The combination of sheets of high clouds from storm systems that miss the Panhandle, plus the southerly track of the sun, have combined to give us amazing sunrises this past week. They incline towards crimson and gold, with splashes of pink in the opposite sky.
The storm tracks have been south of this area, or north. As a result, the moisture and lower clouds remained far away. However, the ice clouds that trail along the sides of the storm track have been a near-constant presence, some days thickening until they form a sheer, milky cover that mutes the afternoon sun and swallows any sunset.
Sunrises, however, have been a different scene entirely. They begin south of east, where the winter sun lurks this time of year. The dark of night begins fading, and the thickest threads of cloud turn purple, masking the stars. Then gold makes its first appearance, low to the ground, as the orange embers of dawn begin to ignite, fanned by the morning breezes. Bare trees make black lace against hot orange.
Then the sky catches flame, and brilliant crimson, cardinal, scarlet, ruby that glows like light through ancient glass or claret wine sweeps up, turning the sky ablaze. Softer pink washes the western sky if any clouds hide there, revealing them to the morning. The red grows stronger, deeper, more intense in ways no painter has yet captured. Stark black trees hold the glowing ball back, a net of ebony on the horizon.
Then gold explodes, replacing red, and lavender returns for a moment before the orb of the sun appears, gold and low. The day’s coin throws long shadows, and the clouds bleach to white, wisps of ice and mares’-tails.
And so a short winder day begins.