Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunsets -- And Kate Smith

Because of the RV Park’s location on the western edge of Albuquerque, we had a front row seat to the nightly panoramic view of the setting sun. Being mesmerized by the evening sunset reminded us of similar experiences while visiting Ocean City, Maryland.

We remembered dining on Maryland jumbo lump crab cakes at sunset at Fager’s Island restaurant and enjoying a bowl of Maryland crab soup at Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill while the sun “sank” into the bay. But at both restaurants, it was the accompaniment to the sunset that made the sunset memorable.

At the computer-designated time at both restaurants, music began as the sunset approached. At Fager’s, it was Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, and at Macky’s it was Kate Smith singing God Bless America. For a few magical minutes, the sunset took on another dimension. In each case, as the last note sounded or the last word was sung, the sun disappeared on the bayside of the city. Eating was forgotten in the power of the moment.

We favored Kate Smith’s singing, so we suggest that you imagine Ms. Smith singing God Bless America while viewing this series of sunset pictures--our farewell to Albuquerque.

Surprisingly, sunset viewing begins by looking to the east and watching a curtain of magenta rising up the Sandia Mountains. The stage is set.

Looking to the southwest, we had additional blues and magenta accompanying the "feature colors" of the sunset production.

The majority of the sunsets during our nearly five weeks in Albuquerque were free of clouds and featured turquoise and orange. Even these cloudless sunsets were dramatic.

But when you add clouds to the picture, it's like a crescendo building to the powerful conclusion of the show.

During some of the sunsets, there is a secondary show. That is, after the sun sets, there is a reddish hue on the underside of the clouds that starts at the horizon (as shown here) and

extends to the clouds overhead. I had put my camera away and missed the first secondary show, but I did witness it from the RV window. I learned the lesson of patience as it applied to sunset-watching.

Our view covered about 180 degrees, unobstructed by buildings, trees, or people. I was photographing these scenes in the corner of the Park on several evenings and wondered if Albuquerque residents would stop what they were doing to watch these sunsets.

The golds and oranges (below) seemed more intense from this viewpoint of the prairie before me.

I can hear Ms. Smith's voice rising as she finishes with: "God Bless America,

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