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Fall-back Plan

November 8, 2010

Daylight Savings Time began today at 2am … so, we dutifully set our clocks back an hour. This allows us to “lose” an hour of night, and “gain” a daylight hour. Hmmph … the concept of  a “time change” has always confused me, so much so that each March I actually lose sleep over it when we set our clocks ahead to “spring forward”. I know the reasoning behind all this enforced time adjustment is to save energy, but it still … it almost seems like sci-fi to me. Full disclosure: I was probably the last kid to learn how to tell time in my school, the concept of time has always been a bit abstract for me. But I digress… What I like about DST this time of year is how early it gets dark … my goal today was to capture this first earlier sundown from somewhere on Mt. Rubidoux. After checking what time sundown would occur (4:51pm) I headed up at 4 on-the-dot. The picture above is the red glow of the sun just before it slipped out of sight right at the appointed time; but let’s go back a bit first, to when the sun was still shining behind thick cloud-cover …

Sundown's beginnings

Walking up Mt. Rubidoux’s paved path on the steep side, I can see the sun shining behind the clouds as I round the first big curve, around 4:15. Near the top and facing away from the sun now, there’s still some blue in the sky, which complements the flag nicely. Facing back again toward the clouds, the sun’s hidden light causes the Santa Ana River to shine coldly among the trees. It’s about 4:35 now. I decide to shoot lower as I reach the other side of the Mt. …

Almost down

The sun’s very low now, and beginning to glow with orange light. There’s a wide dirt path that cuts straight down the side of the Mt. and I decide to take it down to get closer to that glow. I’ve never taken this path before and I’m horrified by how steep it is once I begin my descent …  So steep, in fact, I literally have to run down the side of the mountain or end up on my back! Really scary being so out of control, but I keep it together and avoid taking a serious spill. I finally get my feet back, above the road below, and snap off a shot. Moving down more, nearer the dog park, I take more. It’s 4:45 now… and the sun’s glow is now intensely — atomically — red … I’ve got about a minute before it gets too dark to shoot any longer I move down into the river bed … it’s sundown!

Last rays

… And right on time: it’s 4:51. My camera’s balking at the light that remains but I keep snapping. In spite of the cloud-cover, my harrowing mountain slide, the recalcitrant camera, I’m glad for the dark … Winter’s early-dark days bring with them the smell of wood burning in other people’s fireplaces, colder — wetter — weather, and an excuse for hot toddies and extra blankets. As I finish this post it feels late, but it’s still really early. What’ll I do with all this spare time?




4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave in Toronto permalink
    November 8, 2010 1:11 pm

    I, too, love the dark evenings. Partly because they also mean Christmas is coming! Nothing like seeing holiday lights at 5:30 p.m. When people are scurrying home for the day.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 8, 2010 1:20 pm

      Hey, Dave … I guess for me, dark-by-5:00 means Christmas will soon be here and gone … and it will have taken those horrid carols with it!

  2. AlgaRythums permalink
    October 7, 2011 5:06 pm

    When I was young I used to dread the dark evenings. My grandmother would tell me the most ancient scary stories. Supposedly all of them true. Yikes. Even as a young adult I feared things that went bump in the night. Ha… that is all behind me now, I love early evenings. And we are getting ready to do it all again. Nov 6th this year. Oh and I’ve read about Mt. Rubidoux.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 7, 2011 5:10 pm

      Truly my favorite time of year …

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