Sunday, January 4, 2009


I'm a pretty big fan of sunsets. No matter the location, a sunset is almost always a sight worth seeing. However, we take these spectacles that nature creates (nearly every day) for granted. I have the fortunate circumstance to live in an area of Johnstown that just never seems to disappoint come early evening to about dusk. If you live here, you probably know what I speak of... Any trip down Scalp Avenue past the Bel-Air plaza down to the cloverleaf where Scalp joins Bedford Street between the hours of 5 and 9PM, depending on the season of course, rarely leaves one wanting of more impressive solar events.

Recently I was treated to two wonderful sunsets, in the middle of a Johnstown winter, locally known as cold, long, and awful, on what would otherwise have been considered two dreary, late December days. These appeared without much warning, save the orange-red glow that I often get through my front picture window in the mid evening when the maximum daily altitude of the Sun is less than about 40 degrees above the horizon.

The chances to take these pictures are far and few between, because as the earth revolves back around the Sun in spring, summer, and fall, it sets much further to the right of where these pictures were taken. So at the point where the Sun would arrive at the same azimuth, it would be about 20-40 degrees higher in the sky. In fact, it would be well above the trees. No silhouetting, no blue sky gradient, no frosted clouds. Not here at least. Maybe my neighbors over the hill there would have some Kodak moments during the other seasons. But winter... The dark, dreary, cold, and long winter is where I got my chance.

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