A phenomenon common in the western U.S. these days is the sun’s red color as it rises and sets, due to the smoke from recent wildfires. I had considered the sunsets extraordinary, but one morning I stepped outside in time to witness this striking scene, the reservoir and smoky air stained crimson by the rising sun.
A few days ago I visited Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, where even heavier smoke obscured both the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges. During an evening walk I noticed the sun, although still high in the sky, slowly swallowed by what I thought at first to be a cloud. As the last sliver disappeared, however, the sky glowed faintly, revealing the barely-perceptible outline of a mountain peak. Of course, I’d forgotten my camera but made a mental note to be ready the following night.
Next evening, camera mounted on tripod and thumb poised over Record, I watched and waited. Minutes later, a tiny depression on one side of the sun’s bottom told me it had settled onto a distant peak. I hit the button. Overall, the shoot went well. However, much to my disappointment the glow that, on the previous night, had revealed the mountaintop did not appear. Moral: Always carry your camera and be ready to seize the opportunity; you rarely get a second chance.
It was strange watching the sun simply vanish while still so high in the sky. I tried to upload the video to this post, but it was too large. WordPress does not accept MovieMaker files but I was able to separate the clip into individual pics and have posted some of them below: