Light and Color

Good morning, Rome International Airport! (Says this photo. Not me. At least not today.)

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Here in Minnesota, it’s getting to be the time of year when I notice the daylight slipping away all too quickly. The sun wakes up after I do (or, let’s be honest, I wake up later and later with the sun), and the daylight remaining after I leave work has to be cherished and used wisely. But, thankfully, having the sun rise and set during waking hours affords us primetime views of the colors that accompany each. And as it turns out, those colors are actually at their best during the fall and winter, thanks to the sunlight traveling through more of Earth’s atmosphere to reach us. (Fascinating mini science lesson of the day: http://www.weather.com/news/autumn-sunsets-20121010)
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While traveling recently, I was dazzled by the rise and fall of the sun. With our bus snaking up mountain roads toward the morning light, it was like unwrapping a present. Seeing ancient treasures illuminated in the deliciously warm, golden light of early evening was more like having a giant present plopped down in front of me, no unwrapping needed.

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A few times, I caught that mysterious time of day when the land looks dark and done for the day, but the sky seems to still have so much light to give. (Seen here from a bus window somewhere in Umbria or southern Tuscany.)

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Then there are the layers of color that are at their boldest just before the sun starts disappearing below the horizon, especially when seen unobstructed over the ocean. Cameras cannot do this spectrum of light justice. (In Greece, which I have to say comes out ahead of Minnesota in sun points.)

And, while I can’t claim to know the city of Rome all that well, luckily I did know enough to get myself to a certain spot at a certain time of day. Because if you’re going to see the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, you might as well see it flooded in lavender and magenta hues as the last gasps of light disappear behind it.
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If you or, particularly, any of the students in your life are similarly fascinated by the light and color we get during primetime these days, Lerner’s got some books for you! To learn more about each of the books below, click on the cover image.

Happy Fall and sunset-gazing!