. . . the bookends of my days . . .
Watching the sun rise and set from a window in the sky is a normal routine in my life. You see, I travel thousands of miles each year to schools across the country. Most of my trips are six hours or longer, which means that I watch either a sunrise or a sunset or both on nearly every trip.
I hope you enjoy this gallery of sunrises and sunsets from my annotated photo journal. (All photos were taken with an iPhone from an airplane window; none have been photoshopped.)
February sunrise, departing Portland.
I zoomed in to get this shot of Mt. Jefferson. The clouds and the mountain are illuminated in the first rays. Ahead of us is a dark cloud, and moments after taking this shot, we were engulfed in that cloud.
June Monday sunrise, departing Portland.
Sunrise over the mountain peaks. Look closely and you can see our northern peaks. Along the horizon, left to right, are Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. I particularly like the layers of light and darkness. I thought about photo-shopping to take the angle out of the horizon but decided against it so it would retain the effect of sitting in a plane that is still climbing for its cruising altitude.
October sunrise, between Portland and Phoenix.
I’ve seen hundreds of sunrises from the windows of planes, but never before has the entire sky beneath me looked like spun gold. This was breath-taking in real time! We were about 30 minutes into our flight; the scene lasted less than three minutes.
May dawn, approaching Chicago’s O’Hare.
I call this one “Night Fading.” I was on a red-eye (all night flight), about 30 minutes from landing. The white cover of clouds beneath are reflecting dawn’s light. A dark band of night still blankets the western horizon. The moon, just off the tip of our wing, hasn’t yet retired. I am amazed that though the sky above is illuminated with light from the rising sun, the land below is still blanketed in night’s darkness. Twilight—both dawn and dusk—is a fascinating subject. Officially it is the time between day and night when there is light outside, but the sun is below the horizon. Did you know that there are three types of twilight? Civil, nautical, and astronomical.
October sunrise, departing Portland.
Not yet at our cruising altitude, Mt. Hood is a silhouette against a brilliant sunrise. Even though the sun is streaking its brilliant colors across the horizon and pushing back night clouds to reveal the blue sky of morning, darkness of night still shrouds the land (foreground of picture). The layers of twilight are so obvious in this photo. This is one of my favorites; it has three things I always enjoy — a sunrise, a silhouette, and a mountain.
Spring sunset on our final approach to LaGuardia.
The setting sun breaks through storm clouds over NYC skyline just as we are making our final approach. This was so surreal, like a sci-fi scene.
May sunset, departing Chicago’s O’Hare.
Bound for LaGuardia; such a brilliant sky. When I look at this picture, I will always remember one of my most hectic travel days. Smoke had been detected in one of O’Hare’s control towers–the one guiding my flight in. We were diverted to Grand Rapids. There we sat on the tarmac for hours, waiting our turn to approach O’Hare again. You see, at the time of the incident, all east-bound flights (like mine) had to fly past Chicago, land at an airport, and them be rerouted back to O’Hare so they could arrive as west-bound traffic under control of the tower without smoke. When we arrived at O’Hare, nearly ALL flights out had been canceled. Hotels were booked; all seats in the terminal were occupied; lines were unending for everything. A very long night was ahead. But, I was extremely fortunate to get a seat on the only flight that actually went to LGA that night. I took this photo during takeoff.
Summer sunset on the final approach to LaGuardia Airport, NYC.
We are almost on the ground.
October sunset over Boston.
What a sunset! What a landing! Follow it with me in three photos.
Photo #1: Circling to land.
Photo #2: Almost on the ground at Logan.
Photo #3: Taxiing to the terminal.
“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord,
just watch the sunrise.”
Writing about my writing
How I chose my topic.
After four weeks of unbroken time at home, yesterday began a two-month travel stretch that will include seven trips. That translates into boarding 28 flights, racking up 25,000 air miles, spending 24 nights in hotels. I thought it apropos to share a travel gallery and connecting it with the March theme of the equinox, I selected sunrises and sunsets as my subject.