Beautiful Sunset and Sunrise
January 11-12, 2005
I witnessed the most amazing sunset last night and sunrise this morning. Not your
usual brightly colored showy sunset and sunrise, but that of a more quiet and subtle
sort, but nonetheless very beautiful.

The storm clouds we had been under for about a week started clearing yesterday
afternoon, but not before they emptied themselves of moisture one last time. The
snow level came down to about 3,500 feet around 2:00 pm yesterday, I can guage that
by looking at the line of where green meets white on nearby Black Mountain which I can
see from my office window.

At around 4:30 pm yesterday I left the office and headed west into the San Joaquin
Valley. The clouds were colored turquoise to deep indigo but each was lit and had a
lining of, well not silver, but a bright white. The Sierra was still mostly shrouded with
these clouds but here and there a crisp white mountain catching a bit of light stood out
against the dark sky. I drove south on Highway 65 and marveled at the view. I
attempted to take a few pictures but the light was subtle and I could not capture the
beauty of the scene... An impressive line of mountains playing peek-a-boo with the light
and clouds. Then soon the light disappeared and the night fell around me.

This morning the sun came out in the mountains. Wow, what a dazzling sight! From Hwy
190 in Porterville you can look north and see Mt. Silliman and Alta Peak in Sequoia
National Park and east are nearby Moses and Maggie Mountains. I've climbed the first
two and someday hope to climb the latter two. Again the distant views of Silliman and
Alta did not photograph well but I did get one good picture of Moses and Maggie, they
are such photogenic mountains!

Now the magic of early morning is gone but the day has begun and sun is streaming in
through my window and the clouds have all but disappeared. But there's still a little
wisp of a cloud hanging around the top of Black Mountain floating just above the trees.
The frosted trees at the top are outlined against the bright blue sky. I imagine how
quiet it must be up there right now and I close my eyes and try to remember these
beautiful moments.

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