Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An August Sunset

 It was nearly 9 p.m. and the sky had already darkened for night - or so I thought. That was when a brilliant orange glow encompassed the living room and bathed the landscape in fire.I grabbed my camera, found a pair of shoes and headed out into the back yard.

 There, behind the pines, the sun had broken through a section of clouds just as it was setting. This picture was taken at 8:34 p.m. and the last picture you'll see in this sequence was taken just five minutes later. Each is presented in the order they were taken.

 I walked to the edge of the soybeans and dialed in some zoom, targeting just the small slice of sky where the sun was dipping below the horizon. It looked like a great fire had overtaken Farmersville to our west.

 As the sun dipped further, the atmosphere took on an eerie orange glow, speaking of belching volcanoes and either the beginning or the end of time. It looked like liquid sunshine, sprayed across the horizon with a tool only some Vulcan would know.

 As the sun dipped further, the molten oranges were replaced with apricot and shades of pink, ruddy hues of brown where the storms were tearing themselves apart in turbulence from a cold front just passing through. The air began to cool as the breeze picked up from the west.

 To our north, thunder rolled and I turned in that direct and saw the storm that was sliding to the east-southeast, dragging a thin column of heavy rain underneath. The radar lit up red but we did not have a single drop.

 Turning my attention south, lofty cumulus receded there, too and carried any remaining moisture with them. I could hear thunder all about me but we slipped through a small break in the middle of the long, thin band of rain.

 This cloud commanded my attention as it was lit by the just-set sun and began fading through light pinks to a gray-white as I walked back towards the house.

 But I turned around for one final look at sunset before going in for the night. The pines were now dark and silhouetted with the sun already well below the horizon. The nearest storm was still north though now already east of here.
 The atmosphere quieted and cooled as I got ready for bed.