Monday, April 4, 2011

Clingman's Dome at Sunset

I'm not sure whether I'll remember the beautiful sunset more vividly or the bone-chilling wind.  We reached Clingman's Dome just in time to take in this gorgeous, multi-colored sky as the sun slipped down below the horizon.
Earlier, as we wound our way up the mountain watching for Ruffed Grouse, we also watched the thermostat plummet from 54 degrees F to 34 degrees.  Add to that, the winds at Clingman's Dome overlook parking area were strong enough to lift you off your feet.  That made for a very cold wind chill, somewhere in the 20's.

We were a group of six birders, with the goal of finding Ruffed Grouse and Saw-whet owls in the dusk hours.  The Ruffed Grouse made a wonderful showing.  We encountered four altogether, males with striking rust and white markings.  One flew up to a low branch, showing his flared, rufous tail with solid dark terminal band.

The wind, however, guaranteed we would hear no owls.  Its roar through the trees sounded like crashing waves.  But the effort brought us in view of the night sky--spectacular, crystal clear and jam-packed with brilliant stars.  Every bit of it worth all the shivering.

Creating a quick sketch like the one above just wet my appetite and made me want to practice making sunset skies, mountain ridge shapes, and using my rigger brush to capture the lop-sided fir limbs better.  We'll see what time allows.  The sketch is right there in my sketchbook waiting to inspire.  

2 comments:

  1. I was at Clingman's Dome when I was little. I remember the winds being very strong then too. We were in the Smokies to look for salamanders and I hope they're still all tucked away safe and sound. You made me go look up my old photo album.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great experience!! Super sketch considering the conditions!!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

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