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Bear Hollow Sunrises
April 17 -30, 2005
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If the day ever comes that I get a good sunrise picture from Bear Hollow at Mount Magazine, it will be fair to say that I earned it. I've lost count of how many early morning drives I've made just to beat the sun there.
Sunday morning, April 17, I got up at 4:45, but didn't get out the door until 5:20 because I had to clear up some space on my camera's memory cards. Then my truck had a flat tire, so I decided to take Stacey's vehicle. And I swear every single time I want to take hers, she is about to run out of gas. I lost another 10 minutes in Ozark putting gas in the tank.
I decided to stop at Cove Lake and shoot the sunset there, but the sun was already too far north and was coming up behind the mountains, so I continued on toward Mount Magazine. I had the frustrating experience of seeing a intensely red ball of a sun from the road at a few spots, with nowhere to pull over and get a shot.
Going to the top of Mount Magazine in the spring is like going back in time 3 weeks... suddenly there were serviceberry trees in bloom again, and the trees were just leafing out. Yet the wildflowers seemed to be more on schedule with the Ozarks, and one area of the Bear Hollow overlook was thick with Spiderworts. Until now I've never been a big fan of those flowers, but they were putting on a great show that morning. There were a couple hundred blooms in this one small area, and there was a big variety of colors from white to pink to purple to violet to blue. I put the camera tripod legs together and used it as a monopod, and followed several honeybees and a bumblebee around the spiderworts, and took a bunch of quick shots.
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The following Saturday morning I gave Bear Hollow another try. Man! I 'bout froze to death and got blown off the mountain. The clouds above the horizon back behind Mt Nebo were too thick for the sun to penetrate, so the sunrise wasn't much, but I did get the shot at the top of this page, right after the sun peeked through a small opening. Once it rose above that cloud, it was bright white with a clear sky, so I just packed it in.
A week later I woke up at 4 and made it to Bear Hollow in plenty of time for the sunrise, but it was pretty much a repeat of last weekend. The sun burned through some clouds just after sunrise as a big red ball, but the surrounding clouds were quite drab. The pictures on this page document how quickly the sun's position changes day to day in relation to Mt. Nebo. The photo at the top of this page from April 23 shows the sun over the northern end. Seven days later on April 30, shown on the pictures at right, the sun has already moved way northward.  The pictures are also a good reference for when are the times of the year to catch the sun rising from the hollow.
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