The weather has been playing tricks on us here in Wasilla the last couple of weeks. We went from -20 to almost 45 degrees in a one week span with dreary, cloudy skies and rain that melted the snow.
Finally, last Saturday we got a little peek at the sun during the day when it popped out from under the clouds around 4 p.m. for sunset. And what a beautiful site that was.
We were driving back from showing our daughter Candace, and fiance’ Rich, the Matanuska Glacier, when the colors just exploded around the Mat-Su valley creating a stunning alpenglow.
Pinks, purples, golds and peach colors reflected off the mountain peaks in stark contrast to the blue sky, dark forests, snow and hay stubble in the fields. I made Jeff pull over to take pictures on some random road in the middle of Palmer.
While the kids enjoyed the vista from a boggy field, I watched literally enchanted from the road for an elevated view, because the crew was trying to photobomb my pictures.
Alpenglow is fleeting, just like a sunset. Sometimes, you just happen to be in the right place at the right time and get to enjoy the full effect from start to finish.
The first colors that appear are golden rays, mixed in with a little pink. Then the gold turns to peach, pink deepens to magenta and purples begin to dominate as the sun sinks lower and lower.
Then, the colors fade as the sun disappears.
These were all of my favorite colors in nature. What struck me, is just how deep the blue was in the sky and how detailed the outline of the mountains. Shadows only served to enhance the overall affect and create different tones within each individual color.
And finally, the sun set.
We aren’t getting much sunlight nowadays. In fact it rises around 9:30 a.m. and sets about 4 p.m if we get to see it. The sun doesn’t ascend very high in the sky, but instead just rotates along the tops of the mountains to the south.
But the positive is that the low angle of the light is creating extreme colors and reflections on what it hits in the evenings, resulting in a regular, beautiful alpenglow.
Chalk up another visual display in Alaska that deepens my appreciation for natural beauty.