Summer Sunsets

I can’t deny it any longer.

Last week I turned off the air conditioning and haven’t turned on the heat. I do my very best to delay turning on the heat. I am not yet sure whether that is stubbornness, denial or both. But today there is a chill in the air inside the house.

Suddenly, every Saturday morning I regret my choice to not have cable. It is that one time a year when I miss ESPN, or maybe it’s just Kirk Herbstreit.

My white shoes, linen blazer and seersucker suits are dry cleaned and packed away, sadly, for months.

As I type, it is 42 degrees in Fort Wayne. Today’s high is 46 degrees.

It is fall.

In an effort to further my stubbornness and/or denial, I want so share my best of the summer sunsets.

There is not much better than a warm/hot/sweltering walk in the glow of the setting sun in bare legs and short sleeves. I am afraid that there won’t be any more of those until spring.

Indiana Sunsets:

Alaska, Arizona and Washington Sunsets:

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Beautifully Bleak, Part II

One amazing thing about the Midwest are the sunrises and sunsets. They are beautiful, no matter the season. The sky is so wide and open that during a sunrise you get shade after shade of reds, pinks, and oranges, depending on the day and weather.  The Queen and I get to see sunrises regularly (we walk at 6:00 a.m.), particularly the beginning of the sunrise when all you can see is the pink and orange glow peaking over the horizon in a wide seemingly never-ending band.

The sunsets are lovely for many of the same reasons.  My favorite part of a Midwestern sunset is looking straight up or to the east. If there are clouds in the sky they appear to be glowing as if someone is shining a black light on them as they sit on an iridescent blue background.  It is something.

If I were a betting girl, I would bet that many Midwesterners never knew that their sunrises and sunsets were special.  We all know that sunrises on the East Coast and sunsets on the West Coast and Gulf of Mexico are cool because the sun appears and disappears over the ocean.

But in the Midwest you can see the sun’s tiniest sliver as soon as it starts to rise in the east over cornfields, farms houses, silos, and tree lines.  You can watch that same little sliver disappear as it descends in the west when it sets, also over cornfields, farm houses, silos, and tree lines.

In the mountains it is not the same. You can see the sun come up but it is already high above the mountain tops when it first comes into view.  In the Midwest the sun comes up and seems to be at your level, as if you could walk into it if you walked far enough. In the mountains the sphere of the sun disappears long before it actually sets because the mountains are so tall – thus the saying that in the mountains the sun goes down at “three in the day” – daylight remains but the sun itself bids an early farewell.

In the Midwest during a full moon, seeing the moon appear in the east at eye level is startling if you are not expecting it or have never seen it in that way. I was driving across an overpass in FW and saw something out of the corner of my eye and looked over and was physically taken aback at the size and location of the moon. Admittedly, I felt kind of silly but, hey, it is not like that from whence I come. Luckily, after the shock wore off I recognized the pretty when I saw it.

I regret that I have yet to take a picture of a great Midwest sunset. But God willing I will have plenty more chances to find one.

Sundown

Sunsets are my favorite.  Nearly everywhere I have traveled I have made sure to get a shot of the sun going down.  The sky does awesome things as it says goodbye to the day.  So in order to stay on topic, you can see the difference between a mountain South sunset and a Northern Indiana sunset right here on this page.  The picture below the title of this blog is a sunset captured by me while on the highway in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky.  The picture in this post was taken in Allen County, Indiana just before a thunderstorm.  They are different.  Both are pretty.

Sunsets in the mountain South are more visually calm than those in the Midwest.  In the mountains you get a burst of light but the sun disappears rather quickly if you are not watching from the mountain top. The mountains are tall.  In the Midwest the sun hangs around, it lingers for a while, so you catch the full spectrum of pinks and yellows as it is swallowed up by the trees in the distance.  I am not sure I can pick which is prettier, but that is not the point, right?  The point is that they are both worth seeing and enjoying.  Over and over and over again.  Heck, it happens everyday.  Why not?

Here is a great song to enjoy while watching the sunset.  Anywhere.  “Live forever, y’all, whether you want to or not.”  Billy Joe Shaver.