Sunday, 8 April 2012

Dawnwatch 03/04/2012 Lurking Menace Dawn

Dawn from an East-Facing Balcony in Sydney
A dawnwatcher must expect the unexpected.  Even though I can’t photograph the dawn proper any more, and in autumn the sun rises at such a low angle that the clouds have to be high altitude to catch the early glory pink light, you can be surprised.  I certainly was on this dawn.  The photographs and the video of this day’s dawn I have watched over and over trying to catch out the trick.  But I won’t spoil your surprise; read on.
Lurking Menace Dawn:  Tuesday, 3 April 2012
I awakened to a perfectly clear dawn.  Usually when the dawn is clear like this without a trace of cloud, I either go back to bed or resume writing my current fantasy novel on the computer (The Stone Wizard of Quoth:  Book Two of The Witch, the Hero, and the Princess).  It's not as if I can see the sunrise any more.  Well, actually I can, except it's but a glimpse through the northern trees and can't be photographed from the angle of my balcony.  However, after my encounter with the Indian myna yesterday, I was hoping for another instalment.  In that respect, I have to tell you right now, I was disappointed.  All was quiet; the birds stayed abed on this day.  By the end of this dawn, I found out why.

I was pleasantly surprised when a few shreds of cloud drifted over, enough to turn a brilliant pink for some lovely pictures.  Note though the strange grey wisps veiling the pink.  I was snapping away with my camera and wondering what to call this dawn, what made it special, and considered calling it Veiled Dawn.  As you know, by the time the sun rose, I had changed my mind.  The grey wisps should have clued me in as to what was happening.  

Well, the dawn proceeded as normal.  The clouds faded to yellow, then pearl, then washed out sand.  And then, I don't know what, why or how, a bank of fog covered the sky!  It happened not in minutes, but in less than a single minute, within seconds.  The fog descended so fast and completely, it was incredible.  No wonder the birds stayed in bed; they don't fly in fog.  

I couldn't wait to load the photographs onto my computer and check what I had just seen yet not seen.  Had there been any indication that the bank of fog was coming?  Those grey wisps of cloud!  That had been fog.  And checking the photographs, yes, there was the typical sandy dawn phase, but the sky was beginning to fog at that point.  But the exact transition point came so fast that, even looking at the photographs, I can't pinpoint it.  The fog didn't appear like a cloudbank rolling in from across the sky, it was just blink, and it was there and everywhere.

The fogbank struck before the sun was properly clear of the horizon, so here's pictures of the solid fog and the sun's red glow at the bottom.

However, the fog was descending to ground level, until it was everywhere, and everything was grey.  You'll have to take my word for it that I stopped taking photos only when the sun appeared off to the left through the trees.  An hour later, you'll be pleased to know, the fog had almost entirely dispersed for a warm and lovely autumn day.  But what a shocker of a start off morning.

See the video for yourself on YouTube here.  

Souvenir posters and cards of this dawn are available from the Gagothicfunk store at as displayed below:

Don’t forget your humble photographer also writes fantasy adventure fiction under the name of S E Champenby.  Paperbacks and epubs available from at S E Champenby’s store.

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