Sunday, January 5, 2014


I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The scenery here is varied, and we have four beautiful seasons. There is a phenomenon here called 'alpenglow' (not actually 'Aspenglow,' as in John Denver's song lyrics on the photo above.) Wikipedia describes it this way:

Alpenglow (from German: Alpenglühen) is an optical phenomenon in which a horizontal red glowing band is observed on the horizon opposite to the sun. This effect occurs when the Sun is just below the horizon. Alpenglow is easiest to observe when mountains are illuminated but can also be observed when the sky is illuminated through backscattering.

I love the effect of alpenglow. We live in a valley, with mountains surrounding us. In the early morning, you can see alpenglow on the towers of the Colorado National Monument to the west. We see it most often on our way to church, which is when I took the iPhone shot above.

In the evening, we see it on the Bookcliffs, the Grand Mesa, and Mt. Garfield (as above, and in the beautiful photo below, which a local photographer posted on Twitter.)

photo Dann Cianca
Alpenglow is not easy to capture. It lasts just for a moment, just before the sun sets or immediately as it comes up over the opposite horizon. We were at our mountain cabin this week, and watched alpenglow appear on the far horizen, just to disappear before I could capture it. There was still a hint of color in the sky, but the color was fast fading on the snow (top photo - to which I confess I added the snowfall.)

Almost every evening I see the top of the mountains to the east glow a pink-gold. Alpenglow; what a lovely word for an amazing and beautiful sight. Some day I will capture it in a photo or a painting or a tapestry. Until then, I will continue to treasure it each time it appears.

Tomorrow: holidays over, company leaves (sad grandma face here,) back to the studio to work (happy artist face here.)


Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

Your Alpenglow reminds me of the green flash I am always trying to photograph at the copast, but a little less Illusive.
Question-If I remember right you at one time coppied or printed out your blogs. Is there any special way to do this. I want to get a printed copy of my blogs and was just wonderiong if there's any tricks to doing it.
Cheers and Thanks,

K Spoering said...

Kathe, there are a number of services that will turn your blogposts into books for you, but I think they are either expensive or limited in content amount (ie. 20 pages.) I just began printing out my own posts, though I haven't done that for awhile. I do like having the posts printed, though, so I may try to begin that again.The trouble is, I have 700+ posts, not counting the early ones I printed and deleted!

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

Thank you for the info.