you’ve already seen pictures of my front yard and some of the wonderful sunsets I’ve watched disappearing behind the trees.  But there’s a huge field that begins just beyond my little range of trees, and I’ve been wanting to drive out there to get some “other sunset pictures”.  The opportunity today was too good to pass up!  I couldn’t get out there fast  enough to capture that golden light that shot through the window, but there was some great color, nonetheless.

We drove out across the bottom of the field at first, keeping to the left hand line of trees in an attempt to capture as much skyline as possible.  Unfortunately, the field dips down just a bit too much on that side, so I wasn’t able to get a lot of deep color in these shots.  But you know I do love my silhouettes, and there were plenty of those to be had.

Pick your focus..

Naturally, as soon as I take a few (okay, a few dozen) pictures, my batteries give out on me.  This is when I remember that I haven’t charged the batteries that were running dead at the baby shower.  But no worries (were you?), I had some regular batteries for backup!  I had to go back to the house to get them, because I’m nothing if not unprepared, but at least I had them.

This time, we followed the driveway to the right and went all the way around to the other side of the field.  My neighbor’s live on this side of the farm (we used to grow alfalfa here, but that is a story for another post), and this is their house:

Really, this is just the second story of their house. I was still rather far away, and the land rolls here in long waves that play tricks on the eye.

That perfectly straight cloud line was something to behold.  It lasted the entire time we were out there.

I tried driving across the field up here at the top, but the tufts of grass were plucking and tearing at the underbelly of my car in a loud and scary way.  If the grass had been water, we would have been in serious trouble.  As it was, I began to imagine that the field wanted to swallow us up, so we drove back to the beaten path and waded out on foot.

Louis would run and hop from low spot to low spot, around and over the thick tufts of grass. In many places, it was almost as tall as he is.


As a general point of interest, these photos are laid out in the order that I took them.  The only exception is the photo below, which I moved up one spot so the two pictures of the tree line could be placed together.  Isn’t it interesting what a difference the tilt of a camera can make in the lighting?  Or simply turning to face another direction?  Photography is fun, ya’ll! 

Here is a little color! But don't the sheds and barn look quaint?

I don’t normally cross the field, but I did about a month ago, and that’s when I realized what I was missing at sunset.  Ever since then, I’ve been watching for an opportunity to get my pictures.  And this is what I’ve been wanting to photo, these magnificent trees!  

There’s just something about a tree.  Clothed or naked, whether the lines are graceful and flowing, or crinkly and craggy and full of witchy-knuckled joints, trees captivate my attention.  There is something in the vision of a tree that sparks an imagination in me so profound that it surpasses the usefulness of thought and words; it simply carries me away.


I’ll leave you with a last silhouette (hey, I finally spelled it right without spell-check!), because I think they’re awesome too.  I just can’t get enough of trees and silhouettes.  Or silhouetted trees.  But you know this.


Items of Interest:

Perfect Autumn Evenings by me (my last walk with Louis)

God’s Brushstrokes by me (an amazing sunset picture from my photo blog)


14 Comments Post a comment
  1. I, too, am still struggling with the time change. I’ll think about going for a run, then the next thing I know it’s already almost dark outside. Not cool. We have also had a few spectacular sunsets these past few weeks, but I’m in the heart of the city and something always seems to be in the way. Love that shot of yours of the really straight cloud and the bright orange colors.

    December 1, 2011
    • That happens here, but it’s trees in the way! That’s why I tried going over the grass at the bottom of the field first, to get as much sky as possible. Oh, well…

      Yeah, I would not want to run at night without a partner! It really does throw you off, though. It feels like 9pm, but it’s only 6. It messes up my internal rhythm.

      December 1, 2011
  2. What a treat! I am a sucker for tree silhouettes too. And grass silhouettes. And sunsets. I’m not much disposed to see sunrises….

    December 1, 2011
    • Me too and me neither! When we would go to the beach on vacation, my friends and I would make ourselves get up for at least one sunrise. Now, I just figure I’ll sleep in and look at the old pictures – at a more reasonable hour.

      December 1, 2011
  3. Like you, I can’t get enough of trees. And there’s something especially brave about them when they are stripped of all their leaves and yet stand firm, patiently waiting.

    December 1, 2011
    • It’s almost like they are two different beings, with or without leaves. Even at that, they all seem so different to me. Without their leaves, some are lost and sad and lonely; some are rigid, staunch warriors standing guard and ready for battle; some are graceful ladies striking a pose, just on the verge of dancing away…

      December 1, 2011
  4. Lovely photos. Your description of how the sun lit up the room reminded me of the other day when Jack texted me to go look at the western sky asap. I think we had a sunset similar to the one you’re describing. Your silhouettes are a great perspective. Thanks for sharing!

    December 1, 2011
    • Thank you! I do love a good sunset. And silhouettes and trees, haha! I’m glad he texted you, that kind of thing is too wonderful not to share.

      December 1, 2011
  5. rebecca #

    I hate the time change, hate it being so dark early. Logan hates it too — when I say curfew is at sunset. funny how he pretended that I was being funny and didn’t make it

    December 9, 2011
  6. “There’s just something about a tree. Clothed or naked, whether the lines are graceful and flowing, or crinkly and craggy and full of witchy-knuckled joints, trees captivate my attention. There is something in the vision of a tree that sparks an imagination in me so profound that it surpasses the usefulness of thought and words; it simply carries me away.”

    Well said! These were my favorite lines of your post. Interesting how so often, in a way, things in silhouette become more real, more concrete, even though they lose almost all detail except for their shape. It’s like nature helps us gain clarity by removing for a moment entire dimensions of reality so that we can focus on just a couple. Makes me wonder what the world would look like if we couldn’t perceive time, if we subtracted from our vocabulary words like “now” and “then” and “meanwhile” and we lacked past, present and future tenses. That sounds meaningless, I know, but how would a silhouette strike us if we had never experienced the absence of depth in our surroundings?

    Have you ever read “Einstein’s Dreams,” by Alan Lightman? I think you would enjoy it. It’s a little book of maybe 200 pages that you could read in an hour or two. He’s a former theoretical physicist/English major (such combinations exist!) who in this book imagines worlds in which physical laws vary in small and large ways (in one world, time runs backwards).

    Also, beautiful pictures! 🙂

    December 27, 2011
    • by the way, I checked my spelling of silhouette against yours, so I’m glad you checked YOUR spelling against the dictionary’s. 🙂

      December 27, 2011
    • Thanks, I’ll have to check out that book. It is interesting how an object takes on another kind of life when the details are obscured or missing, like the object is a completely different thing. As for time, I’ve had the same kinds of thoughts. We give past and future names (like past and future) to distinguish for ourselves, but in a way, it’s kind of meaningless. Time is a tricky thing in my mind; what’s past is gone forever and still it kind of lives on, and the future can’t be guaranteed.

      December 31, 2011

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