Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dawnwatch 15/02/2012 Old Gold Dawn

Dawn from an East-Facing Balcony in Sydney
All photographs used in the videos and on this blog appear in strict chronological order.  But I can’t claim any credit; the camera automatically does the sequential numbering for me.  I use a 5.1 Megapixel digital camera with 10x zoom, and that’s the minimum a dawnwatcher requires.  Although my camera is only a few years old, it is already sadly out of date.

Old Gold Dawn:  Wednesday, 15 February 2012
This dawn began with the sky smothered in dense grey cloud, so I didn’t bother snapping panorama shots.  My attention was focused hopefully on the clear gap on the horizon, and indeed, it made all the difference in soon producing another unique and spectacular dawn.

As the sun rose from somewhere below the horizon, the usual pre-dawn pinks never eventuated.  Instead, dazzling golden light escaped through the gap and caught at the dark clouds, catching on edges of what was otherwise just a monotonous dark blanket.  The thick dark clouds turned a chocolate brown colour with gilded trimmings.

 Here I do switch to panorama shots, so you can see for yourself the dark cloud blanket, now brown, smothering the dawn sky.  I didn’t include the vertical shots in the video as I didn’t want to break up the flow, so I’m posting one here on this blog.  Dark, beautiful, fascinating, incredible, so very different from other dawns.  Unique.  I have never seen anything like it.

What caused the clouds to turn brown?  I don’t know.  There were no reports of bushfires, volcanic eruptions, or any similar natural disaster that might spew brown dust high into the atmosphere.  Maybe the wind blew dirt from the outback over the Great Dividing Range.  A meteorologist might know the answer. 

The dark gold gilding fades slowly, and all the action switches back to the gap on the horizon where I know the sun will rise.  And it does, in golden glory.  Astonishingly, even with the sun up, as you can clearly see, the morning sky is still dark!  Whatever it is that constitutes those brown clouds, light can’t penetrate it.  The dawn began dark, and even with the sun up, the morning is still dark.

Old Gold Dawn is the darkest dawn I have ever witnessed, darker even than washouts.  There is no blue sky; it’s been blotted out.  The dense brown clouds of this dawn simply absorbed - or blocked - the sun’s light.  A dark start to this day.

Watch the video on YouTube here.

Souvenir posters and mugs 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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